We save lives. Healing through the empathic power of the horse
Medicine Horse (MH), founded in 2000, is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for adolescents, families, and adults through unique equine-assisted experiences. Using the horse as the healing agent, MH strives to improve the quality of life and sense of well being for clients who struggle with mental health issues. The horse is an excellent healing agent because this animal is a nonjudgmental, accepting partner in treatment, one of the primary qualities for all effective psychotherapies. Estimates indicate that there are more than 2,000 structured Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) programs in the US. The strong emergence of these programs is based primarily on the reliable beneficial effect that animals have on human health, well-being and motivation. Implementing and operating an equine therapy program requires expertise in horse handling and care as well as specialized training in equine horse therapy. MH is one of the largest equine assisted psychotherapy facilities in North America with a client base of more than 500 annually and growing. Because of the expertise and training required to run equine therapy programs, MH is positioned to offer unique and modern services in both metro Denver and Northern Colorado.
Our child was severely injured in a skiing accident in 2007 when he was 10 years old. After three major, reconstructive surgeries on his hip, miles travelled in his wheelchair and weeks and weeks of painful physical therapy, he was almost as good as new…..as least physically. We thought the worst was over but that's when the horrors of PTSD started to creep into his life, followed closely by a deep depression that was almost as debilitating as his injuries had been.
It's so difficult to watch a child suffer from depression - how can the world look so bleak to someone so young? We had to do something. After seeing countless psychotherapists and specialists, the depression continued relentlessly and cruelly. Our child was not responding to any kind of traditional "talk therapy" - in fact, it seemed to make him feel worse. That's when a friend suggested we call Medicine Horse on Arapahoe Road.
Our son began twice-weekly sessions with a fantastic, young therapist who just seemed to "get it" and could sense how he was feeling at each and every session. She paired him up with a patient, sensible and truly miraculous horse called "Starlight" who was equally empathetic and gentle with her new handler/rider. Together this trio worked their magic and very gradually the smiles started to return to our son's face! His confidence grew and soon he was working with different therapy horses and getting to know all their moods and habits - they were all so different yet so alike in that they could "sense" and accept our son's changing moods - with no explanations required.
That was three years ago and we are still spending time at Medicine Horse although in a very different capacity. Our son is the proud new owner of his own horse we keep at Medicine Horse. Together he and I spend many hours helping where we can around the stables in an effort to "give back" to this truly special place. We know there's no way we can ever repay what has been returned to us……. but we continue to try.