"Riding Through Grief" Helps Kids Heal Through Power of Horses

Riding Through Grief, a day camp offered by Hospice of the Western Reserve in collaboration with Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding  Center, 16497 Snyder Road, Chagrin Falls, is being offered for children ages 8-12 who have experienced the loss of a loved one. Through riding and working with horses on a 45-acre farm, trained grief counselors help participants explore their feelings in a supported environment with peers undergoing the same pain.

This marks the fourth consecutive year for the special program. Participants can choose from two week-long options:  June 22–26 or July 13–July 17. The half-day camp sessions run from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. The fee is $75; scholarships are available. For more information or an application, call Leslie Dials at 216.216.486.6702.

“Children often have special needs when coping with the death of a loved one, and may process their grief far differently than adults,” explained Dials, a grief counselor at Hospice of the Western Reserve’s Elisabeth Severance Prentiss Bereavement Center. “Children who lose a parent or close family member may have difficulty sleeping, worrisome thoughts, depression or anger issues. The camp setting provides an opportunity for them to express their feelings, learn ways to cope, remember their special person who died, and meet others in their same age group who have also experienced loss.”

Fieldstone Farm is recognized as one of the largest state-of-the-art therapeutic riding centers in North America. Founded in 1978, the organization is breaking new ground in the field of equine therapy and changing many lives in the community. Experts at both organizations concur that counseling children with grief through the gentle and nurturing feedback of therapy horses in a tranquil environment has proven to have a healing effect. 

Laurie Henrichsen

Public & Media Relations, Hospice of the Western Reserve

Read More on Non-Profits
Volume 6, Issue 7, Posted 10:29 AM, 07.12.2015