Equine therapy nonprofit invites the public to learn about how it empowers humans and horses
Free open house and Halloween festival scheduled for Oct. 30
REINS at Saddleview is opening its gates for a free open house next weekend.
The new equine-assisted psychotherapy nonprofit, which has been serving women and girls for the past year, plans to use the event, scheduled from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Oct. 30 in Oakley, to introduce the public to its programs and celebrate Halloween, said Executive Director Kris Getzie.
REINS at Saddleview provides a healing space for emotional recovery and empowerment for both humans and horses, according to its mission statement.
“The goal is to get everybody acquainted with our organization, see the facilities, and meet the herd,” Getzie said. “We will have some psychotherapist presentations in regards to what we do, and there will also be some mini sessions people can sign up for and experience to get more personally acquainted with what equine-assisted therapy is.”
Because it’s a holiday weekend, there will be games and activities for kids, and food and fun for the whole family, she said.
Although the event is free and open to the public, donations will be accepted.
“Our programs are for women and girls who don’t have the financial means to access this type of healing work,” Getzie said. “Most of our programs are driven off our scholarship funds, which we fund through donations.”
This year’s fundraising goal is $100,000, she said.
“We will use that money to help serve 150 women and girls through our programs next year,” Getzie said.
REINS at Saddleview will also accept donations of boots and other equine equipment.
“We try to help women and girls who don’t have the gear for the weather we operate in,” Getzie said. “So we need things like boots.”
People may also sponsor a horse or make donations that fulfill the horse’s needs, said Program Director Alejandra Lara.
Donations can als be made through the nonprofit’s website, or by emailing email@example.com.
Getzie and Lara, who have known each other for years through the equine community, formed REINS at Saddleview last year.
As a teenager, Getzie was involved in the economic side of the business, where she bought and sold horses, and worked at a high-end show barn.
“My experience is also with rescuing horses in the past, and I breed horses in the industry,” she said.
Lara’s connection to horses began with her childhood in Chile. In addition to being a credentialed therapeutic riding instructor and equine specialist in mental health and learning, she is the founder and owner of Park City Horse Experience LLC, as well as the founder and coordinator of the Equine Assisted Learning Program with the National Ability Center.
The two put their backgrounds together for REINS, Lara said.
“What we do is different from other equine-assisted therapy models,” she said. “Usually the horse is used to help humans heal, but we wanted to create programs where both the humans and the horses have their own therapeutic goals.”
Many horses at REINS are retired working horses that also need rehabilitation as they transition from a working life to retirement, Lara said.
“So, we match the horses’ needs with the humans’ needs, where they can help each other,” she said. “The humans who come to release anxiety and learn new tools to cope and create a sense of safety and peacefulness may be matched with a horse that needs that type of experience to calm and rehabilitate them to a point where they can gain trust in humans again.”
REINS at Saddleview offers an array of programs, according to Lara.
Those programs are as follows:
• Unstoppable Girls, a summer camp for ages 7-18
• Veterans Mini Retreats, a partnership program with the Salt Lake City veterans health care system
• Healthcare, a complementary clinic for community nurses
These programs utilize the REINS process — Recognizing what is happening in the moment; Experiencing what is happening with the body; Investigating what is happening; Nurturing oneself; and Shifting to the next step, according to Lara.
“We want our clients to learn these tools so they can recognize and make the best decisions to make changes in their lives,” she said.
Getzie has seen women, girls and horses make these transformations in the past year.
“The healing, for us, is watching both the humans and equine counterparts get through the challenges and interact in a productive life thereafter,” she said. “We have women coming from backgrounds of abuse, and some of our horses also come from abuse situations. So it is rewarding when we get two similar beings together who are facing similar challenges, and see them reading off and working with each other through their fears.”
When: 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 30
Where: REINS at Saddleview, 250 W. North Bench Road, Oakley
Cost: Free, but donations will be accepted
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