Healing Horses Kaua‘i is a nonprofit that helps children and adults with equine facilitated psychotherapy and with hippotherapy, which is like occupational therapy. The equine-facilitated psychotherapy is specifically for people with developmental issues, such as ADHD and autism spectrum disorder, or people who have undergone bereavement through death and divorce, or people who have issues with drugs or alcohol.
The center has trained social workers, therapeutic horsemanship trainers, occupational therapists and physical therapists to work will people of all ages to help them regain their health mentally, emotionally and physically.
The physical traumas of brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, dementia and cerebral palsy respond to hippotherapy as partnering up with a horse causes isometric exercises that encourage one’s body to respond to the movement of the horse.
Karin Stoll, grant writer and coordinator of Healing Horses Kaua‘i, is grateful to Bette Midler for the recent gift that gives the agency use of 15 acres of land just off the Kapa‘a bypass.
Healing Horses Kaua‘i had been working for years to find a permanent home and now is able to think about putting down permanent fencing, an arena, a round pen and water facilities for the healing horses rather than trailering them after each therapeutic ride day.
Healing Horses Kaua‘i has three horses and two ponies that do therapeutic work, and the organization also acts as a horse rescue operation. Many times a rescued child can resonate more deeply with a rescued horse. The participants learn how to tack, groom, feed, clean hooves and learn to ride.
Healing Horses Kaua‘i has been a nonprofit since 2007.
A young man with traumatic brain injury lights up every week when he can actually master new skills. The center has the Regency at Puakea and an ‘Ele‘ele preschool for those with special needs who come and enjoy the therapy of being with or on a horse.
For more information about how you can get involved, call Karin Stoll at 632-2010 or visit www.HealingHorsesKauai.com.
• Jane Riley, B.A., C.P.T, C.N.A., can be reached at 212-1451 or www.janerileyfitness.com.