Horses Know Your Truth
Equine therapy uses the intuitive power of horses to heal wounded people. Because horses are always honest and hyper-alert to their surroundings, they can communicate what’s really going on internally with people, even if the person is trying to hide it.
Savannah, from Rescued to Rescuer
The founder of Rise Canyon Ranch, Theresa, met a horse named Savannah at a rescue farm and fell in love with her at first sight. Savannah has overcome a lot of hardship in her life. She has had to do a lot of healing of her own, so she understands deep trauma and is able to help others overcome their troubled pasts, too.
Making Mental Space to Learn
The staff at Rise Canyon Ranch know: when a child has mental health struggles or other issues going on in their lives, they don’t have enough mental energy left for learning. So they developed a program called Rising Readers, to create a much-needed foundation for learning. There, they teach kids how to read, alongside animals in their arena. And they say it’s incredible to see the confidence grow in kids who participate in the program.
The Herd Dynamic in Therapy
The herd dynamic is a powerful tool in equine therapy because it’s a reflection of group dynamics with people. An equine specialist is there for every therapy session, translating the horse’s actions as it communicates honestly what it sees in front of them. The magic happens as the horses bring things out in participants that they didn’t even realize about themselves.
Rise Canyon Ranch
At Rise Canyon Ranch, changing people’s lives is an everyday occurrence. As an equine-assisted psychotherapy organization, they provide mental health support and healing for children, adults, and families alike. Equine therapy is seen as a great alternative option for those who aren’t comfortable with traditional therapy, allowing more people to get the support they need.
The staff implements a variety of techniques in the work they do in order to maximize the potential for better responses. But there are always two constants: a mental health specialist working directly with patients and an equine specialist keeping patients safe and “translating” the horses’ actions.
Psychotherapist and founder, Theresa DuBois, explains why horses and therapy are a surprisingly natural pair, saying “horses are prey animals that are hyper alert to the world around them. It has kept them alive generationally and helped them survive. So they pick up on our internal world before we do.”
Theresa has seen incredible transformations in both clients and horses since founding the organization. She says “I believe with patience, love, and acceptance, you can change.”
Rise Canyon Ranch believes everyone needs encouragement and support at times. And that it should always be equitable and accessible, regardless of your ability to pay.