Unbridled Hope and Healing Center is a horse rescue and comprehensive therapy center focusing on providing free services for military veterans, children, couples and families in need. Licensed treatment professionals and horse professionals will incorporate equine movement and activities (mounted or un-mounted) in an equine environment for the purpose of rehabilitating individuals and horses physically, mentally and emotionally.
Our staff of professionals will use evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning to use horses as an integral and experiential tool for treatment in addressing:
- Veterans dealing with PTSD and other trauma issues
- Physical Disabilities
- Individuals dealing with issues of childhood trauma
- Persons suffering from depression and anxiety
- Victims and perpetrators of sexual abuse
- Cognitive disabilities
- Speech and language disabilities
- Domestic violence victims and perpetrators
Horse rescue will be a dominant focus of unbridled Hope and Healing Center. Rescue horses include wild horses and horses that are abused, neglected, abandoned, unwanted, physically damaged or injured.
Rescued and wild horses will be rehabilitated, healed and cared for in hopes of receiving basic training or basic wild training to help in the horse’s ability to collaborate in therapy, or for resale, or adoption opportunities.
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is an emerging field in which horses are used as a therapeutic tool for emotional growth and learning in people.
EAP is a hands-on form of experiential/here-and-now therapy. It is a collaborative effort between a licensed therapist/horse professional, client, and horse.
Participants learn about themselves by participating in activities with the horse, then processing (or discussing) feelings, behaviors, and patterns that occur “in the moment” of their activities. The focus of EAP involves setting up activities involving the horses, which require the client or group to learn and apply certain skills. These skills include: nonverbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking and problem solving, leadership, taking responsibility, teamwork, confidence, and attitude.
According to the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) “Horses are very sensitive to emotional states and have a unique ability to pick up on what people are feeling.” Horses have an amazing ability to respond to human body language cues. Horses require people to be “present” and engaged in “the moment,” both physically and mentally.
This environment provides feedback in all three channels: visual, kinesthetic, and auditory. Much of traditional talk therapy is rarely taught through all three channels. Many youth make unhealthy choices because they are not good auditory learners.
EAP is especially valuable to Autism Spectrum Disorder youth because it teaches awareness of the environment and teaches the following:
- Emotional awareness
- Appropriate affect
- Social cues
- Conversational skill
- Different types of relationships
- Expands interests
- Anger management
- Change management
Youth with attachment issues are often able to risk attachment with a horse where it is too risky to try the same thing with a human. Once this attachment is successful with a horse many youth are able to take the next step and begin to experiment with attachment to humans.
The only way to find success with a horse is to be assertive. That means that the horse reinforces assertiveness, and conversely, that undesired traits of aggressiveness, passiveness or passive aggressiveness are not reinforced.
At times therapy will be conducted in a more traditional office environment. Therapy is conducted in individual, group and family formats depending on the individual needs of our clients. These sessions are typically held once a week but more or less frequent sessions will be conducted as needed.
Hippotherapy is a treatment strategy where the licensed therapist purposefully manipulates the movement of the horse to engage the sensory motor and neuromotor systems to create functional change in children or individuals with motor, language or cognitive disabilities. Hippotherapy specifically addresses impairments of tone, range of motion, timing, attention, arousal, coordination, balance and postural control. Hippotherapy has been used as an adjunct to Physical therapy since the 1960’s.
The movement of the horse provides multi-modal sensorimotor experiences that are precise, rhythmic and repetitive. The horse provides multi-dimensional movement through space helping the patient to experience visual flow and vestibular input as well as a symmetrical dynamic surface on which the patient can develop and practice functional postural control and balance. Examples of human systems influenced by Hippotherapy include:
- Sensory processing
Hippotherapy is routinely used for adults and children who are unable to fulfill or participate in normal life roles.
Equine Assisted Activities (EAA)
Equine Assisted activities encompasses any activity, mounted or un-mounted that will takes place in the equine environment. Activities include grooming, stall management, shows, parades or demonstration and trainings.
Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT)
Equine Assisted Therapy is a goal-directed intervention in which we will have a specially trained equine is an integral part of the treatment process. Equine Assisted Therapy is directed and provided by a health service professional with expertise and within the scope of practice
Clinical Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy
In conjunction with the Hippotherapy, Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy are physical medicine and rehabilitation specialties that remediate impairments and promotes mobility, function, and quality of life through examination, diagnosis, prognosis, and physical intervention.
Using Evidenced Based Practice, Physical and Occupational Therapy will be used on an individual or group basis to promote independence, increase participation and facilitate motor development and function. Therapy may include:
- Developmental activities
- Movement and mobility
- Motor Learning
- Balance and Coordination
- Sensory Processing
- Daily care activities and routines
- Tone ManagementEquipment needs
- Assistive Technology
- Postural Control
- Safety and health promotion
- Fine Motor Development
Family and Caregiver Resources
- Parent/caregiver Training
- Community Resources (Child Care, WIC, Shelter, Medicaid etc.)
- Equipment Needs/Letters of Medical Necessity
- Collaboration with families, other medical, educational, developmental and rehabilitation specialists
Evaluation and Selection of Clients for Services
Licensed Physical and Occupational therapists will evaluate potential patients/clients, and will collaborate closely with the medical doctor to consider precautions or contraindications and the appropriate services to be rendered.
Services to be Funded and Provided to Eligible Clients
- Equine Assisted Activities
- Equine Assisted Therapy
- Clinical Physical Therapy
- Clinical Occupational Therapy
- Family/Caregiver Training
- Family/ Caregiver Resources
The number of trained horses, trained volunteers, handlers and Therapists would allow for 8-10 individuals to receive Hippotherapy and other equine or clinical services per day. Thus, up to 50 children and adults could benefit from a dedicated staff of professionals and trained staff to address impairments that inhibit function.