Bit of Hope Ranch – Gastonia, North Carolina
At Bit of Hope Ranch, there’s a special connection between the horses and the people they help - making the equine therapy programs especially powerful and effective. This connection comes from a shared sense of rescue. Bit of Hope uses rescue horses that they have nursed back to health to then in turn, help their clients. It’s a place of healing - not just for the rescue horses that come, but also for the hurting children and individuals that participate in Bit of Hope’s equine therapy programs.
Bit of Hope has a wide range of wellness programs, varying from therapeutic services for those with autism to equine assisted psychotherapy and physical therapy programs. The “Herd By a Horse” program was created in 2016 and designed to help children with autism strengthen their everyday living skills. It’s a group therapy program that helps both children and parents.
Heather Breese, one of the equine therapists at Big of Hope, talks about just how powerful this type of therapy can be. She calls it four-dimensional therapy, saying that “being with the horses engages people mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.”
The licensed professional teams at Bit of Hope partner with trained volunteers to provide clients with counseling and therapy services. They treat mental and behavioral challenges such as anxiety, depression, grief, abuse, trauma, eating disorders, ADHD, and ADD.
Sarah suffered from depression and anxiety after being abused as a child, dealing with an emotional divorce, and being physically abused by her mother. She came to Bit of Hope last year after struggling to deal with her mental health difficulties on her own.
She was introduced to a beautiful chestnut quarter horse named Rocket. She was a rescue horse with a history of emotional outbursts. As Sarah ran her hand along Rocket’s tense back, there was an instant connection. As Sarah worked with Rocket in each session, she slowly learned different techniques to combat her anxiety and depression.
There were times when Sarah’s tears wet Rocket’s mane as her anxiety patterns took over and she struggled to breathe. But her breathing would calm and she was able to regain social skills, re-establish relationships, and find healing and hope with the help of Rocket and Bit of Hope Ranch.
Now, Sarah volunteers in her community, works a full-time job, and is a happy mother of three. She has experienced the beauty of healing and will never forget her four-legged friend Rocket, who was there all along the way.
Learn more about Bit of Hope’s equine therapy programs on their website below and find out how you can be part of success stories like Sarah’s.
How to Contact This Farm:
5001 CR Wood Road
Gastonia, NC 28056