Rancho Milagro is a non-profit organization that uses equine-therapy to help treat people in need, including survivors of sexual abuse and those with PTSD. Founder and executive director Vanessa Kohnen joined us earlier today to talk about equine-therapy and how it works.
Kohnen said Rancho Milagro started from her own personal childhood trauma.
“When I was a kid, horses literally saved my life, because I had a voice and I had purpose when I would be with the horses and my dogs growing up but I lost that through life and about 25 years ago horses were reintroduced into my life,” Kohnen said.
Kohnen said these wild mustangs reminded her of when she was a child when she had a voice. Kohnen and her husband founded Rancho Milagro seven years ago for people who have experienced similar trauma.
The animals at Rancho Milagro can understand and relay the emotions for individual patients well according to Kohnen, which she said is why equine therapy works so well.
“Can you imagine a 1,000 pound animal mimicking what you’re experiencing, because we always say we want somebody else to understand what we’re going through but guess what the horses do, and we are able to watch a 1,000 pound animal mirror the same emotions,” Kohnen said.
Kohnen said watching the horse therapy reminds her of her childhood every time she sees it.