Horses help youth overcome life’s obstaclesCarol Johnson of Lake Stevens and her three daughters, have been going to the Equine Rescue Association in Marysville for just about a year now volunteering their time taking care of horses.
“Horse therapy” is what some call it, and according to Dr. Vel Moore, who founded the non-profit organization in 1997, it’s a good situation for everyone.
“It’s a win-win, the horses need human contact, after all we bring them into our world and raised them in our environment and sometimes when they get older, they get stuck out in the pasture by themselves, and get disconnected and it doesn’t feel too good for the horse. They get melancholy, and even depressed,” Moore said.
That’s when the volunteers come in and make a difference in the lives of these sometimes abandoned or abused horses, and make them feel good again.
The therapy goes both ways and when a young volunteer has the responsibility of grooming a massive animal such as a horse, it gives them a sense of pride, control, and responsibility.
Moore says that the horses are very aware, sensitive to their environment.
“They are not aggressive animals so they are open to us emotionally. They are powerful, strong, and beautiful,” Moore said.
It’s because of the open emotion and sensitivity of a horse that helps many youth learn to be calm, gentle and sensitive as well.
With next to no funds and donations drastically down, the rescue association now needs the help of everyone.
Johnson says there are many touching stories from the teenagers who volunteer at the rescue which has about 30 horses and 25 volunteers.
Most of them she said, are teens or young adults, many of whom have had tough lives themselves and are trying to recover by helping the horses.
“It is amazing to hear some of their life stories and how devoted they are to the horses,” Johnson said.
On Saturday, Oct. 11 at the Gleneagle golf course in Arlington there will be a golf tournament and auction which will help raise money to keep the Equine Rescue Association alive. Auction items include signed memorabilia from the Seahawks, Mariners, Everett AquaSox and more.
For the non-golfers and anyone wanting to watch, a $25 BBQ ribs and chicken dinner will be available with profits going to the horse rescue; it all starts at 1 p.m., and volunteers are welcome to call 360-658-5494 or 425-334-4800 or go to www.era-horsehaven.org