Sunday, September 24, 2023

Healing with Horses: Saddled Souls Founder Lauren Crocker Shares 4 Ways That Equine Therapy is Therapeutic

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Esperanza Squire
Esperanza Squire
Esperanza Squire is a Lifestyle journalist with nearly 20 years. While studying journalism at Boston, Esperanza found a passion for finding local stories. As a contributor to Business News Ledger, Esperanza mostly covers human interest pieces.

Lauren Crocker is many things. She is a highly skilled real estate expert in residential and commercial properties, a single mom that puts her kids first, a horse lover, and a trauma survivor.

Perhaps no one is more qualified than her to share the unique healing benefits of horses on the soul and equine therapy on the mind. The founder of Saddled Souls, a non-profit that lets children access equine therapy and all its benefits, Crocker has seen firsthand all the good that horses can do.

She has always had a passion for giant, gentle animals. Growing up on many acres in Tennessee, her childhood was challenging. She would escape to her horses, who showed her kindness, gentleness, and unconditional love in her young life. They were where she sought solace from her struggles.

Business Plan with Soul

Though she eventually worked through the path of the darkness, horses remained an important part of her life, and she found a need to create a charity based around equine therapy for kids. Using her own journey through trauma recovery, she built the program that would have best served her lost younger self. It indicates her desire to overcome downfalls by focusing on the positives.

“I know that my comeback will be stronger than my setback,” she said.

Saddled Souls started its planning for the 2023 opening, and the equine oasis cannot wait to serve all children. The early equine therapy offerings are designed for all kids and all challenges.

“Children truly are our future. Any help we can offer them now only benefits them in the future. In doing so, hopefully, that future will be a little less focused on hate and anger,” Crocker said.

According to Crocker, there are nearly endless benefits to be had from equine therapy, and more research proving its efficacy is released each year. Below are some of the best benefits.

Reduce Anxiety and Stress

Horses have a calming presence that can help patients feel relaxed and at ease. In fact, they can even sense a person’s heartbeat from four feet away. Combined with the rhythmic movement of a horse’s gait, there is a therapeutic effect on the rider and can help reduce anxiety and stress while creating a more positive outlook for those involved.

“Sometimes, we project our anger and make rude or sarcastic comments, but deep down, it’s a reflection of how we feel about ourselves rather than how we feel about others,” Lauren explained. “We need to heal in order to grow.”

Boost Confidence

Horses are large, powerful animals; riding them requires trust and confidence. As clients learn to ride and care for horses, they develop a sense of accomplishment, which can boost their self-esteem and confidence.

Through the horse’s repetitive movements, equine therapy can help kids stay present, improve coordination, increase balance, and develop non-verbal communication skills.

Improve Social Skills

Working with horses requires communication, trust, and cooperation. Clients who participate in equine therapy learn how to communicate effectively with others, establish healthy boundaries, and build trust, all of which can improve their social skills.

Working with horses helps children with communication struggles to interact through non-verbal cues. They learn about boundaries, accountability, and the cause-and-effect of their actions, all skills that can be hard to confer and practice with young trauma victims through other mediums.

Heal from Trauma

For clients who have experienced trauma, horses can be a powerful source of healing. The non-judgmental nature of horses can help clients feel safe and secure as they work through their trauma.

Ongoing interactions with horses let children build relationships unlike what they might have experienced. Equine therapy is renowned for its success in treating anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and many other conditions.

Visit her website to learn more about Saddled Souls’ mission and Crocker’s equine therapy charity work.

About Lauren Crocker

Lauren Crocker is an experienced real estate agent and broker. She specializes in both commercial and residential real estate properties in Montgomery County, TN. She is also the founder of Saddled Souls, a non-profit that specializes in equine-assisted hippotherapy for children. For more information, please visit

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