Your Turn: Helping horses help people
Consider a career in equine-assisted therapy, suggests Bernadette Kilcer.
There is a saying by Ronald Reagan: “I’ve often said there’s nothing better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse.”
As equestrians we all know the power of equine therapy. You know those days after a really horrible day at work or at school where just the act of stepping into the barn washes all of those negative feelings away. It’s an exceptionally powerful emotion and that’s just after a bad day at work. Now imagine a bad day at work involved you getting shot at or being in a vehicle that experienced an IED. THAT’S a bad day.
We have spent a great deal of time over the last week or so discussing various jobs within the equine industry (see Carla Lake’s story, “So I got an Equine Sciences degree… Now what?“). I would like to offer an idea of how to meld a degree with a more “traditional” major combined with a major equine science degree.
There are a number of equine therapy programs out there geared to various physical and emotional needs. There are programs dedicated to the autism spectrum and emotional therapy, as well as physical and occupational therapy. Courtney Dye has gone on record more than once proclaiming how much of a difference her therapy program made for her not only physically, but emotionally.
Did you know that there are two exceptionally special programs out there specifically dedicated to those needs of veterans and law enforcement? The Caisson Platoon Equine Assistance Program and Horse Rhythm programs are specifically focused on not only the physical challenges, but the emotional challenges as well.
If you were to major in a medical degree path, social work, special education, occupational therapy or physical therapy, as well as in equine sciences, you too could work with and for one of these programs. Talk about the ability to make a difference with horses one client at a time.
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