On Monday, June 24, a select group of kids from the summertime Teen Drop-In Program at the Sultan Boys and Girls Club visited ‘H3′, or ‘Horses Healing Heros’, run by Arleen Gibson at her farm on Fern Bluff Road.
At the farm, horse are used as a treatment tool to facilitate the psychological healing of wounded veterans of war. In caring for horses, soldiers can break through some of the isolation that may surround them, and equine assisted psychotherapy has been found to alleviate anxiety and build confidence. To learn more, visit www.h3horseshealingheroes.org/
Before departing the Boys and Girls Club for the field trip, adult volunteer Ruth Shapovalov gave the kids a brief introduction to PTSD, and how horses are used in programs like Arleen’s to help people with this disorder. When asked why the kids thought horses would be good therapists, some of the answers were, “They don’t talk back” and, “They don’t judge.” The kids also created thank you cards for active duty military personnel while waiting to go to H3.
Arleen welcomed the students with a pre-planned set of activities to acquaint them with the horses and with the work that they do. These group activities challenged the kids to work together to guide the horses through a course. Afterward the kids were allowed to brush the horses and give them treats.
Even the most timid of the children, including one who would barely touch a horse with his index finger, became confident and relaxed around them, happily brushing and grooming them. The effect the horses had on the kids was amazing.
The Sultan Boys and Girls Club has meaningful activities planned for kids all summer. They will most likely make a return visit to H3.
Horses Healing Heroes is always looking for volunteers to assist with various chores at their location. For more information, contact Arleen Gibson at (360) 793-2981.
Skykomish has several upcoming events including the town’s traditional 4th of July picnic; the Old Timer’s picnic, a reunion of former and long-time residents of Skykomish; and a classic car show. The Old Timers Picnic will take place Saturday, July 20 at the Skykomish Ball Park.
And the historic Whistling Post tavern is open again after it was burglarized and set on fire last year. There are also free train rides on a miniature outdoor train at the historic train station, which has been moved and restored to accommodate a learning center and railroad memorabilia.