The Horse as Medicine
No other animal comes even close to playing the role that horses have in human affairs. Prehistoric cave paintings show that horses captured our imagination from the beginning—as though we had a mysterious appointment with them. Horses have actually shaped our civilization: our commerce, our wars, our very psyche.
And now modern science suggests that the most important chapter yet in the old story of horses and people has begun. The evidence is clear: the horse can lead us to a better life—personally and together.
It turns out that the horse is actually medicine. Teaching us its silent language, the horse heals wounded spirits, mends bodies and minds, even transforms human consciousness in a way that promises hope beyond anything we have yet known.
Is The Best Yet To Come?
The physiological benefits of riding have been known for over three thousand years. And history has long recorded that some of the most influential leaders—Buddha, Alexander the Great, Catherine the Great, George Washington…Ronald Reagan—were accomplished in ways of the horse.
Today, equine therapists understand why horses can change the human mind in a way that improves lives. In clinical terms, equine therapists constantly witness “the transfer of learning outcomes in an equine environment to daily living skills.” Horses help us build muscle, improve our joints, enhance our balance and coordination, teach us courage and calmness, strengthen our self-confidence and self-image. They accelerate our learning, concentration and awareness. They motivate us to take responsibility, teach us the art of quiet assertiveness, show us how to set and achieve goals. Most mysterious of all, horses give us a profound sense of inner peace and connection.
What would happen if we methodically taught “horse sense” the way we teach reading, writing and arithmetic? It might so transform the world that the Renaissance would pale in comparison, some scholars say. Only since the recent explosive discoveries of neurobiology have we been able to scientifically explain the power of horses to help us realize our highest human potential. Working with horses, learning to see the world as they do, yields the ultimate out-of-the-box thinking. Among other things, this unleashes powerfully beneficial chemicals deep in the human brain. Working with horses literally changes the brain.
No wonder horses are so effective in helping at-risk youth, seniors struggling with dementia, folks of all ages coping with maladies including autism, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Cerebral Palsy to name just a few. Such is the healing power of horses that they are even more effective than drugs and psychotherapy in helping rape victims recover from their trauma.
Come Dream With Us
Since 2008, Free Rein Therapeutic Riding has been keeping humanity’s appointment with the horse by offering programs rooted in the exciting field of equine-assisted therapy and learning.
We now have the foundation of experience and staff expertise to dramatically expand the healing and connection that horses have to offer our community. We currently serve 75 riders weekly.
About that many others are now on our waiting list; we could begin serving them immediately if we had the funding.
Beyond that, we dream of growing a state-of-the-art equine learning and teaching center that can not only meet the special needs of the physically and emotionally challenged, but that can partner with schools to serve their students, link up with health professionals to strengthen their therapy teams, and collaborate with others to spread the horse’s gifts. Down the road we also hope to offer a tranquil country escape where everyone can come for peace, reflection, and renewal.
Please help us make this dream come true by clicking the “Contribute” button now and by sharing this website with everyone you know—not just “horse people” but all your friends who would like to leave the world a better place. And please take a moment to mosey around the Free Rein Web site and get to know us a little better.
Free Soul Food
Volunteering at Free Rein is soul food, say our volunteers. In a world with no shortage of heartache, our stable is an oasis of tenderness and compassion, a sanctuary that nurtures our spirits every day. We love to share it with others. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, please click on the “Support” button above and see if joining Free Rein’s family might be right for you.