CARMEL VALLEY, Calif. (KION) At The Equine Healing Collaborative in Carmel Valley, horses are helping children heal and cope with their anxieties. Referrals during this pandemic, according to the non-profit, have significantly increased.
There’s no actual horse riding at the non-profit. All therapy is done on the ground.
Still, Jennifer Fenton, a licensed and family therapist, says horses and can be exhausted after a therapy session.
“The amazing thing about horses is they tend to act as a mirror for whatever it is might be going on,” said Fenton.
Horses are considered to be sentient animals. If a person has bad energy, she’s seen some horses walk away.
As children walk and talk, Jennifer will also use donkeys. She says they’ve been used as “beast of burden,” not only for carrying out laborious work, but for absorbing emotion and energy.
Fenton says they help children communicate, since they really don’t know how to verbalize their feelings.
During these tough times, referrals have increased.
“What we’re finding is that children are experiencing increased levels of anxiety, increased levels of stress that there is in the home because parents are now taking on the role of being parent, as well as a teacher. What we’re finding is that the need for mental health services has increased tenfold,” said Fenton.