MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WPDE) — Barnabas Horse Foundation provides therapy for people recovering from traumatic experiences.
Owner Sue McKinney said they offer healing through psychological and physical therapy.
"Horses are so great at helping us to regulate. Their heart field is 10 times great than ours. So just being in their presence if they are calm, they can help calm us," explained McKinney.
Now they're offering services to first responders. Every week, first responders can come to the farm and connect with their horses. They learn about each of the horses, their personalities, how to work with them, brush them and clean their tack.
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"We are here for them to partner with horses learn some stuff about healthy connected relationships and just to be," said McKinney. "We hope that they leave here feeling better, feeling a little bit calmer, feeling a little bit more relaxed, like they let go some of the trauma that they see. we are here to give them tools that they can use to help regulate themselves."
Barnabas started working with children who were raped, abused or went through a traumatic experience in 2013. Their goal is to heal their mind, body and spirit and improve their quality of life.
In 2015, they expanded their services to veterans. McKinney said it was only a matter of time for the foundation to realize they needed to connect with local first responders.
"With all of the turmoil in our world, the trauma that's happening in our own world, we started to think about our first responders. Every one from the 911 operators, to our firefighters, to our police officers, to our detectives," said McKinney. "We know the second hand trauma that we get from hearing people's trauma stories we get on our psychotherapy side. I couldn't imagine being the one who sees it first hand and that made us start thinking about our first responders and that we needed to do something about it and offer our support and show show them some love and give them a safe space to come and just breathe and be."
First responders can sign up for on the Barnabas website or call 843-241-3331. Classes are Mondays from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.