Horses helping people

I have recently fallen in love with horses. I had always wondered how people were so content covered in dust with their boots smelling like horse poo, but now I understand.

These animals are truly amazing. They are so intuitive and somehow manage to mirror a person’s emotions. They show us things inside of us that we have been hoping not to have to deal with.

People say that ‘the way of the horse’ is something therapeutic, but I failed to understand how. Until I got involved with these majestic creatures myself and got led to a phenomenal organisation called ‘Shumbashaba’.

With the mission of ‘Horses helping people’, Shumbashaba sets out to help and empower people with horses.

Huh? How? Let me tell you a story.

I attended a meet and greet open day for Shumbashaba on the weekend, where one of the therapy sessions offered was demonstrated. The disabled and cerebral palsied children were given a horse therapy session, where they are placed on a horse and walked around the arena.

Big deal? Indeed it is. These children cannot walk, some cannot sit upright and some have a severe form of cerebral palsy where they cannot control their continual muscular spasms. Time on a horse is like physiotherapy for them, which assists with balance, muscle tone, spinal movement and forces 3D movement of the body. This may not seem like much to you and I, but to these kids it is the world. 15 minutes on a horse is equivalent to 5-6 hours of regular physiotherapy. You can actually see how the muscular spasms calm down after a few minutes on a horse and how the children start to strengthen and engage their muscles in a way that they can’t on the ground.

Being able to move through a living, compassionate animal has a huge psychological benefit to them as well and the smiles on their faces after a session is like nothing I’ve ever seen in my life before.

It touched my heart.

This is only one of the kinds of sessions that the centre offers and they are heavily involved in the local community and the disabled. I cannot begin to understand the full impact of the work that they do, but my heart goes out to people with such beautiful spirits.

If you’re keen on helping out, go visit their website or Facebook page and see what they offer. Also keep your eyes on my blog for details on more social media aspects to come (courtesy of Social Ideas). They are also always looking for volunteers, as the therapy I explained above requires three volunteers per child – one to lead the horse and two to hold the child.

Go spend time with a horse…if you get nothing else out of it, at least you can experience the magic feeling of a velvet nose 😉


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