Last summer’s drought was especially grim for Southwest Colorado, with a number of environmental impacts – including on the supply of affordable hay.
Which is why Mancos High School sophomore Ty Everett decided to raise funds for the four-legged residents at the nonprofit Medicine Horse Center.
“Last year, I raised scholarship money for children that couldn’t afford to take advantage of the services offered at Medicine Horse,” he said. “This year was for the horses, themselves.”
Medicine Horse Center, along Road J in Mancos Valley, offers equine therapy programs to those coping with a range of social, emotional or physical issues, particularly people who may struggle in traditional counseling settings.
The center is one of hundreds around the globe that use horses to promote emotional and physical health. Equine therapy involves treatment ranging from therapeutic riding to stable care, according to the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International Member Center, which certifies programs and instructors.
Medicine Horse personnel include licensed mental health therapists along with PATH-certified equine staff.
Everett said the nonprofit is of especial significance to him because his younger brother, who faced social-emotional challenges, benefited from its services.
“Medicine Horse was life-changing for our family after he started attending their programs,” Everett said.
This is the second year he has raised money for Medicine Horse, with last year’s fundraiser going toward scholarships. This year’s horse-centered fundraiser, which began in October, raised $1,745, Everett said. Donors will be honored with a special path through the Medicine Horse Center gardens, set to be built this summer.