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Heart for horses and special needs
One summer day in 2016, I witnessed the power of service and ministry come together at a Vaulting Camp at Warm Beach Camp. One child who was largely confined to a wheelchair found mobility, and another child struggling with the deepest, darkest depression, found purpose. Their smiles were infectious! I could see a life changing event was occurring.
I had the opportunity to watch the Lord work in His miraculous way as he brought these two lives together – one child’s life began to open with new possibilities, and the other child began to grasp light and hope. The twofold ministry of “your life matters” struck a chord deep within my soul. The relationship demonstrated between horses, children, and the compassionate camp staff was beautiful to behold. I went away from that horse camp demonstration with an idea brewing in my heart. The Lord fanned the flames of that spark resulting in the development of a Therapeutic Horsemanship program at Warm Beach Camp.
All creation matters. Horses are a unique platform for ministry to occur. A horse’s movement at the walk mimics the human gait. While providing mobility, they assist in regulating a rider’s circulatory, respiratory, endocrine and nervous systems. Horses are immensely patient creatures who interact with humans on a fair and honest level. Their feedback is consistent and purposeful, which provides opportunity for self-reflection, behavior moderation, and sensory integration. Relationally, they reach into the soul where many humans struggle with trust, acceptance and confidence.
Warm Beach Camp now offers two types of Therapeutic Horsemanship classes. Horse Assisted Learning is an unmounted activity in which participants practice cognitive, behavioral and emotional skills while partnering with our horses in a class structure. Therapeutic Vaulting is a mounted activity in which participants develop balance, strength and flexibility while gaining personal confidence. We have patient, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, amazing horses, and an awesome God who brings things together in his perfect timing.
More information about the Therapeutic Horsemanship classes can be found online at www.WBCHorsemanship.com. If you have a heart for horses and special needs, we also have openings for volunteers. Come be a part of something special!
Therapeutic Horsemanship Coordinator and
Assistant Horsemanship Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center