Mounted Eagles Hosts Open House With Lakes Area Music Festival
Mounted Eagles Therapeutic Horsemanship in Brainerd hosted an open house today in conjunction with the Lakes Area Music Festival. A free concert was provided and the public was able to learn about the services that Mounted Eagles provides.
“We’re hoping that this is a way for them to just come and see, you know, see what we do, tell others about what we do. Many of the people came for the concert and the same thing for them. They enjoy the concert but might leave, in the back of their mind think, ‘somebody I know might benefit from Mounted Eagles,’” said Lynn Fairbanks, Executive Director at Mounted Eagles.
Mounted Eagles was established in 1992 to use equine assisted therapy to enhance the lives of people with physical, mental, social, and emotional challenges. The participants work with horses to help them overcome obstacles during guided activities.
“We work on things like following directions, focusing, self-esteem, socialization. There’s just a wide variety of things that they benefit from,” Fairbanks added.
Equine-assisted therapy uses many techniques to make the riders feel comfortable, appreciated and accepted.
“We want the kids to realize they can when they’ve been told they can’t, and we want them to start maybe dreaming on their own – like picking a goal they might never have chosen before,” explained Susie Baillif, Lead Instructor at Mounted Eagles.
Megan Lindgren has been a participant at Mounted Eagles for five years and rides Lily the horse. “What I feel like when I ride horse is it’s relaxing. It seems like she’s my horse, not theirs,” Lindgren said. “I really enjoy it.”
The equine therapy provided at Mounted Eagles has had an immense impact on the riders that have participated in the program over the years.
“We see changes in our riders sometimes every week. We see riders that, as long as they’re not afraid of the horse, we see kids that might speak their first word. We see kids that have problems in their gait or walking and all of the sudden you look up and they’ve got a follow through,” added Baillif.
Mounted Eagles has grown immensely since starting with one horse and one rider, and they hope to keep impacting people’s lives well into the future.
For more information about Mounted Eagles and equine-assisted therapy, visit www.mountedeagles.org.