A Sanctuary for horses and people who care about horses
Rescue and Rehab
ESS is a licensed NM horse rescue. Our rescued and unwanted equines are rehabbed and then adopted out or become a part of our programs for people - kids' lessons, therapeutic riding and equine-assisted therapy and learning activities, art classes, educational events.
Horses Helping Kids Program & Riding for Adults with Disabilities
Therapeutic riding benefits children and adults with mental and emotional disturbances, behavioral disorders, development delays, learning disabilities, dysfunctions with neurological motor impairment, cerebral trauma, Down syndrome, to name just a few. Riding a horse has been said to exercise the spirit as well as the body. Therapeutic riding is recognized, well documented, and supported by medical doctors, psychiatrists, physical and occupational therapists, speech therapists and teachers.
The program is under the direction of Ruth Bourgeois, equine specialist and PATH, Intl. accredited therapeutic riding instructor.
Equine therapy is practiced in most countries in the world. Originally used to help people recover from traumatic injuries, it became widely used as a therapeutic tool for the physically handicapped. Most recently, equine therapy has become accepted as a useful tool in treating a wide variety of psychological and mental disorders.
We are proud of our wonderful horses that are serving as safe, dependable mounts for this program. Many of these horses were either rescues or unwanted horses who came to ESS.
Horses helping People
Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies
Horses are great teachers. One of the reasons that horses are so wonderful to learn from is because as prey animals they are in their bodies and aware of all that is going on around them. They are in their minds, in their bodies, experience emotions without reservation, and much of how they react to a situation is how their spirit responds to these things. Their entire survival is based upon being aware.
We can learn valuable life skills through working with horses, getting to know horses, and interacting with horses. Participants learn safe horse handling with grooming and leading exercises. Riding may also be part of this program, when appropriate, but the focus is on more on personal growth and life skills. Activities are designed to improve self-esteem and self-awareness, combining body awareness exercises with motor planning and verbal communication, in a safe and supportive setting.
Sessions include discussion, breathing and centering exercises, yoga exercises, groundwork (grooming and leading) with the horses, riding and yoga exercises on horseback (if appropriate for the client), journaling and take home assignments.
The program is under the direction of Ruth Bourgeois, equine specialist and PATH, Intl. accredited therapeutic riding instructor, along with Dr. Jonathan Katz, Psychologist, PsyD. We are now scheduling EAAT sessions with Dr. Katz. Private, couples and family sessions are offered. He is an approved Medicaid provider. His specialties include Depression, Anxiety, Trauma and PTSD; Issues: Asperger’s Syndrome, autism, Creativity/Performance coaching, Divorce, Grief, Relationship Issues, Self Esteem, Sexual Abuse, Spirituality. He works from a trauma-informed approach addressing mind/body/spirit and emotion.We also will be doing some workshops and group activities that include coaching and counseling.
Also new for 2019 is Read to the Donkeys program. This program is for children who need a little extra help learning to read. The lesson will consist of the child reading aloud to one of our program donkeys - Bindy, Marley or Jazzy - with an ESS volunteer to assist them with improving their reading skills. Bindy has his very own book of his life story for the kids to read, to personalize the program further.
Reaching Out to Help Horses and People Near and Far