Equine Therapy

To the Lakota people the Sunjkawakhan(horse) is a four legged friend and companion that provided transportation, friendship, and pride. The horse is revered in Sioux culture for its grace and courage. On Thursday, January 19th, Hay Springs Elementary students had the opportunity to learn about the impact the horse has had on Lakota culture and the impact the horse is making today in the area of mental health. Patty Coleman, an equine therapy specialist with St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota, developed the school’s equine therapy program from scratch and has enjoyed watching the program grow and positively impact youth of all ages. Patty discussed with students a horse’s ability to listen and make no judgments which allows students to make a deep connection, process their emotions and become much more productive in and out of the classroom.


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