Bob: Hi folks! It's me, Bob, the Official STEPS Human-Equine Relations Manager and your host for today. Welcome to my show, Starbuck! We're thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with you today. Can you tell us a bit about your background as a therapy horse?
Starbuck: Thank you for having me! Well, my journey started as a dressage show horse, where I had the privilege of showcasing my skills and grace in the ring. But as time went on, I felt a calling to serve a different purpose. That's when I transitioned into becoming a therapeutic riding lesson horse for individuals with disabilities. Nowadays, I work at STEPS With Horses in Fort Worth, Texas as both a counseling partner and therapeutic riding partner for individuals with mental health challenges.
Bob: That's remarkable, Starbuck. How old are you, and can you share your breed with us?
Starbuck: I'm currently 24 years old, and I'm a Shire/Thoroughbred cross. My mixed heritage gives me a unique combination of strength and agility, which comes in handy during my therapeutic riding lessons.
Bob: It's fascinating to hear about your background. Can you tell us about your best friend in the herd and your relationship with them?
Starbuck: Ah, my best friend in the herd is Keyman. We have quite a special bond, even though we occasionally bicker like old friends do. We have our differences, but deep down, we can't be without each other. Keyman keeps me grounded and reminds me of the importance of friendship and companionship.
Bob: That sounds like a wonderful connection. Now, let's talk about your experience in equine assisted counseling. How has it helped you learn to trust people again?
Starbuck: Participating in equine assisted counseling has been a transformative experience for me. I had encountered some challenging situations in the past that made me skeptical of human intentions. Through this therapy, I've had the opportunity to work closely with caring and compassionate clients who have helped me rebuild my trust in people. It's been a journey of healing and rediscovery.
Bob: That's truly inspiring, Starbuck. Your resilience shines through. Can you share your special talent in helping clients feel safe and overcome their fears.
Starbuck: Certainly! One of my special talents is creating a safe space for clients to express themselves and grow. Many individuals who come to the sessions may have fears or anxieties, but through our interactions, I can sense their emotions and provide a calming presence. I have a way of connecting with them, allowing them to feel safe enough to face their fears and embark on a path of personal growth. It's incredibly rewarding to witness their progress.
Bob: Absolutely, Starbuck. Before we conclude, we'd love to know from your perspective as a therapy horse, what is the most important thing you want people to know about equine assisted counseling?
Starbuck: That's a great question. The most important thing I want people to know about equine assisted counseling is that it's not about riding horses or just being around animals. It's a powerful and effective form of therapy that can bring about profound emotional and psychological healing. Horses, like me, have an innate ability to sense and respond to human emotions without judgment. In these sessions, we become partners in the healing process, offering support, trust, and a safe space for clients to explore their feelings and overcome challenges.
Bob: It's evident that you play a vital role in the therapeutic process, Starbuck. Thank you for sharing your remarkable journey with us today. Your dedication and compassion are truly inspiring.
Starbuck: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my story. It's an honor to be part of such a meaningful endeavor. I look forward to continuing to help clients on their healing journeys and making a positive impact in their lives.
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STEPS With Horses