Friday, June 27, 2014

Feel Good Friday - DreamPower Horsemanship

If you're like me, when you think of Gilroy, you think of garlic. Not only is Gilroy the "Garlic Capital of the World", it's also home to DreamPower Horsemanship, the organization I'm profiling on this Feel Good Friday.

Founded by Martha McNiel in 2002, DreamPower Horsemanship is a non-profit organization that provides equine assisted activities and therapies to people with special needs. They have a variety of programs, including equine facilitated psychotherapy, therapeutic horsemanship, and working with veterans with PTSD.  Their mission is "Building lives filed with dreams, and the power to make dreams come true."

As explained on their website, "Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy is provided by the synergistic team of the horse and the therapeutic riding instructor, who is a licensed mental health professional. In the barn setting, therapeutic activities provide powerful tools for building self-awareness, self-esteem, appropriate boundaries and a sense of personal responsibility. Therapeutic interactions incorporate the power of the horse, the clinical skills of the therapist and the hopes, dreams and challenges of the person working with the horse." While this treatment is still considered experimental, according to the Equine Psychotherapy website, "Equine therapy provides students with skills of patience, self-confidence, trust, and compassion." All that and you learn to ride a horse!

DreamPower also a Ponies & Preschoolers program to help children get ready for kindergarten and you can set up a team-building retreat if you want to get your whole crew to experience the power of working with horses. It's the only organization I've seen so far that not only includes a link to meet the staff but also a link to meet the horses.

To learn more, watch this short documentary by Alexandra Granados or like their Facebook page to so you can be in the loop with their upcoming events.

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