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The benefits of horsing around: Equine-assisted therapy helps children in foster care

September 25, 2012

Equine-assisted therapy is known for many benefits, including teaching improved communication and social skills, boundary setting, empathy toward others, self control and confidence, responsibility and accountability, problem solving and cooperation, honesty and trust and overcoming challenges in a non-threatening atmosphere.

This spring, Youth Villages launched a new service activity called equine-assisted therapy for children in the Youth Villages Middle Tennessee foster care and adoption programs.

This is a fully certified and effective therapeutic activity for helping troubled children overcome life’s roadblocks by working with horses. A horse mirrors human behavior and is a very forgiving animal.

Dede Beasley, M.Ed., LPC, licensed therapist, holds a long-time certification in equine-assisted therapy. Sessions take place in her barn, Lacey-Roo Stables, in Ashland City.

During the sessions, instead of riding the horses, the children work with the horses from the ground, grooming, feeding and learning how to handle, lead and interact with the horse appropriately and effectively.

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