I know what I’m about to write is probably controversial to many people. But I believe therapy horses need help.
Until our gelding Patches came to live with us, I didn’t know much about the horses in therapeutic riding programs. I thought they were doing a public service and that was great. Now I see remnants of that experience in our horse and have spent two years helping him get confident again. During the past two years, I’ve spoken to others who have either worked in such programs or who have horses from the programs and have also seen similar problems these horses suffer.
What time is it? What does it matter? If you’re dealing with a horse, trying to get her to load in the trailer, or perform some activity by the end of your lesson, the lack of interest in your agenda can be frustrating at times. Most of us who work with horses know there is such a thing as “horse time.”
Very often we hear about horses that need homes – desperately, right now! They can be horses that are rescues, or horses that have fallen on hard times, just moved from place to place after having had a long life with people who love them. Sometimes the people can’t take care of them any more. This has happened a lot since the economy crashed and more horses ended up without homes. A divorce, serious illness or job loss can be disastrous for much-loved family horses.