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Stonington program uses horses to help heal trauma

By Zaia Boutot, Dr. Helen Middle School, Canterbury

STONINGTON -- Horses are helping people deal with emotional trauma through a program in Southeastern Connecticut.

The Horses Healing Humans program offers a program called Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. In this beautiful wooded location the horses carry the emotional weight for victims of sexual assault, physical abuse and other trauma.

Clients of all ages, with physical, emotional and psychological challenges find hope with the help of the small herd of powerful, gentle and non judgmental animals. The facility offers programs that put some clients in the saddle and others in direct contact with horses.

"We find that partnering in interacting with equines is very helpful for people who have emotional or psychological issues because they can fool the horse, whereas they might try to deceive a human person who is helping them," said Catherine Vine, equine specialist. "The horse picks up on really subtle body language and energy from the people, and makes it clear when they're not necessarily being authentic about how they feel."

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