Equine Therapy Program Accepting Grant-Funded Participants
Healing Hoof Steps, a 501c3 organization voted 2021 Best Alternative Medicine Facility on the Emerald Coast, will accept new VA-grant-funded participants in its mental-health counseling program beginning November 1. Working in an outdoor setting in Crestview, HHS’s team of licensed mental health counselors and horses provide a unique approach to traditional in-office counseling through non-riding activities.
HHS ranks third out of 27 equine-assisted mental health counseling programs in the United States receiving funding from the Veterans Administration’s Adaptive Sports Grant. Of the local veterans who’ve completed their eight sessions under this grant, 80 percent reported that their PTSD and/or depression symptoms decreased by half or more.
“The ability to create change in a short period of time has allowed us to make a significant impact on the mental health of our community,” says HHS Founder and Executive Director Narissa Jenkins.
In addition to its mental health counseling program, HHS offers a PATH Therapeutic Riding program designed to teach horsemanship skills that can help participants live fuller lives outside the riding arena. PATH-certified instructors can assist riders in overcoming obstacles in daily life through targeted activities and games on horseback.
“These two programs have introduced, rekindled or continued a love of horses combined with positive change for hundreds of clients, riders and volunteers across the Northwest Florida community,” Jenkins says. “In the words of Winston Churchill, ‘There's something about the outside of a horse that’s good for the inside of man.’”
Location: 3942 Jace Dr., Crestview, FL. For more information, call 850-764-1005 or visit HealingHoofSteps.org.