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Video: Horsepower and Heroes Retreat news coverage

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This nonprofit organization is bringing a different kind of therapy to Central Georgia

By Taylor Drake, WMAZ

Published: 10:51 PM EDT May 6, 2019

FORT VALLEY, Ga. — At the end of a dirt road off of River Road in Fort Valley sits a farm with a few cabins, some horses, and a couple of stray chickens.

The land belongs to Gwendolyn Coley, the founder of The PEACH Pit. The Peach Pit, founded in 2014, is a nonprofit organization that works to provide equine assisted psychotherapy to people in Central Georgia.

“Horses are my heart,” says Coley. “I use equine assisted psychotherapy to help people but also work with horses.”

Horse therapy is an alternative for people who may not want to talk about their problems.

“Horses are naturally reflective,” says Coley. “You can talk to the horses if you choose to. They don’t speak any language that we truly understand, but they can help solve some of your problems.”

In addition to working with clients on an individual level, Coley and her team host retreats and events for groups.

Last weekend, The PEACH Pit hosted its third Horsepower and Heroes Retreat for women veterans. The three-day retreat means a lot to Coley, who is an Army veteran herself.

“Sometimes, we’re invisible. There are a lot of programs out there to help men. To have women come here and just be, we don’t get enough of that time,” says Coley.

At the retreat, women participated in several activities like meditation and yoga to relax and get in touch with themselves.

Coley’s organization gives back to the Fort Valley community, but has still remained a well-kept secret.

“Every time I accept a speaking engagement, people are like, ‘I didn’t know you were here!” Coley says.

With her equine therapy, Coley is also trying to de-stigmatize and therapy.

“That is one of our big goals,” says Coley. “There’s no harm in getting help — in fact, it can be helpful to get help.”

At the end of the day, Coley loves seeing clients improve with the help of her horses.

“We’ve had people come in with some really complicated stories,” says Coley. “They come here and start seeing results immediately. That amazes me every single time.”

To learn more about Coley and The PEACH Pit, you can visit their website or Facebook page.

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