Archive » October 18, 2012
By Pat Murphy Contributing Writer
The Kentucky group known as the Central Kentucky Riding for Hope has joined with the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center in introducing a program to help victims of rape and sexual assault, as well as childhood sexual abuse.
Their equine assisted program utilizes the long established horse-human bond to promote healing. It is an expansion of CKRH’s commitment to offer the latest methods of promoting healing, to survivors of sexual violence. This group of licensed therapists consists of a clinical social worker, a therapist, a crisis counselor and a graduate student in the Master of Social Work from Asbury University. This female student has specialized training and certification in equine assisted learning.
All sessions partnered victims with a special horse and non-mounted exercises that lasted for eight-week periods. They included going out into the fields to catch their horses, halter them, walking, grooming, sharing music, talking and even meditating. Students were helped to work their way through the common symptoms of trauma such as trust issues, relationship challenges, hyper-vigilance and post-traumatic stress. Love and trust are two of the foremost problems with extremely stressed people.
Results revealed that participants reported about a 33% improvement in their coping and relationship skills, as well as their handling of stress, and a general reduction of traumatic symptoms.
Plus, they all said that they really treasured their friendships with the horses. Comments included, “The personality of the horse matched mine so well. He taught me so many things that I would not have learned on my own.”
And “Animals and music cut through the layers of my defenses faster than anything else. It was an awesome combination.”
Champion Standardbred races to Kentucky Horse Park
Other news from Kentucky, which is like our “Sister State” horse-wise is that there has been a new arrival at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Hall of Champions. The two-time and divisional and Breeders Crown Champion, Won the West, has been retired there. He is a leader in Standardbred Racing with lifetime earnings of $3,939,836. This was such big news that Lexington mayor Jim Gray declared Oct. 6 as Won the West day and presented the owners with a special certificate. Out of his 109 races he won 36, was second 24 times and ran third 15 times, which means he was hardly ever out of the money! Won the West beat some of the biggest names in Standardbred racing and was one of the highest-earning horses in the Standardbred circuit. He was bred in New Jersey by Fair Winds farm. His sire was Western Hanover and his dam was Gabrielie. He is now just 8 years old. His trainer was Ron Burke.
Sage Hill competitive Trail Ride
Here at home, the big news is that the annual Sage Hill competitive Trail Ride will be held at Live Oak Campgrounds Nov. 2-4. This is a timed and judged competition on natural trails. It’s a great opportunity for people to experience an outdoor adventure on horseback. You’ll meet other folks who have fun on horses. Everyone is welcome from age 10 on up. This ride is sanctioned by The North American Trail Conference and included competitive pleasure and novice divisions. Open division riders cover from 50 to 60 miles during the two-day ride. Competitive pleasure and novice riders cover from 35 to 40 miles. A one-day novice ride covers approximately 23 miles. There is also an introductory 12-mile ride for people who want a great experience and to learn more about this sport of trail riding and camping.
Experienced judges score riders on the way they handle and care for their horses, and how well they negotiate natural trail obstacles. Veterinary judges score horses on condition and the ability to complete this rigorous ride. Since everyone is anxious to understand what are their strengths and their weak points, they receive score cards so they can improve their skills.
There is great interest in working with youth groups and encouraging them to take part. The Huasna Valley 4-H club will be participating this year. There will be discounts for groups of 10 or more.
If you are interested in contributing to a sponsorship or making a donation, please call Kathy Stegman at (805) 710-4471. Volunteers are also needed. Entry forms are available at www.syvaha.com. Valley representative is Ann Plucy, E-mail is email@example.com.