Patients attending addiction treatment at Cedars at Cobble Hill have the opportunity to attend Equine Facilitated Therapy at Generation Farms to learn powerful lessons in recovery.
At Generation Farms, the herd of horses and professional team support residents in a one day workshop of experiences outside in nature and with horses. The non-judgmental yet direct behaviour of the horse can reveal and support new awareness and recovery behaviours. The approach at Generation Farms is very helpful for trauma survivors in recovery from addiction. Participants report significant emotional and spiritual growth and increased awareness of their own recovery needs.
“A man kneels beside the fence. He is terrified, not of the small horse on the other side, but of his fear that she won’t like him and will walk away. As he lets go of his tough act and acknowledges how lonely he really is, she comes over and blows on his face with her gentle breath. On the other side of the barn, a young woman meets a huge horse. He pulls at her clothing and pushes at her with his nose. She laughs. People do what they want with her. Later, when she is supported to stand her ground with this gentle giant, learning to push him away and create a safe space around her, she cries for all the times that she let her boundaries be violated. ‘Never again’.”
Staying in the present moment, emotional honesty, being uncomfortable without panicking, having healthy boundaries; these all support addiction recovery but can be merely words or ideas. Horses can teach lessons that are not taught inside a classroom. The field of Equine Facilitated Wellness partners people with horses in safe but powerful experiences. There is no riding and no one is pushed beyond their comfort level with the horses. Finely tuned receptors in the horse keep them safe in the wild where they can be preyed upon. Being with horses in an Equine Facilitated Wellness setting can help individuals in recovery from addiction to return to their natural instincts and connection to self, others, and nature. Horses are most comfortable with us when we are really ourselves. No judgment, no criticism; just how we are in the moment.
As people return to Cedars Cobble Hill after a day at Generation Farms, they take with them experiences that will continue to support their recovery.
Equine Facilitated Therapy is an optional component to the residential inpatient addiction treatment programs offered at Cedars. Available for an additional fee, our patients are invited to attend the program in the final stages of their recovery process. Suitability for Equine Therapy is determined by available funding, referral from the clinical team, and the patient.
For more information about Equine Therapy and the programs offered at Generation Farms please visit http://www.generationfarms.ca/