HMG Health Matters: Small Miracles offers equine therapy to treat trauma and improve motor functions | News

HMG Health Matters: Small Miracles offers equine therapy to treat trauma and improve motor functions |  News

“I love horses, and when I was growing up, my dad would take me for pony rides, and I didn’t realize how the horses helped me go through and endure the trauma that I had,” Russell said. Sheri Russell, Executive and Program Director at Small Miracles, says horses have a unique way of helping those with physical challenges and those dealing with trauma. She is one of them. That is why Russell says military veterans have also benefited from their equine therapy program.

Dr. Ley is also a certified instructor for Small Miracles, an equine-assisted program that serves those with special needs and disabilities. But he is equally rewarded when he’s in the horse ring.

“It helps kids connect in better ways,” Dr. Ley said. “It also helps them with motion and motor function, so a lot of kids with cerebral palsy and things that they’re not able to control their body well, it actually helps them coordinate and learn to do that better.” Pediatrician Dr. Joseph Ley sees small patients every day in a clinical setting.

“For each lesson with our therapeutic horsemanship program, we need a minimum of three volunteers,” Russell said. Both Ley and Russell feel there is something special about the healing connection between horses and humans. Their programs require a certain number of volunteers to keep participants safe.

“We have seen a huge influx of students that have suffered the harmful effects of isolation from COVID. That’s also with our military veterans that we work with,” Russell said. Throughout the pandemic, Small Miracles has grown, with more clients in need of this special form of therapy. With that growth comes the need for more volunteers, like Dr. Ley.

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