Horses for healing in Newton Township


NEWTON TOWNSHIP, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Veterans and First Responders deal with serious issues long after they go off duty. One place helps them heal, with horse therapy.

The beauty of rural Northeastern Pennsylvania, coupled with the serenity of horses. This is the idea behind Equines for Freedom, where Veterans and First Responders receive free horse therapy.

“It’s a non-traditional form of therapy,” Heather Stage, co-founder of Equines for Freedom said. “We’re bringing people out of an office setting. We’re bringing them here to an arena where we have horses. It’s just a little bit easier sometimes to get some different people in who might otherwise not feel comfortable going to therapy.”

The idea is to start the process of building relationships and trust.

 “It’s a lot of learning to relax. Learning to sit with your emotions a little bit and then be able to come up and down,” State said. “We spend a lot of time going back and forth between horse time and trauma time.”

Bob Tagert is a veteran and a volunteer. He has seen the amazing effects being around these majestic creatures can have.

“They become more talkative. They become more outgoing. They begin to come out of their shell. And their default face isn’t a gloomy one anymore,” Tagert said.

Since the therapy offered is free, they are having a wine festival at Lazy Brook Park in Tunkhannock Township Saturday to help keep these programs going.

“We would love to thank our Veterans and our First Responders who help so many people every day, and there’s not a lot we can do for them, but if we can support them and support this great cause, then it’s all appreciated,” Brenda Goodrich, Chairperson Wine & Food Festival said.

If you would like to attend, the Wine Festival is Saturday at Lazy Brook Park. It starts at noon and runs until 5 pm.

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