HORSES HEALING HUMANS
Retraining the brain about rhythm and movement
A horse is a powerful physical therapy tool. Its natural movement assists those with movement dysfunction and helps strengthen the mind/body connection, and provides sensory input for individuals with sensory processing disorders.
Equine-assisted occupational therapy (hippotherapy) uses the natural movement of the horse as a therapeutic tool. Our occupational therapist partners with the client’s physician to develop a detailed plan. These goals are documented and reassessed after each session. A therapy horse is chosen specifically for their particular movements to match the client’s goals.
After a traumatic brain injury, the rhythmical movement of the horse helps to rewire neural pathways for better communication between the brain, spine and muscles — increasing mobility, independence and the opportunity for a greater quality of life. This might look like gaining or regaining the ability to walk, having greater core strength to sit upright, or being better able to verbalize and communicate.
“When you're on a horse's back, you’re receiving movement,
and movement is freedom.”
– Courtney Sumpter, Occupational Therapist and NMET Founder
NMET ”Sensory Trail”
Occupational therapy sessions can be held in the indoor or outdoor arenas, or on the NMET Sensory Trail. This is a rich learning environment of woodland paths that consist of slopes, turns, varied footing, natural sights, and sounds, and man-made "activity stations." This integrated environment challenges the client‘s balance, stimulates their senses and encourages them to achieve their therapy goal.
Activity stations are therapeutic stopping points along the trail that offer clients the opportunity to see, hear, smell, touch and talk about the items they encounter.
NMET SELF DEVELOPMENT
Healing invisible scars
NMET provides a unique opportunity to experience the healing nature of a horse in a safe, noncompetitive and nonjudgmental setting. Through hands-on therapy sessions, clients are surrounded in an environment that radiates calmness, values the hard work that comes with horses, and provides a literal and mental breath of fresh air.
A horse mirrors emotions, reads nonverbal cues and reacts to the body language of humans. When these equine instincts are professionally incorporated as a self development therapy tool, the horse-human connection becomes a powerful healing force, helping clients to realize their own self-worth and increases self-awareness of body language and communication skills.
“I love this place and will never leave. It is the only thing
that works for me.”
– NMET HorseSense student
NMET AT-RISK YOUTH
Horses don't judge
The transformation at-risk youth experience working with horses is profoundly life-changing. Regardless of what happens outside NMET’s facility, when you are here, your horse will not judge you. You can be “you.” The time and lessons learned during your time are meant for you and you alone.
YOU WILL CHANGE, and as you experience these changes, you will find the lessons learned through your HorseSense® experience can have significant effects on your anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, or other invisible scars that have had you trapped. We only ask you for one thing — that you take the confidence you create for yourself through your therapy horse outside our facility and into your everyday life.
"When you are tense, let me teach you to relax. When you are short-sighted, let me teach you to see. When you are short-tempered, let me teach you to be patient. When you are quick to react, let me teach you to be thoughtful. When you are angry, let me teach you to be serene. When you feel superior, let me teach you to be respectful. When you are self-absorbed, let me teach you to think of great things. When you arrogant, let me teach you humility. When you are lonely, let me be your companion. When you are tired, let me carry the load. When you need to learn, let me teach you. After all, I am a horse.”
– Author unknown