Horses for Healing

Mission: – To provide an opportunity for hurting mothers and their children to heal and grow by developing relationships and learning to work as one with horses.

The program is designed as a therapeutic tool to assist with the healing processes and trust building in the emotional renewal of mothers and their children in the Fresh Hope program who have previously turned to drugs/alcohol as a result of the hurtful and dysfunctional situations of their past lifestyle.

This initiative was born from our houseparents at the time, Lee and Vanessa. Both Lee & Vanessa own horses and had a shared love of these animals. Through their experience of horses they were both aware of the special relationship that could be built between humans and these special animals. Vanessa is still very involved in the program and works together with our group counselor – Ron, who has many years experieIMG_8152 (640x427)nce with horses.

Vanessa heard about a program based in the United States called “Crystal Peak Ranch.” The program rescues horses and pairs them with disadvantaged youth. The results are amazing, Reading the stories of the relationships developed between the youth and the horses testifies to the ability of horses to assist in the healing process of disadvantaged and abused people.

Fresh Hope’s ‘Horses 4 Healing’ program has had a huge impact with the mothers and children in the program helping them to trust again, teaching responsibility, as well as strengthening the bond between mothers and their children as they spend time together.

The program is a foIMG_4253 (640x427)undational course in the care and skill of riding and includes the following sessions:-

Theory behind horses thinking and communication; Basics in Safety; Care of a paddock kept horse; Body Language; Horse Anatomy; Bridles and Saddles; Mounting; Posture and Walk; a Rising Trot; Obstacle Course.

Extracts from Testimonies by Mothers who have engaged in the Horses 4 Healing Program:-

SM – As a foster kid growing up, I begged my foster parents for a horse. I was struggling with my identity, who I was and humans just could not be trusted. The Horses 4 Healing was the beginning for me of finding out who I really was – I believe this has allowed me to become the loving mother I am now. Without this opportunity of having this healing process take place, I may have become a bitter and angry and resentful woman.

DD – My horse and I have been together for 18 years and not only are we best friends but soul mates of the deepest level. Horses are honest. They don’t lie, back stab, gossip or hold grudges. When I need to talk, cry, laugh, relax, hide, horses are there for me.

DM –Having my horse here with me and involved in the Fresh Hope program means the world to me. I love the fact that if I am having a bad day, me and my son can go over to the paddock and spend time with my beautiful gentle horse. Having him at Fresh Hope has put a sparkle in my eye and joy in my heart.