2010 Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Activities

The Equine Spirit Sanctuary has been providing equine assisted activities for disabled persons for three years now. The Arc began bringing people out in 2008. In 2009 we had 14 group visits, with an average of 4 disabled persons per visit.

In addition to these group visits, ESS created a special program of growth and learning exercises. In a carefully supervised program working one-on-one with ESS volunteers, young adults with various disabilities have gone from simply visiting and petting the horses to learning to groom them, pick up and clean their hooves, halter and lead, doing progressively more difficult leading exercises; and even feeding and cleaning up after the horses. Two young men came out 11 times last year for this program. We continued the program through the winter months and so far this year they have come out 18 times. Two young women have joined the guys and are now coming regularly as well.

Equine-assisted activities facilitate a unique connection between people and horses. Horses are used in occupational therapy, helping people develop skills that can help them later in life. Equine-assisted therapy can help them learn to communicate, develop fine motor skills, and approach problems in new ways. We have seen our disabled clients learn new skills and gain confidence as they work with the horses. They are truly an inspiration to all of us who work with them.

At ESS, we take in unwanted and abused horses, horses that sometimes have no future. We rehabilitate these horses and when they are ready, we use them in our activities for people, such as the Arc program. Ginger came to ESS in 2006, starving and fearful of human contact. She was ridiculed, labeled as “ugly” and “worthless” simply because she was extremely thin and in great stress. With proper care and attention she has blossomed into a lovely, beautiful horse who is happy interacting with people, and now is part of the Arc program.

Saving horses that have been abandoned or abused costs a lot of money. Maintaining a safe, well equipped facility for the horses and for our programs for people also costs a lot. At ESS we have several different programs. Our biggest challenge is to budget accordingly, so that we can offer a variety of much needed services to the community for both people and equines.

Please help us provide these wonderful programs by making a contribution to Equine Spirit Sanctuary. Donations are tax deductible as per the Internal Revenue Service standards and regulations Your support helps us continue to improve the quality of life for people with special needs by giving them the chance to spend time with the ESS equines.