I talked with Bonny Barry of Equine Reflections (EquineReflections.org), a non-profit horse therapy center in Folsom, Louisiana. They offer these programs:
- Horses For Healing
- Professional Development Retreats
- Whoa to Bullying, Giddy Up To Kindness
- Horsemanship Empowerment
- Saddle Up for Success
Bonny’s honesty about her journey into this field will affect you whether you have been abused or not. Her stories of patients, unable to speak, connecting with the horses, and then expressing thoughts locked up in their silent consciousness will shake you. Knowing that the horses used in her program are also from abuse magnifies the significance of her work.
The use of horses to connect with broken minds is well known. I use Bonny’s stories to help listeners understand the effectiveness of the special connection horses, and humans can have without effort. It shows that communication is a two-way street. You are not here to help the horse; the horse is not here to help you. However, people and horses can heal by being in the moment with a horse and allowing for what follows.
Equine Reflections is one of many centers located throughout the world. All horse owners of every breed and sport are encouraged to get to know local therapy centers and support them through volunteering or financial support. Many operate on limited budgets, and maintaining horses, farms, barns and offices is expensive. Volunteers are always needed, and you can also attend fundraisers for therapy centers. Anything helps.
Below are links to several organizations to consider.
- EAL Academy – ealacademy.com
- Arenas For Change – arenasforchange.com
- Horses For Mental Health – horsesformentalhealth.org
- Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association – eagala.com
- PATH International – pathintl.org
- HeartMath Institute – heartmath.org (search for “horse” or “equine”)