Equine Therapy for Trauma and Sexual Abuse Survivors

Equine Assisted Healing for Trauma and Sexual Abuse Survivors is making “Strides” at Hope on Horseback with clients and staff from Crime Victim Center of Erie County. This program has been made possible by a competitive VOCA grant through the PCCD (Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency).  Equine therapy helps traumatized clients regain confidence in their bodies and learn to relax and trust again as they work with horses. In this initial phase of the program, participants do not ride the horses. Activities are meant to build trust and create a bond between horse and client.  Each participant will work in the pasture with the horses, learning to catch and halter their horse. Working with their selected horse, at the barn or in one of the arenas, exercises are designed to help them work through common symptoms of trauma, such as trust issues, relationship challenges, hypervigilance, body autonomy, and post-traumatic stress. Following three weeks of bonding and learning to work with the horses one on one, participants will learn to groom and tack their horse before riding.  Each hour-long session includes mounting and riding both inside the arena and on outside trails.

To learn more about Hope on Horseback visit https://hopehorseback.org/