On the Dunrovin Ranch in Lolo, MT horse therapy is bringing folks together during these unprecedented times. To conjure a horse is to summon beauty, strength, energy, and freedom in a single thought. Horse therapy frees the mind from the troubles of yesterday.
For much of the last year, Covid-19 has reined us in, forcing us to distance ourselves from our fellow humans. The herd has become a danger.
With this in mind, we have masked up and trotted on through months of fear and isolation. Emerging vaccines have offered a glimmer of hope. And like thoroughbreds at the starting gate, we can barely contain our desire to bolt towards it. Due to these unforeseen circumstances, many of us feel isolated and alone. It is for this reason that we reached out to Lorraine Turner. Lorraine’s work with horse therapy will help carry us through this difficult.
The Power of Healing and Horse Therapy
Lorraine is an internationally known fabric artist, author, teacher, horsewoman, and owner of CalicoHorses.com. She has brilliantly devised a global horse therapy plan. The agenda is not only to bring us together but to occupy our minds and creativity with horses. She has focused her talents on designing a simple-to-sew pattern for small, cuddly horses. They can be made at home and sent out to give hugs and fill worried minds with thoughts of dancing horses.
Lorraine will gather A Herd for Hugs by soliciting volunteers to sew a collection of calico stuffed horses to gift to friends, family, or complete strangers of all ages, from children to seniors. These charming little horses are the perfect solution for anyone looking for a little horse therapy. Both the home-bound and caregiver communities will be receiving these from our thousands of sewers around the world. They will know they have not been forgotten. And most importantly they will have the healing energy of horses to help them through these difficult times.
Gathering a Herd for Hugs
To learn more about A Herd for Hugs horse therapy project click here for an up-to-date schedule and details. There you can purchase a Calico Horse kit. And offer the name of someone you know who would love to receive a huggable Calico Horse.
To help with the process of sewing, Days at Dunrovin is offering support in their virtual backyard in Lolo, MT! Every Monday, Dunrovin will host a virtual gathering on MontanaSocials.org. Volunteers can socialize as they work under Lorraine’s direction. Live broadcasts, recorded videos, and a discussion board for questions, comments, and photos will be available. This easy and fun horse therapy project starts on January 11th and ends on February 8th. Just in time to send the horses to their new homes by Valentine’s Day.
Growing the Herd
Lorraine’s A Herd for Hugs project has inspired Dunrovin to develop a program centered on Animals as Helpers and Healers. It will be presented during our Monday gatherings at MontanaSocials.org. This free live stream, interactive program has brought together a wide range of people. All who are engaged in working with horses for therapy, training, teaching, storytelling, and more.
Each week we’ll visit with a horse trainer, Brandon Carpenter, from his ranch in central Montana. He will coach Dunrovin employees to train a horse to drive. Then he will train them to construct a stone boat for the horses to pull with hay.
Author and storyteller, Lynn Backfield of Spirit Dance Equine Assisted Coaching, will host an interactive storytelling workshop. She will help people tell their stories of how horses have impacted their lives. Bonding with an equine can be a life-changing process. We will collect the stories that depict the richness of partnering with equines of all types – donkeys, horses, and mules.
Dr. Anne Perkins, retired professor and founder of Carroll College’s Anthrozoology Program, will hold open discussions. She will speak about the nature and importance of the bonds that people form with animals, especially with horses and dogs. Anne knows that our deep connections to animals are a fundamental and shared part of humanity.
The founder of the Equus International Film Festival and current development director of the Montana Center for Horsemanship is Janet Rose. She has lined up four outstanding documentary films. They reveal the healing power of horses for veterans suffering from PTSD, foster children, people with disabilities, and people at war with one another. These films showcase the rewards of equine-assisted programs like horse therapy that center on equines’ ability to see inside a person.
Join our Community at MontanaSocials.org
Dunrovin’s goal for its free Monday social Livestream programs at MontanaSocials.org is in hand-in-glove with Lorraine’s A Herd for Hugs: To use these difficult times to connect people of good faith, to promote kindness, respect, and understanding, and to foster friendships that cross the boundaries that so often divide us. The pandemic’s demand that we physically distance has highlighted the importance of strong social bonds. May we emerge from its grip more committed than ever to cultivating respectful and nurturing social bonds.
The beauty of a hug is that it warms and benefits both the giver and the receiver. We feel it together. Dunrovin hopes to meet you during our MontanaSocial.org Monday programs. Join us every Monday to explore, learn, collaborate, exchange stories, and embrace the goodness of people and animals. Now let’s start our horse therapy, gather a herd, and give the world a hug.