Equine Therapy saves two at once

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Equine Therapy saves two at once

September 27, 2017 - 08:45
Rio is an Amish carriage horse rescued by  Serenity Saviors

by BONNIE RODRIGUEZ
bonnie@hernandosun.com

There is a saying, that "the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man," which Allen and Cherina Bornscheuer put into practice daily. Offering equine therapy, lessons, volunteering and adoption opportunities, Serenity Saviors 501c3 Rescue, is a family affair aimed at helping horses and people have better lives.

As a registered mental health counselor, Cherina understands the need for a good therapist. Equine assisted therapy is perhaps not so widely known as traditional therapy methods for treatment of many mental health and physical conditions. PTSD, depression, anxiety, autism, ADHD, high blood pressure, muscle atrophy/weakness and many other conditions can be improved with equine therapy sessions from the ground or from the saddle. According to Cherina, "The horse is the real therapist, I just facilitate." The feel of the horse's warm, soft coat, the sounds of the horses neighing, the movements of a gentle gait all combine to engage your senses in a way not seen in traditional therapy sessions.

Their daughter, Cat, states, “It's about building bonds of trust between a person and a horse- building a friendship." This can be especially difficult for veterans suffering from PTSD. Tom, a volunteer at the stable, reports that his PTSD symptoms have improved since being around the horses. Fran, another volunteer who recently moved to the States deeply misses her own horse back in England. Now she helps with grooming, brushing, and braiding manes to brighten her spirits.

Allen puts his many years of horse training experience to good use when he is looking for horses that would be a good addition to their stable. Many of the horses on the farm have been purchased from kill pens up north. The Bornscheuers then have them housed at a special quarantine barn before bringing them home for rehabilitation.
One such horse is Rio, a beautiful black gelding who was once an Amish carriage horse. He was believed to have been in an accident that seriously injured his shoulder when the Bornscheuers saved him from a kill pen in Pennsylvania. They nursed him back to health with good feed, hay, veterinary attention, chiropractic care and lots of TLC. He now assists Cherina in therapy sessions as well as giving riding lessons.

Addi, AKA Sweet Addiction, is a rescued mare who was found severely malnourished. She gave the family a nice surprise several months after coming to Serenity Saviors. She was gaining more than just her much-needed weight as Cherina found out one day when she went out to the barn... There was a new foal! It is unknown who the daddy is but 'Maybelle' is just as pretty as her mama with a long white stripe on her face. Allen and Cherina, albeit accidentally, saved two horses from slaughter the day they rescued Addi, and they couldn't be happier.

There are also donkeys and goats for those who don't want to ride a horse but still would like to get the experience of grooming and learning new ways to treat their depression or PTSD. Allen and Cherina welcome volunteers and monthly donations to help keep the rescue and sanctuary going. Look for fundraisers in the future as they always have a need they are working towards.

There are many more horses in the barn and many more stories of how people's lives have been changed by them. Serenity Saviors welcomes you into their barn and to check them out on Facebook: Serenity Saviors 501c3 Rescue, and their website www.SerenitySaviors.org

ADDRESS: 20052 Bowman Road
Spring Hill, Florida 34610

PHONE: (352) 345-9873

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