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'Back to School' equine therapy helps children cope with uncertainties of new school year

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Posted at 4:58 PM, Jul 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-13 10:56:10-04

TAYLORSVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Veteran’s Club, an organization that provides resources to Kentucky veterans, hosted a “Back to School” equine therapy session for children on Saturday.

The event, which took place from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., is part of the organization’s Family Outreach Program.

The Veteran’s Club president Jeremy Harrell explained Saturday’s event focused on the mental health of military children as they prepare to go back to school in the middle of a global pandemic.

“I recognize that if it's stressful for us as parents, it's also going to be stressful for the child because they don't really know where they're going, who the teachers are going to be, and things of that nature. We just really want to focus today on helping them relax and helping them understand that we're here for them,” Harrell said.

The session was led by Harrell’s daughter, Mattie Hauswald.

“A lot of things don’t make sense right now and a lot of things are hard to process. So I really want to work on making sure that everyone’s okay and everything will be okay,” Hauswald said.

Hauswald led a group of ten children through lessons about how to groom and work with the horses, while simultaneously encouraging them to address their anxieties through a healthy outlet.

“We just really want them to have an outlet to talk about those things in a safe environment,” said Harrell. “Which translates to when they're starting to go to school, whether it be NTI or actual in-school sessions that they're able to do that and be able to process their emotions, where they can still learn and they can still thrive in that environment.”

The Veteran’s Club hosts several equine therapy sessions throughout the month. The next military children equine therapy session will take place in September, according to Harrell.

For more information, you can visit the Veteran’s Clubwebsite.