On a beautiful summer day with blue skies, cotton ball clouds, and warm sunshine, the Danville Health Partners group headed out to Hooves of Hope Equestrian Center Inc. in Lancaster, Kentucky. This non-profit organization provides equine assisted activities to individuals with diverse needs including therapeutic riding lessons, therapeutic carriage driving and Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) therapy. Their programs are designed to provide meaningful experiences for riders with a wide range of ability levels with a focus on increasing self-confidence while building physical strengths such as muscle development, balance, and improved coordination. Their mission is to provide children and adults with diverse needs a solid foundation for developing life skills through equine assisted activities and therapies in a safe and caring environment. Following our visit, we can say with confidence that they are achieving this one participant at a time.
One of the key components of the Health Partners program includes monthly follow up meetings that occur after participants have created personal goals related to their physical, social, emotional, and/or spiritual health. These follow up meetings serve multiple purposes. First, it gives each group member a chance to reflect on the progress being made towards his or her goals. Support and encouragement are shared between partners and group members alike. This creates accountability and encourages positive social interactions. Secondly, during our follow up support group meetings participants get to give suggestions on activities that they would like to do in their local communities. Hooves of Hope was a wonderful option for our Danville group. While there, we looked at all of the different parts of a horse and learned about what is involved in caring for them. Hands-on activities included grooming as well as feeding various horses. We met many horses and took turns leading them in a walk around the arena. The staff was exceptional in working with all of our participants.
If you are interested in visiting Hooves of Hope, learning more about their programs, or getting involved, visit their website at http://www.hoovesofhopeequestriancenter.com/.