(Dover, NY) – The Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse (CPCA) is partnering with Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue to include equine assisted development as part of a recovery solution for local children who have experienced trauma from child abuse and neglect.

This collaboration with the Equine Assisted Development program at Lucky Orphan Horse Rescue will connect children already receiving therapy at The CPCA and introduce them to a unique hands-on approach that addresses and redirects maladaptive behaviors and negative thoughts into constructive solutions.

The Equine Assisted Development program combines Natural Lifemanship and Equine Experiential Education, in a team approach that includes two certified equine specialists and horses working together with children to create positive change. This experiential model occurs on the ground and allows the child to interact with the horse in any way they wish including observing, handling, grooming, groundwork and other structured exercises. The special connection that develops between the child and horse helps them gain a better understanding of their feelings. They learn how to care for themselves and others, develop empathy, decrease anxiety and depression, expand social skills, and build trust and self-confidence.

“There is no one route on the pathway towards healing,” said Kimberly Haight, executive director of The CPCA. “We believe that people do not have to spend a lifetime consumed in trauma. This partnership allows us to explore another avenue of treatment that children can take to achieve their goal of a healthier life.”

“Lucky Orphans’ mission is “People Helping Horses Heal People,” said Deanna Mancuso, executive director of Lucky Orphans. “We are so excited to partner with the CPCA for this program to change the lives of these children.  Horses lend a non-judgmental and intuitive nature that promotes long-term positive growth that these children will take with them throughout their lives.

A 2019 report published in Psychology Today found evidence to support the therapeutic value of the human-animal interaction and that Equine Assisted Programs can be a powerful tool to assist children in achieving many social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and behavioral benefits. Launched at the end of February and funded by the Dutchess County Department of Probation, the pilot program is currently impacting seven youth between the ages of 11 and 16. The success of this partnership will lead to further therapy options for children receiving services from The CPCA, as well as expand to include opportunities for parents to benefit from equine assisted development.

About the Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse

The Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse is a private non-profit that has been dedicated to the reduction of child maltreatment since 1973. Each year, it serves approximately 20,000 children and provides support and education services to more than 3,000 adults. They are the only agency in Dutchess County providing sexual abuse prevention training. Support services help abused children—and educate adults to prevent future abuse.


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