Editor’s Note: While we are actively pairing Gypsy Vanners with deserving PATH Accredited therapy centers across the U.S., we hope that you enjoy this fun blog written from the perspective of a Gypsy Vanner horse awaiting placement through the LexLin Gypsy Gift program.
I’m a 4 year old gypsy mare named Ava and I can’t wait to go to my new home where I can get to work! I’m a thoroughbred Gypsy Vanner but others call me a therapy horse. Many of my brothers and sisters are going to new places and we’re excited to get to work. I like to show children how gentle I can be and how to communicate through expression and actions. Many children love to pet my mane and take me for a walk. I teach them responsibility and self-confidence. I love spending time with them. Some say I give them peace of mind.
I’m eager to work with adults too. They are often burdened with sadness or anxiety. I can feel their pain, grief, and despair but I comfort them. I can sense their emotional needs and show them how to trust and have patience. I don’t have arms to hug like my human friends, so I whinny and express my love in other ways. Some people say I’m a beautiful horse but others say I’m a lifesaver.
Through injury or illness some of my companions are not able to take part in life the way others do. I’m chomping at the bit to get to work with my new friends. Both children and adults like to take me for a ride and experience the warm sunshine on their face and a gentle breeze in their hair. Walking may be difficult or may be impossible for them, but while they are riding it builds their physical strength and balance. I can feel their happiness and they become lighter as their cares float away. Some people call it equine therapy. I say I’m just doing my job.
I love teaching. It’s my passion. I teach people of every kind. No matter who they are, they have something to learn. You may think I can’t speak but I communicate through expressions and body language. My human friends learn differently from each other, but through my teaching methods they learn confidently. I can teach leadership skills, accountability, conflict management, problem solving and lots more. I get such satisfaction from helping my companions. Some may call it experiential learning but I say it’s taking life by the reins.