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Unconventional Therapy: Heart Horses at Sunset Ranch

Sunset Ranch on Oahu, Equine Therapy

Sunset Ranch on Oahu, Equine Therapy

Heart Horses is located at the picturesque Sunset Ranch on the very top of Pupukea, overlooking our beautiful North Shore of Oahu. Still a privately owned ranch, the expansive acreage is now protected from subdivision by a Conservative Land Easement that was acquired through a partnership with the North Shore Community Land Trust and Trust for Public Land. With this alignment, Sunset Ranch will always remain a place to enrich and restore the human spirit.

Heart Horses, a non-profit organization, operates out of Sunset Stables where there is a full size, enclosed, indoor arena. Heart Horses is an Equine Assisted Therapy and Therapeutic Riding program for all ages that utilizes horses to help people learn and heal from a multitude of physical, emotional, behavioral, developmental, and mental health needs through Therapeutic Riding and Equine Assisted Therapy. The program uses two models of therapy, one on horseback and the other on the ground. Some benefits of Therapeutic Riding include increased mobility, strengthening and flexibility, increased motor skills, and improvement in coordination. Benefits of Equine Assisted Therapy include decreased anxiety, improved communication, healthy management of emotions, and increased coping skills.

Horses have been proven to share valuable information about their surroundings that aren’t discovered through verbal communication. Being large prey animals, their life depends on sensitive awareness. It’s this horse sense that becomes useful to therapists in the evaluation of a client or patient who may not be able to verbally communicate their difficulties. Horse sense instills “horse power” to the afflicted and helps open human interaction and communication.

For more information about this valuable program, please contact Carina Cooper, Equine Director at 808-561-4184. They would love to hear from you. Volunteers are also welcome. Visit www.hearthorses.com for more information. Riding lessons are also available.

KATHI WHITE