Equine Therapy

My name is Patty Bourne. I am the Equine Specialist here at St. Joseph´s Indian School. Growing up I have.


My name is Patty Bourne. I am the Equine Specialist here at St. Joseph´s Indian School. Growing up I have always had horses. I’ve always been around horses. My husband and I we own a ranch in Fort Thompson, South Dakota on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation. Equine therapy is just a conversation. It’s a conversation between a person and a horse. It’s less words more emotion. Horses have an extra sense. They can feel emotion that is brought out. It’s just a gift that they have. My name is Nicole Choal and I am a Family Service Counselor. I have girls in first through sixth grade. I’ve learned a lot about the Native American culture and about and the relationship of horses with the Native American people. And one of the things that really stuck out was how the horse is a sacred animal to the Native Americans and it has a special unique quality that it can take in your struggles and your trauma and release it for you. Something that I am really excited about with the kids is sometimes it is hard for them to process their emotions or even know what their emotions are in some cases. So with the help of the horses they can release that. Those struggles, those traumas without saying anything. They can just touch the horse or be around the horse and release those struggles. Horses can dial a child in. They can make the child focus on them and make them understand that there is another part of the conversation that needs to be said. I would like to see out of the Equine Therapy Program … healing. Healing and strength. I would like to see more kids using the Equine Therapy Program as a tool. Not to be afraid. Use it as communication and if me and these horses are here to help then that’s what were going to do.

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