Since its domestication 3000 years ago, the storied history of horse and man together exemplify special bonding---the loyalty of horse to man---the love of man for horse.
|FLAMENCO TAN NOBLE|
The cinematic prestige of movies like ''Seabiscuit,'' ''National Velvet'', ''War Horse'' and ''The Black Stallion'' treat of this deep esteem for the noble equine characteristic.
A less heralded yet equally deserving acclaim champions the horse as healing benefactor to mentally retarded people.
|Patient at Empoderamiento Con Caballos|
Marthy Ch, a nurse for The Ministry of Public Health of Ecuador, also works with therapeutic horses and those patients whom she calls her ''babies'' at Empoderamiento con Caballos, (Empowerment with Horses)--- an organization directed by clinical psychologist Christini Ring and located in the Cotacachi area of Imbabura Province in Ecuador.
''Horses generate a deep motivation,'' Ch says, ''they perceive who we really are.''
This equine sensitivity awakens healing of awareness in the patients.
''Being in the presence of horses takes us more to the present moment, we calm down, we concentrate more and more,'' said Ch. ''A transformation happens...personally I love this because I feel it in my soul.''
|Marthy Ch with horse and patient|
''It seems there is something special and mystical in connection with horses,'' said Ch. ''People of all ages are attracted to horses because of their majestic beauty, grace, stature and strength.''
What aspects thrive in those horses best suited for therapy to the intellectually disabled? Obvious but important to highlight---horses do not judge nor label and categorize as less in value compared to normal people---their mentally retarded riders, walkers and groomers.
Ch explains horses have unique personalities, physical capacities and individual limitations, just as do the people whom they help treat. The best of all, she says, is horses never lie and always give immediate and honest response.
|Horse groomer at work|
''Positive experiences with human-horse interactions have shown profound healing for those with emotional and mental challenges,'' said Ch. ''As a result, children with autism often begin to say new words or express themselves more frequently.''
Empoderamiento con Caballos hosts a celebration on August 3, which will include a horse kissing booth, carrot tossing, horse poop bingo and more, other fun games. The fiesta is from 12 pm to 3 pm at Finca Pluma Blanca, Cotacachi-Quiroga. More info is at telephone number 098 3591 568. All are invited and entrance is free. All proceeds go to the equine therapy program.