The Role of the Horse in This Healing Method
Horses are real and present beings. They live in the here and now. They constantly build and maintain positive relationships with each other and their environment.
Equine Therapy pairs veterans (and sometimes veterans and their spouses) with horses. Under the supervision of a counselor or other mental health care professional, assisted by an equine specialist, they work through a series of exercises to improve communication and collaboration. They do not ride the horses; rather they lead them through a series of collaborating exercises. Horses sense emotions in humans and reach accordingly. If humans are being aggressive, horses will leave. If humans are acting in a relaxed manner, the horse is also relaxed and happy to work on interaction.
This is the atmosphere needed to bring emotional problems to the surface for examination.
The Birth of Blue Star Ranch
“Blue Star Ranch started by request. Knowing my 27+ year background with equine therapy, several members of the Habitat for Humanity Project for Veterans in Santa Clarita approached me and asked if I could offer my services for military veterans and their families.
Since I had recently met (and married) my husband who is a Vietnam Veteran I was very interested in the proposal. It has been my style over the years to design equine therapy programs for children and adults with various challenges (disabled children and adults, at-risk youths, recovering cancer survivors, recovering coma patients, senior citizens, etc.) so the idea, although a challenge, seemed to be a natural fit. ”
– Nancy Pitchford, Founder