A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Central Kentucky Riding for Hope expanding its equine-assisted programming

Central Kentucky Riding for Hope proudly expanded its equine-assisted programming when Charlotte Hiler Easley, licensed clinical social worker and equine specialist in mental health and learning, moved her office into the CKRH facility located in the Kentucky Horse Park.

Her office is new, but Charlotte is no stranger to CKRH. While completing a Masters in Social Work from Asbury in 2011, she first arrived at CKRH to pilot a program using equine therapy to help clients of the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center.

Yoga session from a women’s retreat led by Charlotte Easley at CKRH. (Photo Provided)

Charlotte is someone who has never been far from a horse and has a deep understanding of how the simple presence of a horse can impact an individual’s mental state. In her practice at CKRH, she predominately works with 20– to 50-year-old women who are struggling, feel stuck in a harmful relationship or have experienced a life event that has caused them to rethink how they live. This may be the death of a loved one, a new job or an upcoming marriage or divorce.

“The awareness of the most subtle changes makes horses sensitive to what you and I are saying with our body language, our tone of voice, our muscle tone and our breathing rates, all of which are indicators of our emotions,” Charlotte explains of her practice. “Being near a horse helps create mindfulness and awareness of your surroundings. You can learn to focus and listen to your thoughts and feelings. Interacting with the horse and observing its reactions gives you an awareness about how your non-verbal communications may be affecting others in your life.”

The equine portion of Charlotte’s sessions include grooming, leading a horse or creative activities meant to build trust, which incorporates an equine specialist to monitor and interpret horse behaviors. Charlotte has even held a weekend workshop at CKRH with yoga, including horses to create mindfulness practices.

“CKRH is the ideal home for Charlotte’s work, which blends well with the equine assisted activities and therapy we provide,” Executive Director Pat Kline stated. “Charlotte fills a needed niche in our community.”

Individual and group options are available. To learn more or schedule a session with Charlotte, visit www.charlotteeasley.com.

About CKRH

Established in 1981, Central Kentucky Riding for Hope is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the community by improving the health and quality of life for all ages with special physical, cognitive, emotional and social needs through therapeutic activities with the horse.

A PATH Int’l Premier Accredited Center, CKRH offers a number of year-round activities, including Therapeutic Riding, Hippotherapy, and an equine-facilitated mental health program. CKRH also hosts The STABLES, an innovative program for students in Fayette County Public Schools.

CKRH is the official charity of the 2017 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. To learn more, visit www.CKRH.org, “Like” CKRH on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@CKyRH) and Instagram (ckrh_ky).

From CKRH Communications

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