Girls Horse Club Blog

Great Strides: Healing With Horses

Published by • Feb 1st, 2009 • Category: Lend a Hand

Lend a Hand
by mustang23, age 13

Great Strides Therapeuatic Center, located in Damascus, Maryland, has horses used for therapy, but some horses are used differently. Take Sunny, a palomino Belgian Quarter Horse cross. The twelve-year-old gelding is sweet as sugar, but if a person needs to be put in place, Sunny will not hesitate to do it. He is the farm’s most versatile horse, and almost everybody who sees him falls instantly in love.

Another horse is Linus, a twenty-year-old gelding who teaches the newest clients how to ride. Everybody loves Linus.

The many purposes of Great Strides all unite in one thought: To help those who need it. Great Strides therapy works because horses are the co-therapists, and people and humans are connected in ways beyond the physical. On Great Strides website, there is an essay called Only Your Heart. This greatly moving essay talks about the different ways horses see humans and will always be there for us.

This is also true in the way that Great Strides works. Some young children with emotional and behavioral instabilities working with horses gain self-esteem in basic riding skills and in vaulting. An adult with anxiety issues learns to relax by grooming her horse, breathing in the sweet aroma of horse and barn. A teenager from an abusive home learns to be assertive and trusting by gaining a relationship with a creature way bigger than them.

One way you can help Great Strides is a donation, be it money, horse supplies, or time. To contact them, call (301) 253-1166, or email them at

Horses help us in so many ways, therapy being only one of them. But perhaps therapy is the most important one. After all, if you were being abused, wouldn’t you want someone to tell you they love you, even though they don’t use words?
Wouldn’t you want to learn to control one aspect of your life, even if it is a tiny piece?

Think about it. Many of you have horses, and when you’re with your horse, you feel calmer, right? So other people feel that way as well, people the whole world over.

5 Nickers »

  1. Nice blog!

  2. great blog mustang23!! thats so funny! i live right near there and i’m going to start volunteering in summer. do you volunteer there??

  3. That sounds like a great place with wonderful horses!

  4. Actually LexiLover I live in Ohio, and I saw the place when I was researching horse therapy centers on the Internet. I’m glad I found it!

  5. Oh thats cool mustang23! It sounds like an amazing place and I’m so excited to go there!