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Refuge Services Refuge Services - Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy, Hippotherapy, Therapeutic Riding

In the News / Archives / KCBC TV 11- Lubbock, TX

Horses and Therapy

A Horse is a Horse

"My husband and I both grew up around horses and both knew horses were very therapeutic to us," says Patti Mandrell, Refuge Services Director and Licensed Therapist. For two years now, Randy and Patti Mandrell have been helping people work through real-life issues ranging from Attention Deficit to depression, behavioral problems, and eating disorders using horses.

It's called Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy, and Refuge Services use horses through activities that help individuals and families work through problems. "A 1,500 pound animal to do what you need to do is very empowering, and helps with self-esteem, self-worth, and feeling good about yourself; that you can get things done if you just communicate clearly," adds Mandrell.

Much like people, horses have distinct personalities, and it's good for people in Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy to understand personalities and behaviors in order to deal with their own problems. "I generally, in experience with my children, have tried to talk quietly to them, and when that didn't work, I had to show my authority and that's what I felt like I had to do with the horse," says Colysta Wallers, therapy participant. "The horse is going to be completely honest with them about what their body language is saying and the messages they're conveying, so that they go home and they already have some success under their belt. My goals are to help them make changes in their life and to help them be happier people and find happiness, and the horses help them do that also," says Mandrell.

For more information, you can call Refuge Services at 632-7327.


Hippotherapy & Therapeutic Riding

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