VIDEO MAGAZINE ON THE BEST SERVICES 4 THE COMMUNITY OFFERED BY NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS COMMITTED TO SOCIAL CHANGE IN GREATER CHICAGO. A PROJECT OF www.media4community.org
I thought I knew something about horses, barns and horseback riding before visiting Horsefeathers Center, located at 1181 Riverwoods Rd in Lake Forest, IL… but I could not have been more wrong! Horsefeathers has really changed my perception of the human-equine relationship because here people and horses heal together in a mesmerizing interspecies collaboration. The riders at Horsefeathers are special needs people, some of them can’t walk by themselves, but they learn how to walk on and steer a horse! On the other side, the horses are rescued and donated animals at their second, third, even fourth career that would otherwise be put down. As founder Nicholas E.B. Coyne explains, in spite of the high costs involved in the care of horses, he is even able to retire his animals when they become too old for service at the barn: he sends them to a place where they can eat grass in a pasture and “just be horses” until the end of their days.
Therapeutic riding is a “very forgiving form of riding” where all that matters is managing to sit up on the horse: most riders can’t when they first start at the center. They have diseases and syndromes that prevent them from developing muscles that are actually strengthened while riders are sitting on a horse and finding balance on it. Watch more unbelievable things in the video:
For more information about participating in the program as riders, volunteering and donating: www.horsefeatherscenter.org
(Video and article by Clara Tomaz)