Hello from Seoul, South Korea (Part 1)

I arrived in Seoul on the 24th of November for a two week visit after having received invitations from the Korean Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship , Grace Stables, the American Red Cross, and Humphrey American Army Base in Korea. I thank each of these organizations for their invitations and for so warmly welcoming me to Korea.

My first workshops took place  during the Korean Riding for Disabled Association International Symposium, an extremely well organized symposium led by Tae-Woon Jung (John), President of the Korean Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship. It was an honor to participate in this symposium and gave me the opportunity to spread the word, and let as many people as possible know, about how valuable and therapeutic Equine Assisted Activities and Therapy (EAA/T) are for healing those with PTSD.  By demonstrating the success of Equine Therapy, I am aiming to motivate other practitioners to partner with their horses, and help those who have been traumatized find ways to re-establish their lives and cope again with their many real-life-issues.

Among the participants were highly skilled horse men and women, medical practitioners and experts in special education, psychology and several well established holistic therapies.  Whether it was the head of the organization or a newcomer to the topic, I felt all the participants understood the importance of considering a client’s emotional state and their level of trust. The collective consciousness of the group and self analysis, made their motivation palpable.

I included discussion about sexual abuse and trauma, along with PTSD experienced by veterans.  Once again I wanted to emphasize the importance of restructuring the life of someone who is traumatized by providing them a strong framework to support their life away from the horse.

South Korea, like any other country, is trying to cope with its many traumatized people. Participants described a tragedy that occurred during Covid, which involved several firefighters and first responders who participated and witnessed a very difficult working situation. Many now have PTSD and some have committed suicide. During this past month the Korean nation again suffered collectively from the deadly results of a human stampede, and once again there will be many people left traumatized.  The positive support through EAA/T, in the form of movement, learning new skills connected to the horse, care, commitment, consistency, communication, and character can bolster motivation and provide a framework for rebuilding lives.

I have been fortunate enough to come to South Korea and meet such wonderful people, who have shown me generosity and warmth of heart. My journey continues. There are still more workshops to come!

Hello from Seoul, South Korea (Part 2)


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