Making progress

A horsey smile
A month ago, Blackjack generally would run away from any human who approached. Now, he’s photo-bombing. That’s progress.

Horses help people fight addiction

People in addiction recovery can find comfort and communication in the company of horses at facilities across the world, such as The PEACH Pit, that practice equine-assisted therapy.

In this video, clients are at a rural facility in Kinderhook, N.Y. called Stable Solutions.

Equine-assisted therapy helps patients open up, thanks to the animals’ sensitivity to body language, says co-founder Keri NearyWood, a social worker and equine specialist.

WRGB-TV (Albany, N.Y.) (2/15)

Video of man touching horse's neck

(POSTPONED) Workshop: Horses as Co-Therapists for the Military

Horse walking near traffic cones, pool noodles and poles.

Equine-assisted activities incorporating the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) model are gaining more and more interest all over the world.

We’re offering a four-day workshop to introduce you to the model and walk you through techniques to help military clients and others who need help dealing with post-traumatic stress issues.

Register today.

The National Guard: Always helping in disasters

Throughout my lifetime, I’ve heard of the National Guard helping out during disasters and emergencies in this country. Flooding, fires, evacuations. Whatever the governor needed done within the state.

Now, they’re helping areas heavily affected by the recent wintry conditions: Virginia, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland and other places.

Because members of the National Guard are local folk (our neighbors), we may not think of them as susceptible for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Think of Hurricane Katrina and the horrific flooding, deaths and subsequent state of affairs in Now Orleans. The National Guard was called up.

PTSD happens after some sort of trauma. Flooding, fires, evacuations can be traumatic. Traumas affect different people in different ways.

Those service members have always been here to help us. Some of them have had to help us even when they have suffered loss. Some may hide behind toughness and may deal with their trauma in private, not seeking help.

Some reactions to to trauma are:

  • Fear or anxiety:
    • You may feel tense or afraid;
    • Be agitated and jumpy;
    • Feel on alert.
  • Sadness or depression:
    • You may have crying spells;
    • Lose interest in things you used to enjoy;
    • Want to be alone all the time;
    • Feel tired, empty, and numb.
  • Guilt and shame:
    • You may  lash out at your partner or spouse;
    • Have less patience with your children;
    • Overreact to small misunderstandings
    • Act in unhealthy ways: drink, use drugs, or smoke too much; drive aggressively; neglect your health; avoid certain people or situations;

PTSD has four types of symptoms.

  • Reliving the event (also called reexperiencing)
  • Avoiding situations that remind you of the event
  • Negative changes in beliefs and feelings
  • Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal)

If you’re in the National Guard and experience any of symptoms or reactions, don’t suffer alone. What you’re experiencing is normal and can be treated. If you have these issues for more than three months, get help.

If you’re a friend, neighbor or just caring person, as you’re tucked in the warmth of your home, think about our home-grown heroes who are out making sure we’re safe. Know that despite their tough exterior, they may need help, too.


Giving thanks today … and every day

horse eye

Today, and every day, we’re thankful for our many donors, who help us provide equine-assisted counseling for our clients at an affordable price.

Thanks, too, to the board of directors, who volunteer their time to ensure our nonprofit can thrive.

On this day, however, some people are sad and in need of help to cope with being away from family, away from friends. Some are alone by choice.

If you or someone you know needs a shoulder, a helping hand, an attentive listener, consider The PEACH Pit. We help you help yourself, partnering with our horses to do so.

Come join us at the barn.

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