Equine therapy group hosts event specifically for seniors

·2 min read

Broken Diamond Equine, a local organization which offers individuals the chance to interact with horses in a relaxed environment, held on Thursday its inaugural Super Star Series event, aimed at seniors 60 years of age and up.

Tarryn McNaughton, owner and an equine-assisted personal development coach, organized the event, which was sponsored by Medicine Hat Hearing Centre as a way for seniors to connect with horses and other participants.

“Having a program specifically for an older age group, where they can be around each other, it’s more easy going,” McNaughton told the News. “There’s no pressure or expectations about riding a horse.”

Thursday’s event focused on groundwork exercises, including learning about horse body language, how to communicate with a horse and how those communication skills can be applied to everyday life.

McNaughton says not only are horses gentle creatures by nature, they also provide a form of therapy to those who spend time with them.

“Horses are very responsive to humans,” McNaughton said. “They have a big heart aura, so being within a horse’s presence and their slow heart-rate, brings a calming feeling to people … when we are vulnerable enough to open up to them.”

Brian Feeney, one of the participants, grew up on a ranch and admits he misses being around horses. He feels the Super Star Series is a great opportunity for individuals to get out and experience the benefits of being near them.

“You’re not supposed to interact with people too much (due to COVID-19), so why not interact with an animal?” Feeney said.

The Super Star Series is scheduled to continue every other Thursday throughout the month of October. Participants of all skill levels are welcome. Each Super Star Series event costs $35 per participant. To register or learn about other programs Broken Diamond Equine offers, connect on Facebook or email.

KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News

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