Equine Assisted Therapy is helping veterans and families live better across the country; And a small equine assisted farm in the St. John Valley wants to bring that wellness to veterans here in Aroostook County. News Source 8’s Angela Christoforos has the story…
They’re big, they’re beautiful, they’re therapeutic. They’re the horses at the Perfect Ponies Learning Center in Van Buren that provide wellness for Veterans in Northern Maine.
Perfect Ponies Learning Center Owner Nancy Dumond Violette said, “One vet was saying how relaxing it was just to be with the horse, grooming the horse. He told me it gave him something to look forward to each week to come back.”
An Open House or ” Open Horse” for Veterans and families is now being held there the third Wednesday of each month from May to July 6:00 to 7:30, and August to October from 5 to 6:30.
It gives veterans and their families a chance to come pet a horse and experience the benefits of equine therapy.
“The movement of a horse if you’re sitting on one will activate parts of your brain that help you to relax, think more clearly. Just being around their size and their majesticness sometimes is all people need,” said Dumond.
These naturally hyper alert animals have a way of helping people relax and problem solve, and can work wonders for a Veteran struggling with things like post traumatic stress disorder.
“For some reason it’s touching their lives, whether it’s learning to concentrate, focus, and plan for success, or whether to relax or learning how to work through triggers, in a way that’s more positive healthy and safe,” said Dumond.
Not to mention funny- some of these horses even know how to line dance! Fees are waived for veterans, and smiles at this small Equine Assisted farm are always free.
To contact Perfect Ponies Learning Center, call 207-868-5324 or go to https://www.facebook.com/perfectponieslearningcenter