CNN Heroes: Horses Are Good for People

Patricia Kelly and Ebony Horsewomen are nominated for CNN Heroes recognition

Sometimes the best things on television are not the ones that you plan to watch, that you mark on the calendar. Sometimes the things you overhear from the the other room, that send you running to catch the last few words, are the ones you remember.

Because you really don’t know what you need to know. It’s all out there, on one of those 300 channels, if you only knew which one to program on your remote.

That’s what happened this weekend when I overheard someone on CNN talking not about air raids in Iraq or a ceasefire in Gaza but horses. Horses. I had tuned out the news but the tv was still on, and there must have been a reason. 

I needed to hear about Patricia Kelly and Ebony Horsewomen, because I didn’t know about them. But CNN did.

Now I do, and after you watch these little video clips, you will, too. Maybe we can even help Patricia receive a grant from the CNN Heroes program that will help her sustain and improve the program.

It seems like the field of equine-assisted therapy (hippotherapy, or whatever name you choose for it) receives a lot of press these days. Universities are conducting research on how and why children and adults with all manner of problems and disorders seem to react positively to time spent with horses.

Most people who spend time around horses aren’t surprised at the results, and they even wonder why money needs to spent to research whether or not people respond positively to horses. After all, we all know that there’s something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a (hu)man, as the saying goes.

Ah, but what exactly is it? What is the “something”? And can it be defined, refined and more widely used?

Maybe it’s knowing you have to do your chores before you can ride. Maybe it’s knowing that horse is going to be happy to see you when you get to the barn. Maybe it’s just a safe place to go.

It’s up to us to help Patricia and Ebony Horsewomen, whether it is in the weeks to come as they collect votes in the CNN Heroes event, or as they go on through the years.

The television special “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute” will be televised on Sunday, December 7, 2014. Nominations for more heroes are open until August 31. Ebony Horsewomen will need our help to make the final ten nominees who are featured on the special. It would be great to see horses on that show!




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