The Ranch First Responder Program is recognized as a quality program meeting the needs of first responders and their dependents that live in our local communities. We are the only facility offering animal and equine assisted counseling services, as well as, therapeutic horseback riding and horsemanship in the southern region of the D/FW metroplex. We are honored to be selected by the First Responder Resiliency Program as a service provider.
The First Responder Resiliency Program is a 9 city pilot program, funded through a grant by the State of Texas, to provide education, counseling, and peer support to First Responders. Counseling services will be free of charge through this program. For more details please visit the First Responder Resiliency website.
First Responder services are confidential and include Equine Assisted Counseling, Therapeutic Horsemanship Groups, Therapeutic Horseback Riding, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR). Services are also available for the First Responder's spouse and dependents, including Play Therapy and Animal Assisted Therapies for the youngest members of the family. Able to treat the entire family makes services here even more effective. Separate counselors may see each family member individually, bringing them together as their sessions progress to facilitate new family dynamics.
Services are free to First Responders through a State funded grant to the First Responder Resiliency Program. You must first contact the First Responder Resiliency administrators to be registered to receive services.
Paws for Reflection Ranch can provide services at reduced rates to First Responder Dependents through the Ranch Internship Program. Fees for services with University of North Texas Interns are subsidized through a partnership grant.
Equine Assisted Counseling incorporates horses into a clinically based session. Guided through horse related activities by a therapist and an equine professional, the client increases awareness of their thoughts, words, and actions. With immediate feedback from the horse and guidance from the therapists, the client to recognize dysfunctional behavior patterns, define healthy relationships, improve communication, build problem-solving skills, and develop coping strategies. All natural horsemanship activities are performed on the ground and no horse experience is necessary. Safely guided by the team, the client will observe herd dynamics both inside and outside of their pasture. The client will then work with the horse he/she feels a connection to, beginning a relationship together. From grooming to round pen exercises, the bond will take shape, with the counselor and equine professional translating the horse world to the client's world at home and work.
EAC is helpful with the following conditions:
* Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
* Moral Injury
* Family Dysfunction
* Addictive Behaviors
* Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
* Sexual Trauma
* Recurring Memories
* Loss of Interest
Therapeutic Horsemanship groups include up to 6 participants for equine growth and learning. Each group member will choose a horse from our very diverse herd. Over several weeks, participants will develop a relationship with their horse and with the other group members. First Responders enjoy the peer support offered in a group setting. Through a wide variety of ground activities, the participants will learn how to communicate effectively with their horse, horsemanship techniques, and a little about themselves.
* People and HORSES both test boundaries. As the client works with the horse to learn limits, the client assumes a position of authority and responsibility, allowing the client to see and develop empathy for others in authority.
* From HORSES, the client will learn how to build healthy relationships. The horse requires the client to be authentic, true, and "in the moment". If the client is aggressive, angry, passive or manipulative, the horse will not engage. In the wild, herd members must be trustworthy for herd survival. The same is asked of us as we build a relationship with the horse.
* HORSES, though gentle, are large and powerful, creating opportunities for:
* Overcoming fear
* Developing courage
* Improving self-confidence
* Developing respect
* Developing assertiveness
* Perceptive but non-judgmental, HORSES do not notice the client's problematic background and perceived shortcomings. They provide a positive space to safely explore painful feelings and destructive behavior patterns.
* HORSES have independent idiosyncratic personalities providing an opportunity to learn and practice patience, flexibility, and problem-solving skills.
Equine Program Goals:
* Developing observation skills and importance of self-regulation
* Improving communication skills and learning how to build trust
* Learning about pressure and how it impacts self and others
* Learning about caring for others
* Developing leadership skills
* Overcoming obstacles (real and perceived)
* Healthy competition and conflict resolution
* Overcoming fears and understanding boundaries and limits
More information regarding our Counseling Programs, Therapeutic Riding, and Horsemanship can be found on the specific services pages of our website.
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Paws for Reflection Ranch is an IRS approved 501(c)(3) charitable organization
USDA Licensed Class C Exhibitor under the Animal Welfare Act