Horse Healers


[SW Colo. | March 2020 | By Alice Billings]

Some choose to work with traditional therapists to get help dealing with a spectrum of disabilities, be it on an emotional, mental, or physical level. But for others, there are alternative solutions to managing mental distress. “Equine therapy” is the buzzword these days for using horses to help heal emotionally, mentally, and physically.

Years ago, I was involved with the San Juan Riding Program, a non-profit organization healing with horses. We served the tri-county area until 2010, when we were forced to close the program due to grant restrictions and slowing donations. Receiving grant money seems to run in cycles, kind of based on what is “in fashion” at the time, be it hunger, homelessness, endowments for the arts, or support for women-owned businesses; you get the picture. When equine therapy was in vogue, I believe we were the only program of its kind here.

Things have changed. Today there are multiple equine-assisted therapy programs in the region, including one here in Ridgway, using therapy in the traditional sense.

Our program here at Thunder Heart Haven (THH) is a bit different. Not only do we provide horse therapy, but we also encourage healing the heart, mind, and body using the partnership with the horse.

Several of the horses here are “healers.” Now, some of you reading this article may be quite skeptical. But it’s true. (And you are welcome to come and observe for yourself.) I believe that like some humans who are born into this world to heal, there are horses who are also born with the ability to heal.

In our workshops, we learn to connect with the horse and listen to what is being communicated. People learn to be comfortable with the equine, learn about behavior, learn to care for and meditate with the horse. Art and music is used to augment the healing process.

Starting this spring, THH will hold workshops on Saturdays. Right now, they are mostly for children, but we anticipate an adult program as well. The goal is to find connection and partnership and, in doing so, healing takes place. At the center of all this, it’s about LOVE.  Love of life and the earth and all the animals who live on it…and fly above it or swim in the oceans beneath.

Today, we use many alternative modalities to keep our horses healthy. Acupressure, acupuncture, bodywork of several kinds, quantum energy work, and chiropractic . You name it, we probably use it in our healing.

THH is different from the traditional therapy programs; we work more on the cellular level. We achieve connection and partnership with the equine, and we’re good at it.

So join us this spring for a horse-healing session. We are located in Ridgway at Thunder Heart Haven, an equine rescue. 970-729-1848.