Living Healthy: Horse Therapy

Horses and humans working together to help treat a wide range of psychological and physical problems is well documented.

Equine therapy, as it’s known, involves trust, respect and focus.

A new equine program called Actt Naturally is geared for women.

This farm in New York is home to a fledgling equine therapy program run by women for women.

Valerie Buck is the president of Actt Naturally “After-care Continued Thoroughbred Training.”

A former lead rider, Valerie’s ridden some of the country’s top race horses and now tries to save thoroughbreds when their racing careers are over.

She teamed up with an equine therapy program helping veterans to craft a program to empower women who are dealing with personal struggles.

Valerie knew firsthand how the daily grind can wear a woman down.

“I was so burned out that I would go to my barn and feed my horses and never even look at them,” she said.

Program leaders help women recognize what’s holding them back.

They then work in the ring with the horses and that’s where the healing happens, as they learn to let go and trust.

“And when you work with a horse you have to live in the moment. You’re not thinking about yesterday or tomorrow. You have to be present with your horse. You have to respect the horse. You have to have good leadership and there’s a big difference between leadership and domination,” Buck said.

The thoroughbreds, known to be willful, have learned to follow and the women have learned to lead.