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WHC is Building Relationships & Making a Difference
WHC is building a special relationship with Mending Fences, a residential substance abuse treatment facility in neighboring Morriston, FL.
The mission of Mending Fences is to help each client learn to live a happy and fulfilling life free from addiction. Mending Fences uses Equine Therapy to help individuals build trust, confidence, social skills, impulse control, perspective and learn boundaries.
This is where Chris Cook and WHC have been able to assist. Chris has demonstrated strategies for working with challenging horses at the Mending Fences facility, and Mending Fences clients have come to WHC to expand their equine interaction. The clients are referred to as the Mending Fences Crew.
With the guidance of Chris, the Mending Fences Crew has had the opportunity to evaluate horses to use in their program and to help with their own therapy. Crew members have the opportunity to experience firsthand how being persistent with a horse pays off, and are also able to make parallels to their own lives. While working with a very dominant horse, a crew member became frustrated. Chris encouraged the crew member to keep working with the horse, and reminded the crew member that even if it takes a few days to change the horse’s mind, that’s okay. Eventually, the horse yielded to pressure and cooperated. The crew member made an important observation stating, “I have given up so often in the past when things got hard”, she learned that if she is persistent and she sticks with something even when it is difficult or frustrating, as she did while working with the horse, things can get better.
Other crew members observing an upset mare acting out in the round pen at WHC were guided to take a new perspective on this challenging behavior. This mare was not a bad horse, she was simply dealing with fear and a poor beginning. She is at WHC to have a second chance – to learn new behaviors and respect. Crew members made connections to their own situations!
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