San Antonio area therapy program uses horses to help children recover from trauma

SAN ANTONIO – SJRC Texas thinks outside the box when it comes to caring for its children and young adults. SJRC Texas provides a home for children and young adults who are impacted by trauma, abuse, and neglect.

The organization recently partnered with Triple H Equitherapy to help bring a sense of normalcy to children’s lives. Triple H is a ranch that matches horses with residents who want to participate.

“Any kind of support or resource that we can provide to our young people and our care is really good for all of us and we want to be able to give them the support they really need,” Lauren Sides, Public Relations Manager for SJRC Texas, mentioned.

Residents take part in a program that runs two hours a week for eight weeks where they learn the basics of horses, from riding to riding.

“They learn how to catch, groom, tack and eventually ride,” said Keisha Gonzales, director of operations at Triple H Equitherapy Center.

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Zoey is one of the residents participating in the program. She partnered with Stanley, or indeed, Stanley partnered with her.

“The horses chose us. The way Stanley chose me was that he decided to follow me when I was going to meet all the other horses,” Zoey said.

And they’ve been together ever since.

“Although things were a bit difficult at first, he’s a bit stubborn like me and he just hasn’t been very cooperative, but over the eight weeks we’ve really improved,” Zoey said.

The bond is what the program exists for, because it is the bond with the horse that brings the results that SJRC Texas and Triple H seek.

“The human-horse bond is key to the program, we have a mental health professional here to help facilitate the therapy, but the horses are the ones doing it,” Gonzales said.

Zoey learned both responsibility and animal care. She also learned to lean on Stanley to help her deal with certain situations.

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“They connect to our feelings, they feel our vibration. So they really help you cope and everything because they understand you,” Zoey said.

And for those working with the program, that’s exactly what they want to see.

“We love seeing them happy and really healing and thriving at the same time,” Sides said.

Copyright 2022 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

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