“Horsemanship for Heroes” Program at Windrush Farm

Programs for veterans are popping up all over the country, and are so helpful as a therapeutic outlet (and just plain fun!) for the brave men and women who have served for our country. The video below was created by BevCam in Beverly, Massachusetts, and provides a wonderful overview of Veterans programming in general, and the types of programming specifically offered by Windrush!

Why Children With Special Needs Feel Better with Hippotherapy Sessions: A Conceptual Review

This article from the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine focuses on the multi-faceted benefits to hippotherapy on a child with special needs.  Hippotherapy is one of the services that we offer at Windrush and at many therapeutic riding centers around the world, and, at its root, it is defined as “therapy with the use of a horse.”  Benefits can be physical (added muscle strength as being mounted on a horse mimics the activity of walking, but without putting any pressure on the legs), and additionally the horses used can serve as a social catalyst, encouraging verbal participation and emotional bonding.  This article looks at the dynamics system perspective to look at how all of the benefits of hippotherapy can improve the well-being of an individual and can prove to be a healthy, holistic type of therapy that can help children with disabilities!

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Granados, Anabel Corral.  Agis, Inmaculada Fernandez.  (2011).  Why Children With Special Needs Feel Better with Hippotherapy Sessions: A Conceptual Review.  Retrieved from: http://bitbybittherapy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/NeedsFeelBetterwithHippotherapySessionsAConceptualReview.pdf

An Alternative Form of Mental Health Care Gains a Foothold

Benedict Carey, NY Times journalist, gives readers an incredible at “Open Dialogue,” a budding mental health treatment technique.

Excerpt: “For the first time in this country, experts say, psychiatry’s critics are mounting a sustained, broadly based effort to provide people with practical options, rather than solely alleging abuses like overmedication and involuntary restraint… The Open Dialogue approach involves a team of mental health specialists who visit homes and discuss the crisis with the affected person — without resorting to diagnostic labels or medication, at least in the beginning” (Carey, 2016).

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Carey, Benedict. “An Alternative Form of Mental Health Care Gains a Foothold.” The New York Times. 2016. Accessed October 03, 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/09/health/psychiatrist-holistic-mental-health.html.

Horses Can Use Symbols to Talk to Us!

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Photo from ScienceMag.org

Fantastic write-up from Science Magazine (AAAS) about some of the research being done with horses! All of us horse people have experienced our equine partners communicating with us in some way — we are so glad that science is starting to recognize that too! In this article, scientists explored whether or not horses would communicate their preference in wearing a blanket or not based on the weather.

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Morell, V. (2016). Horses can use symbols to talk to us. Science. doi:10.1126/science.aah7335

Is That Horse Hot or Fearful? The Importance of Relaxation

Check out this fantastic article by Anna Blake! Anna is an equine professional, author, horse advocate, and proud member of the herd at Infinity Farm, on the Colorado prairie. She trains horses and riders equine communication skills and dressage, and writes parables about horses and life.

Article Excerpt: “Most of us have been told to push our horses when they become afraid; to ride them through whatever behavior they are doing. Some horses submit and show passive resistance by shutting down, while other horses come apart and get in more trouble for that. Does it sound too dramatic to say that lots of horses live lives of quiet desperation? Not enough fear to be horribly dangerous, but certainly enough resistance and tension that they are visibly uncomfortable. For the record, chronic fear isn’t normal.”

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Blake, A. (2016). Is That Horse Hot or Fearful? The Importance of Relaxation. Retrieved from https://annablakeblog.com/2016/04/08/is-that-horse-hot-or-fearful-the-importance-of-relaxation/