Brett has been volunteering for an equine assisted psychotherapy program in our area called Windows To My Soul. Because of privacy protections with the clients, Brett has not been directly involved in helping with the sessions but instead helps out with general maintenance.
And, of course, he talks about Flash and Pistol. Those of you who know Brett are nodding your heads, "Of course he does. He talks about his horses constantly."
Currently, the therapy provided at Windows To My Soul uses two recognized models, both of which involve the client working with a horse on the ground. Horses are excellent mirrors and can bring great healing to victims of PTSD and domestic abuse. A psychotherapist and a horse handler (certified in one of the two models used) stage, watch and discuss the interaction with the client.
Recently, two clients have been identified who they feel would benefit from riding therapy. I'm sure many of you have seen pictures of disabled people being led around on a bareback horse. The side-to-side, rocking movement of the horse stimulates something positive in the brain (that's all I know, sorry for the hazy explanation). WTMS called Brett and asked him to bring Pistol to the center for an evaluation of compatibility with the program.
Before Brett took Pistol on Tuesday, we gave her a bath. I scrubbed her mane with brightening shampoo and Brett washed off the dust and dirt. She looked stunning when Brett unloaded her at the center.
I was at work so I didn't get to watch the evaluation but she, of course, aced it. They did some ground work, they walked her up to obstacles (yawn), they walked around her, stumbling and bashing into her as an inexperienced horse person might. She looked at them with concern but didn't blink. Then they put a bareback pad on her back and two of the program staff rode her around. She was good as gold. She has a wide, comfortable back so nobody will be in pain while riding her.
They have requested that she return next Monday for further training/exposure to the program. They are also going to put Brett through the requisite background checks so that he can be involved as the person leading Pistol around for the riding therapy.
Brett has wanted to be involved with therapeutic riding for a very long time. I am excited for both he and Pistol.