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"I never heard that girl speak before!"
I watched as Abby, our first rescued horse, stood calmly with her eyes slowly drooping as five girls groomed her. She was peaceful and enjoyed having her coat gently brushed and her mane gently detangled. I remembered when she first arrived her. She was terrified of humans. She had been violently abused and starved almost to death. If anyone came within 30 feet of her she would run to the farthest edge of the pasture. Having regained her faith in the human race, she now stood and enjoyed having her coat curried.
The girls working with her had experienced the same kind of violence. Many have been molested, most have experienced violence and most have experienced severe neglect. Telling them what we knew of Abby's life allowed them to identify with her. They asked about her scars and what she was afraid of. They took great job in giving her her favorite treats. One of the girls kept asking questions about which brush to use or how Abby liked to brushed. After she asked another question, her caseworker leaned forward and whispered in my ear, "I've never heard that girl speak before." And I smiled. The child who was helping Abby regain her faith in humanity was being healed herself in the process.
That's what we do at TherapyWorks. We rescue horses from abuse and neglect, rehabilitate them, then pair them with abused children so that - under the guidance of our specially trained therapists - they can both begin their healing process. The children and the horses share the same problem - a complete loss of trust in anyone and a lot of traumatic symptoms. Though they have no faith in adult humans, they trust each other, and with that attachment the healing begins.