Back on Track ‘Horse Therapy’: Amber & Monty

Your freshman year of college is an exciting time — but with all those big life changes comes a lot of stress. Amber Brinegar tells the story of her equine anchor, Monty.

From Amber:

I have had a lot of changes I had to go through this summer from losing a lot of my best and closest friends due to starting college and them moving off. So my new horse became my therapist to help me through the stress of my first semester of college, meeting new friends, and trying to juggle taking care of my horse, my colleges IHSA equestrian team I joined, and my homework from my insane class list. I had never done this badly in school either so that caused a lot of heartache for me. I went from being a 4.5 GPA student to a 3.2 GPA. It was a big change that really put me on edge.

So my first horse, Monty, really became my stress reliever. I would use her calm demeanor and soft nickers when I walked into the barn as a way to make me forget my troubles for a while and get a clear head. After a trip to the barn, she would leave me with a clearer head and I could accomplish my work more quickly and efficiently. If it wasn’t for her I feel like I would not have been able to kept my head above water and make my first college semester successful. They say the first semester is hard and I believe it. Monty is the reason I was able to work harder, accomplishing what I set out to do.

She may have her issues, her own little quirks, but together we learned to overcome change. I transitioned into college and she transitioned into a new home with a new owner which had not happened for her in over five years. So together we learned to trust one another over the stress of changing environments. We may still have a long way to come to really feel comfortable where we are at but together we can get there.


Here at Horse Nation, we believe that the best therapists are our own horses. We love sharing the stories of special equines — email yours to [email protected] to be featured in an upcoming edition of Back on Track “Horse Therapy.” Go Back on Track, and Go Riding!


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