For nearly four decades, Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship has pioneered its unique brand of therapy and counseling services, pairing thousands of clients with its distinctive therapy partners – horses.
The north Texas non-profit started humbly enough, with just five riders, two horses, one instructor and 10 volunteers. Fast forward to today, and the program now encompasses 30 horses, 10 instructors, three therapists, one counselor and more than 400 volunteers – serving more than 2,000 clients annually.
As one of the largest equine therapy facilities in the country, children and adults with a wide range of physical, cognitive, sensory, coping, social and learning disabilities come through its doors each day. There, they find hope and healing through physical and occupational therapy, equine-facilitated counseling, therapeutic carriage driving and therapeutic horsemanship.
Equest’s mission is straightforward: to enhance the quality of life of children and adults with diverse needs. However, according to Chrissy Rudd, the center’s equine coordinator, it’s not just the clients who benefit from Equest’s magic. “The volunteers and staff also get to take a slice of that healing for themselves,” she explains. “We’re all beneficiaries of our horses’ special touch.”