Jack and the Jack O Lantern

Jack and the Jack O Lantern

Happy Halloween!, Sahleah shared this picture of “Jack and the Jack O Lantern”. Jack, the horse, has become part of our village.

It’s only been four months and we’re already experiencing the benefits of equine therapy. Sahleah’s bond with Jack has solidified with each groom and trail ride.

Equine therapy has helped Sahleah in building her confidence and in managing her stress. I didn’t realize exactly how effective this form of therapy would be for her until we were able to incorporate this as part of her support.

Like most children on the spectrum, Sahleah sometimes finds it difficult to connect with others. But, when she engaged with animals, she is happier and able to be her best self.

There has been an increase in the use of animals for therapeutic purposes over the years. This is because it’s been proven that both (animal and human) have positive physiological effects from their interactions. A study proved that human-animal bond reduces fear and anxiety and there is an increase in oxytocin levels in the brain.

The State of Virginia has dedicated resources to at risk children to provide them with services that support their needs. The Comprehensive Services Act allowed us to incorporate this type of service as part of Sahleah’s treatment.

Sahleah’s love for animals doesn’t stop with Jack. We have two dogs and consistent dialogue about why we can’t have a pet goat!

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