Pine Belt horses changing lives - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Pine Belt horses changing lives

Animals play a role in many people's lives. Aside from being companions, they can certainly help improve the health and well being of people, especially horses.

While you may see them as horses, others see them as therapists. Though unlike the ordinary, the purpose of these horses is to change lives.

"The kids or adults with special needs, they bond with the horse, it helps with their social skills," says Gina Archer, Director of Purposeful Pony. "We do interaction where they build cognitive skills, and the movement of the horse it builds up muscle tone and it helps with the physical aspect well."

One of Gina's ponies Gabby was rescued from an abusive environment, but just like she was helped she now helps others that have been abused or even have mental or physical disabilities.

"My son is Jacob Bazor, he has sensory integration and developmental delays significantly and we've been doing horse therapy for quite a few years now and the benefits are just wow, says Jessica Bazor. "I believe that it's helped his posture when going up and down the hills. It helps them to be able to sit up straighter and to feel themselves in space. I've definitely have seen improvements. He verbalizes a lot more when he's on the horse, he may not say any words, but he definitely verbalizes much more."

The therapeutic horseback riding has even helped improve the emotional and physical well-being of autistic individuals such as Andrea.

"Its lots of beneficial things social and physical so it's just wonderful, Andrea has just loved it," says mother Leigh Warren.  

While some of these individuals may never be able to play a sport, read a book or even be able to say their own name, one thing is certain, they definitely know how to ride a horse.

For more information on Purposeful Pony you can contact Gina Archer at 601-744-0393.  

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