Elizabeth Goodwin on Windrush Farms’ Equine-Assisted Therapy

January 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

by Elizabeth Goodwin

As an avid equestrian, I am pleased to be able to pursue one of my passions while also giving back to the community through my volunteer work at Windrush Farm Therapeutic Equitation (WFTE), a non-profit farm that teaches special needs children and adults to work with horses. Every year, WFTE serves more than 300 children and adults with emotional, mental, and physical disabilities on the 35-acre horse farm through programs such as equine assisted therapies and activities as well as recreational programs.

Such activities provide multiple benefits, including:

1. Developing self-confidence and self-reliance.

2. Providing the chance to work as part of a team.

3. Facilitating increased physical skills, such as coordination, reflexes, balance, and motor planning.

4. Imparting improved strength and muscle tone, particularly in the body’s core muscles.

5. Encouraging better posture.

6. Offering self-paced achievement.

7. Fostering a developing relationship between rider and horse that includes the patient having the responsibility of taking care of the animal’s needs and effectively communicating with the horse.

8. Furthering a sense of accomplishment and well-being.

9. Allowing participants to feel just like everyone else.

10. Promoting social engagement and building relationships.

These are just a few of the many benefits offered in WFTE’s programs. The organization operates primarily on donations, and a number of volunteers also aid in keeping the farm running. If you’d like to donate or volunteer, visit WindRushFarm.org.

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