Equine therapy

David Briggs

Women living in high-stress environments, caring for disabled family members or simply needing to let off steam joined Halleck Creek Ranch’s newest program, Flying Changes, on Monday for one of six sessions they will attend over as many weeks. Two of the participants have children in programs at the ranch; another said she was there to experience the entire spectrum of preparing and controlling horses—from grooming and saddling to riding and speaking to the equines. The almost magical therapeutic effects of the animals have been the mainstay of the ranch’s offerings, which have helped free disabled people from their physical limitations since the 1980s. Brenda Falco, who leads the program, recounted a woman with multiple sclerosis who could barely sit up in bed without falling over; when seated on a horse, she could maintain her balance. The class is open to all women and costs $600 for six two-hour sessions (scholarships are available). Visit halleckcreekranch.org for details.