Last year and into 2021 has seen thousands, if not millions of Canadians struggling to cope with the social, economic and health upheaval that is the pandemic. These related stressors range from depression, isolation, and anxiety to financial concerns.

For two Newfoundland equine organizations, help is on the way for local Covid fatigue sufferers. According to a joint Facebook post, the Spirit Horse mental health program in Portugal Cove is partnering with Countrytime Equine in Glovertown, with funding provided by the Canadian Red Cross, to create the new program.

The announcement reads  that as a result of the funding they can offer 100 free hours of EAT for Covid relief. Erin Gallant is the program director for Stable Life which runs the Spirit Horse program. Her counterpart in the Covid program is Sue Sweeney-Janes who runs Countrytime Equine Emergency Services, who had contacted Erin the same week that Stable Life was starting to train staff. Sweeney-Janes is a certified Advanced Emergency Equine First Aid Instructor (EFAI) with Equi-Health Canada and Equi-First Aid USA, the first in Newfoundland. She is also the first Licensed Affiliate Instructor Trainer for Atlantic Canada.

In a FB post she wrote “Exciting news! Proudly, Countrytime Equine has partnered with Stable Life – Spirit Horse NL in sharing their Equine Assisted Program “Coping with Covid Fatique” in the Central NL Region. This Program is open to ANYONE (youth & adults) who are struggling with Covid-19 stressors – 2020 has been a struggle for all of us! I’d like to thank Erin for working with me in Stable Life Inc’s Equine Assisted Program Facilitator Training and looking forward to sharing many more Programs for the general public & wellness of NL Central Region.

The Equine Assisted Program “Coping with Covid Fatigue” is open to both youth and adults who are struggling with COVID-19 stressors. Gallant told a local media outlet that even people who are nervous of horses or who have limited or no experience can reap the therapeutic benefits, which are well known (see related links below).

“[Horses] they have a magical way of making you feel better, similar to cats and dogs, but they appear even more in tune to a person’s emotional state and have a calming presence,” she says.

And we couldn’t agree more.

Related links:

Rider Health Part 2: Mental Health During the Covid Crisis

Bringing Awareness to the Mental Health Crisis and Equine Therapy

The Healing Power of Horses: Answering A Cry For Help

Canadian Researchers Study Horses Helping People with Eating Disorders

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