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San Pedro Valley News-Sun
Benson , Arizona
June 17, 2009     San Pedro Valley News-Sun
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June 17, 2009

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132 * Wednesday, June 17, 2009 San Pedro Valley News-Sun Horses play a part in teaching children the can-do attitude Carol Broeder SAN PEDRO VALLEY NEWS-SUN "Whatever life throws at me, I can handle it" The owner of the Lazy Horse Ranch in Pearce says her students walk away from her program with that can-do attitude. For years, children and adults with.special needs have taken advantage of equine therapy with great results. "It's good even for a kid without disabilities," Ann Supplee says about her equine alternative pro- gram. "It's really about learn- ing about yourself." "I work with youth at risk," ~he told the Range News. "Nowadays, almost all kids attending school are youth at risk. They may have problems at home or problems with peers, or both." ~Using equine therapy, we work with these types of problems and try to set goals." Supplee believes' that research has shown that horses have a therapeutic effect on humans. "Consistently positive results" have shown in the areas of attention and self-esteem, she said. She has contracts with "various state agencies," Supplee told the ;Range News. "Some kids may quali- fy, some may not. That's not up to me," said Sup- plee, adding that she, is licensed through Commu- nity Partnership Services of Arizona (CPSA). Lazy Horse Ranch offers programs to chil- dren and adults, focusing on, valuable skills and traits; such as responsibili- ty, worl~ ethic, and task completion. Beyond the equestrian s~llls, her students learn life skills as well. "They learn to control the horse, the situation, and, ultimately, them- selves," Supplee said. "We believe that because of our hands on, interactive approach, neg- ative behaviors can turn into positive ones," she said. Children with ADHD have shown significantly greater improvements in reaction time, movement time, self-esteem, reduced depression, and increased anxiety, she said. Autistic riders have shown strengthened self- esteem and improved social skills. "Animals have long been touted for their ther- apeutic benefits," said Supplee, adding that, "Horses are especially effective." They are "generally able to interpret a per- son's emotions and will mirror those emotions," she said. "Like all good relation- ships, the bond between a horse and human must be based on mutual respect," Supplee said. "Horse can be loyal, obedient, and good listeners, but their respect must be first earned." Af the same time, "hors- es can be intimidating and frustrating because they force the human to com- municate with words and body language," she said. "We develop this by pro- viding different equine activities, challenges, and experiences where they can learn, practice and utilize their own self worth." A typical course is eight weeks, but it can be indi- vidualized according to the needs of the client. The curriculum includes a different topic each week: Keeping Safe - bound- aries and goal setting; Listening and commu- nication; Trust and teambuild- ing; Emotional awareness and control; Boundaries, personal responsibility and natural consequences; Assertiveness and goal setting; trust and team- building review; Healthy relationships and termination. One of Supplee's cur- rent students is 18-year- old Emily Doescher of Willcox. Fenn Homes Custom Hor~e~,;Commercial Cons,ruction ! / ww~, , [] 520.586-4640 ,z B-109727/AZ B-1 2261111111mmm~ HELP PROTECT YOUR PET Make sure it is wearing an ID tag, has a rabies shot & city license.. Shelters use this information to reunite you with your pet. CAROL BROEDER / Wick News Good therapy: Emily Doescher of WiUcox cares for Dudley under the watchful eye of Ann Supplee of Pearce. "It's been a blesshng, " says Emily's mother, Ann. "Emily had some really severe anger issues. We couldn't get her to control her temper," she told the Range News. "Because of her seizure disorder; every day's not the same." Ann explains, "They don't only come out here to ride horses. If you can control the horse, you can "control yourself." "What they're learning in counseling, they can apply here," she said. "They come out here and care for the horses, not just ride them." "Including cleaning the stalls, " interjects Emily's Dad, Mark. "I feel like a cowgirl," said Emily, talking about the day she fell off a horse, but got right back on. "The horse went that way, and I flew the other way," she said. "But she cowgirled up," said her mother. "Yea, she joined the bite the dust club that day," Mark added. "You should see Emily ride a horse," Supplee said. "When she came here she had no upper body strength." "I would like to see more kids come out here," Ann said. "Anyone can benefit whether they're disabled or not." She would like to see the program get bigger - with day camps and sum- II III AeAcq_g mer camps. "I would like to see more parents out here - more families," said Ann. "The benefit Emily gets from it is unbelievable." "Being a parent, I'm really impressed with the way they learn to deal with everyday life," Mark told the Range News. "Emily focuses. She tends not to have seizures when she's out here because she's so focused. They'i'e not just riding horses." Another of Supplee's students is five-year-old Jordan Visser, who has been in the program since he was four. "When Jordan came here, hespoke only one word,: she said. "He speaks up to nine words now." "It's helped him to spon- taneously talk," said his Mom, Kathy. "Jordan has to talk to the horse," "He talks constantly about out here. He talks about what horse he rode, cleaning the-pen, going into the arena... " "It's talking he wouldn't normally do," she said. "He's getting more vocab- ulary." Visser said her son is also "using all the motor skills. It's something he's motivated to do." "One of the reasons it was recommended was for Jordan to learn See RANCH, B5 13ppy is six-month-old male mix. He is available for adop- tion at the Benson Animal Shelter, ,located at 104 W. Harvest Way. For more information call 586-3600. ~/,,/t anonatand~_~_~ uath au~ ~d~ ta ~et them &a,m mo,~ aS~na the~ peO ,t omett a, Uma t n on 120 W. 6'" Street 586-2245 The Benson Animal Shelter is a division of the Benson Police Department & is ' operatedby the City of Benson. We are dedicated to finding homes for animals that are abandoned, surrendered, or lost in the city limits. Hours: Noon - 4 pm Mon-Fri 52~-586-3600 or 520-265-0110 104 Harvest Way Benson The shelter is always in need of treats or monetary donations. 17 Arizona Range News Requested Subscription Lengthi Mailing Address Name; Address: City: State:__ Zip: Form of payment: Pltase don't send CASH [] Check/Money Order [] Credit Card ~ ~r~ ~ )__~ a I'lSan Pedro Valley News-Sun [~tl Year, special rate (s20.00)* Card Exp. Date MM/YY: Credit Card Billing Address [Name: Date: AptJSpace: Phone: ( ) Please rettma this portion and your payment to: San Pedro Val!e) News-Sun P0 Drawer I000 Bensom AZ 85~2 Address: AptJSpace: ' City: State: Zip: _1