Healing with Horses Zimbabwe uses Equine Assisted Therapy in conjunction with medical personnel to serve children with special needs in and around Bulawayo and Harare.
What is Equine Assisted Therapy?
Equine Assisted Therapy is a world renown form of therapy, using horses. Animal therapy is recognised more and more for it’s value to the community. Animals are very intuitive, and feel exactly what a person in need requires to soothe their souls, quiet their minds, heal their bodies.
How does Equine Assisted Therapy work?
Horses walk with a three dimensional movement which mimics the movement of a person walking. This rhythmical, constant movement exercises atrophied or misused muscles, providing strength and muscle memory which enables the participant. At the same time, the striding of the horse can be used to achieve a result. If a child is sensory seeking, a rough striding horse will meet these sensory needs, and provide peace and a sense of achievement to these children. If a child is sensory avoiding, a smooth striding horse will soothe these children and provide a constant rhythm which provides security. Horses will not judge you, you can stand before them with whatever stigma you have been branded with in the human world, and they will see you for the person standing before them, you can live in the moment and forget the past, not have to worry about the future, just live for the moment, an important concept for the healing of the mind. At the same time, the horse will mirror your emotions and actions, if you stand before a horse full of anger, you will get a reaction from that horse in response to your anger, a reaction which you will recognise. As your behaviour and mood changes, you will get a different response from the horse, a constant reminder of how you are behaving, and how this behaviour affects everyone around you. As you learn to moderate your behaviour to become more socially acceptable, you are able to take these skills into your every day life, and life becomes much easier, starting an upward positive spiral.
Here at Healing with Horses Zimbabwe we serve over 200 vulnerable children free of charge, and we make a difference in their lives and in the lives of their care givers, improving their physical capabilities, as well as increasing their self esteem and personal confidence.
We rely heavily on the generosity and kindness of people donating their time towards our program. Each time we work with a person with a physical disability we need three people to help us with that one person. We have an amazing core of staff members, but there are not enough of them to carry out our group sessions without a volunteer base involved as well. A comfortable group size for our physical disability classes is 6, and so at any one time, allowing that our core staff are responsible for the equines in our sessions, we need an additional 12 volunteers. This work is incredibly rewarding, the children we serve are amazing, and humbling, and to watch them grow physically and emotionally does wonders for the soul.
Please, if there is anyone out there who can donate their time to Healing with Horses, we would be so grateful. Below is a time table for the Bulawayo group sessions:
Monday 2.00pm – 3.00pm – light work, 6 volunteers needed
Tuesday 9.30 am – 11am – very heavy work, 12 – 18 volunteers needed. This is a physically demanding session, you won’t need to renew your gym subscription!
Tuesday 2.00pm – 3.00pm – light work, 6-10 volunteers needed
Wednesday 8.30 Light work, 3 volunteers
Wednesday 9.00 – 10.30 – very heavy work, 12- 18 volunteers needed
Thursday 9.30 – 11.00am – Medium work, 12 volunteers needed
Thursday 2.00pm – 3.30pm – Heavy work, 12 – 18 volunteers needed.
Friday 9.00am – 10.30am – Heavy work, 12 – 18 volunteers needed
Saturday 2.00 – 4.30 – Light work 6-8 volunteers needed.
To volunteer, you don’t need to know anything about horses, just have a passion to serve children!
Throughout the week we also carry out individual sessions, for which we also need volunteers, contact us to find a time which suits you.
For those who are passionate about horses, we always need help exercising, brushing, and preparing horses for sessions. Any time you can volunteer would be greatly appreciated!
For those who are not into children or horses, there are always fields to be weeded and cultivated, fences to mend and build, walls to be painted, admin work, fundraising, whatever your skill, we need you!
Please contact 0773 472 225 to offer your skills and time, or e mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you live in Harare, contact Trish Lillie. 0774 044 805 to find out what her time table is like and how you can help her with the Harare Healing with Horses branch. Thank you Trish for your tireless dedication to Healing with Horses Zimbabwe and the vulnerable children of Harare.