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Equine therapy, activities that incorporate horses and/ or equine atmospheres to help active learning, self-growth, stress-relief, healing, and teamwork skills, among many other skills has proven to be therapeutic for persons suffering from anxiety, depression, developmental delay, autism, and many other mental health issues.

Horses provide an outlet for individuals to be themselves, connect with the animals, build self- esteem and build trust, as they overcome obstacles and get to know the horse, while building lifelong friendships with the animals.

Miss Florida Lauren McClafferty and her family has been helping heal children at their organization: The Kids Pony Foundation.

Beauty Queen Miss Florida Lauren Mcclaferty with her Dad Stephen Harvey

Set up by her Dad, Stephen Harvey, the foundation offers hippotherapy to children suffering from mental and/ or developmental issues.

“Helping with the organization when I go home to Ireland has given me an insight as to how much joy horses can offer, and the strength of the bond that is built between horse and rider. Something that is so special to me, is seeing an individual care for a horse, as they learn to grow with the horse through horsemanship and friendship,” says Miss Florida Lauren McClafferty.

The Kids Pony Foundation

All the therapy sessions are carried out in a large outdoor riding arena. The foundation is working towards creating a an indoor riding facility to ensure that we can provide pony therapy sessions year round.

The charity was established in 2015. The charity has 251 children who receive weekly pony therapy sessions, and they have a waiting list of over
500 children who wish to attend the charity!

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Siblings of disabled children can also feel very isolated as so much time and energy of the parents is directed at the needs of the disabled child. This is an opportunity for children to get together and talk about the issues they face and how they overcome any problems.

It is also an opportunity for them to mix with other children without feeling they are being judged by peers who do not have an understanding of their situation.

Miss Florida Lauren Mcclaferty is a champion horserider who cares for children!

“We find taking this holistic approach can help lessen added stress within the family. All of the children who attend our charity have a medically diagnosed condition this could either be physical or mental. All of our therapy work revolves around these children’s needs we have worked very hard to establish a very special place for them,” says Miss Florida Lauren McClafferty.

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