UNION SPRINGS, N.Y. (NCC News)– Most of us have heard of using dogs to help people with many types of disabilities. Healing H’Arts Equestrian Center located in Union Springs, offers therapy services with a bigger animal, a horse. The horses at Healing H’Arts are used for a multitude of therapies ranging from occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech and language therapy, all using what is called the hippotherapy theory.
This therapy is unique in that it is the only treatment strategy that engages the entire brain at the same time as it allows new pathways to be created. Healing H’Arts is the only place of its kind in the area that offers this kind of therapy for those in need. Adults and children that go to Healing H’Arts have disabilities ranging from autism to neuromuscular impairments.
CEO of Healing H’Arts, Kirsta Malone, is the occupational therapist who treats the many adults and children who come for therapy. One client named Linus is a young boy who, with the help of the therapy and his horse Rosebud, has able to gain the motion and use of his left hand, something he could not do before coming to therapy.
Malone has helped many people and one previous client had told her that her son, who was on the autism spectrum, improved in his communication tremendously. The clients’ mother said to Kirsta, “You don’t understand, he doesn’t talk at home, he doesn’t talk to anybody, he only talks in the half an hour that he is here on that horse.”
Malone loves what she does and says her clients’ success is what makes her so happy doing what she does.
Malone said “It’s an amazing feeling to know that you’ve given purpose to somebody. And you know, as
an occupational therapist, that is my whole being is to help people find their purpose. You
know, their daily living like be able to get through their daily life. What do you need to do
that?” Malone said.