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  • Writer's pictureKim Westfall, Founder

What Do Ponies Have to Do With Transformation?

Updated: Jun 9, 2022

“We’re not going to make a change in human trafficking unless we keep trying different avenues to interrupt this industry.” - Jody Enget

Our 18 miniature ponies run in the shadow of the mountains at the beautiful Sanctuary in Romania. To us, they represent freedom—the freedom we want to see in the life of every survivor. To see this transformation happen, we have to unlock the cage, to use every practice we can to give survivors the tools they need to heal.

Jody Enget knows a thing or two about trauma and the complex approaches needed to help

people heal. A trained psychologist and licensed marriage and family therapist, Jody has worked in residential treatment facilities, as a clinical director, and in various roles in equine therapy programs. She serves with the Mustard Seed Ranch, where members of our team have received equine therapy training. We talked to her about the holistic model we want to see at The Sanctuary to give survivors every tool they need for full transformation.

“The wraparound approach is the right approach,” Jody says. Although equine therapy may not work for everyone, perhaps art will be the thing that connects for them. Having options and alternatives, giving survivors choices and control, is key. “You have to help them find a different choice to find a different life.”

Why equine therapy? Watch this short video on some of the many benefits.

As we utilize equine therapy at The Sanctuary, we know it will give survivors the confidence and skills they need to thrive. Jody told us about some of her experiences working with survivors of human trafficking. “A lot of what happens with [survivors] is they’re hiding their bodies; they’re not willing to drop the protective barriers. They’re the type of client we do a lot with very slowly; a lot of standing outside the arena.”

The structure of equine therapy gives people the confidence and skills they need to deal with the triggers of trauma. As Jody tells us, it helps people move forward, partnered with “the people that are supporting them, building relationships at the same time.”

We have identified the area for building a 50-foot horse pen at The Sanctuary. We will level the area and begin construction soon. This will be a place for survivors to interact with the ponies and experience equine therapy. We can’t wait to see survivors totally restored!

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