Horse Spirit’s vision to transform lives begins by partnering our participants with horses, allowing them to build a connection of trust. Our participants acquire new ways of coping with anxiety and stress. As prey animals, horses are highly sensitive to emotions and the messages behind them.
Through observing how horses relate to one another and then interacting with the horses themselves, participants learn to ask for space, set healthy boundaries, lead without force, relax without losing awareness and rebuild trust.
If a veteran or first responder desires to participate in an alternative form of therapy other than equine assisted learning, that individual can contact Horse Spirit with the details of the program or event that they wish to participate in. Based upon the availability of funding, grants to cover the costs of these alternative therapies can be awarded. To apply, use the Contact section of this website.
Horses are often a good match for children and adolescents because they allow for a non-traditional setting for therapy. Many young people relate better to being outside with the animals than inside a counseling office. Additionally, completing exercises in an experiential format can help them better understand how others see them or what impact their behavior might have on their environment. It is also a good situation for learning to improve self-confidence, self-esteem, and communication. We encourage local schools and youth organizations to contact us for additional information on how you can get involved with Horse Spirit.
For those wishing to schedule a session for youth, please contact : Paul Wharton 205-422-6669
Veterans/Emergency Personnel & Your Families
For the men and women who served our country, the ability to remain relaxed in the present moment and make important connections with other people can be difficult. Often, this is a by-product of PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD can be caused by experiences in war, exercises, and military sexual trauma. Additionally, when serving in the military, there is a demand for all individuals to be deeply aware of their surroundings at all times due to the perilous conditions faced each day. For many who have served, this hyper-vigilant state does not subside when returning to adjust into the civilian world. Making connections with civilians is challenging often resulting in a sense of isolation even when returning to home, friends and family. Horse Spirit provides a calm, welcoming, and safe place for our Veterans to connect with not only horses, but other Veterans and their families. It's not uncommon for many of our emergency personnel to be Veterans—they continue to serve community after military service! We welcome all Emergency Personnel, Veteran or not, to join and participate in our weekly program. We understand the stress these jobs can bring and we wish to connect you with a horse that can provide a sense of peace and connection away from work.