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Above Ground Podcast

be well, be safe, be ABOVE

Dec 22, 2021

Retired racehorses can find new purpose and meaning as an equine assisted therapy horse. Therapeutic Horses of Saratoga supports these horses with rescuing and retraining. Providing them a peaceful, safe and meaningful life. Laura LaRue shares her experience with us this week. 

Laura’s love for horses began at a very young age when she competed in English riding and learned the ins-and-outs of horse care throughout her childhood. This interest extended to compassion and understanding for people and the ability of animals to comfort them. Because of these passions, Laura completed her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University at Albany with the intention of getting into the counseling field. During college, she interned at a local non-profit which specialized in rescuing neglected horses and using them for hands-on work with individuals in need. After running summer camps with at-risk youth through Parsons Family Center, Laura knew that this was the career for her.

Laura LaRue is the Director of Equine Care at THS. Laura combines her knowledge and love of both horses and people. She works with the therapy horses to provide safe and meaningful space for clients with the use of consistent desensitization training. She then assists in equine-assisted learning sessions. Laura’s role in the paddock is to ensure safety and provide feedback by reading both the client and horses’ body language and looking for useful metaphors that can be used in real-life situations.

EAT is a complimentary alternative modality to experience a pure and nonjudgmental relationship. Equines are sentient, intuitive beings who create a space that is emotionally safe and comfortably challenging to individuals in need. 

THS works in partnership with local certified equine therapists who provide equine-assisted therapy (EAT) to our community’s most vulnerable populations. This includes adults and children with mental illness and social difficulties, veterans, families and couples, victims of domestic violence and others in need of care.

To increase our impact on the community, THS has partnered with ECS Psychological Services, P.C. to increase access to equine-assisted therapy in Upstate New York.

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Happy Holidays to everyone. No matter what you celebrate. Remember everyone has mental health. Not everyone has a mental illness.