Wellington, Florida— Horses Healing Hearts (HHH), a unique equine-assisted program helping children who have been affected by family members with alcoholism and addiction, relies on its donated and borrowed horses to help the children learn vital coping skills and heal emotionally. Some of the been-there-done-that horses used in the program have lived full lives before their jobs as therapy horses, and their bodies show the wear and tear of their advanced experience. So, Chip Kreiling of TheraPlate Revolution decided to help the Wellington, Florida-based non-profit organization and its equine partners by donating a TheraPlate Revolution Therapy Platform for the horses, and another for the humans involved in the program. The results have been extraordinary.
Lizabeth Olszewski, HHH’s founder and executive director, used the TheraPlate therapy platform on a nineteen-year-old Hanoverian gelding that had been a dressage horse before he became part of the Horses Healing Hearts program. He has had issues over the past eight years maintaining his topline and hind end.
“Consequently, he has put a lot of stress and wear on his front hooves,” Olszewski said. “He started having some issues with heel soreness and bilateral intermittent lameness about three years ago. When I rode him five days a week, he was great, but when I would use him for therapy a few days in a row and not ride him, he was noticeably off up front.”
Olszewski believes that on the days she rode him, his blood would circulate, but when he was used for therapy only, the circulation was not sufficient. After standing the gelding on the TheraPlate platform only three times, Olszewski noticed improvement— thanks to the increase in circulation that the TheraPlate platform provides. TheraPlate Revolution, the Official Therapy Plate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), offers therapy platforms that improve fitness, relieve pain, and provide healing therapy to both horses and their human teammates. The innovative therapy platforms use dynamic movement that can improve performance for both horses and humans— simply by standing on the platform.
“I think it’s really great how the TheraPlate technology is fairly new and works so well,” Olszewski said. “HHH is similar! Our concept is new and is very effective. People look at what we do and they’re very curious and want to know all about it.”
Olszewski, a survivor of a childhood spent with alcoholic parents, said the only place she felt safe and accepted while growing up was at the barn. Horses and mentors inspired her to make her own choices and to create a better life for herself.
“The concept of using horses and mentors to help children of alcoholics and addicts in a formal program had never been tried before, but I knew there were millions of children of alcoholics who needed help,” she said. “If horses and mentors saved my life, I knew a program like this could save others. I simply wanted to ‘pay it forward.’”
When she approached TheraPlate Revolution’s owner and founder Chip Kreiling, he wanted to pay it forward as well with a donation of the therapy platforms. Olszewski said the donation will help keep the therapy horses healthier and more comfortable. This will not only decreases vet visits, but will also make the horses happier in their work, which increases the childrens’ safety around them.
“TheraPlate’s willingness to sponsor us lends legitimacy to our cause and gives us exposure with those who know and respect the TheraPlate products in the industry,” Olszewski said. Olszewski has also found that the TheraPlate unit attracts people to Horses Healing Hearts. When people stand on the TheraPlate Revolution platform at an event, they enjoy the experience so much that they stay longer and HHH volunteers can have a chance to tell them about Horses Healing Hearts’ work.
If you’d like to learn more about Horses Healing Hearts, log onto http://www.HHHUSA.org, email Liz Olszewski at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (561) 713-6133.
To find out how the TheraPlate Revolution Therapy Plates can benefit both horses and humans, visit www.theraplate.com or call toll-free (800) 920-3685 or direct (817) 629-5171.