How horses are helping humans cope with grief at Long Island therapy center

RIVERHEAD, Long Island (WABC) -- A therapy center on Long Island rescues horses who have been abused or neglected and connects them with humans who are in emotional trouble themselves.

Spirit's Promise Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation Program rescues unwanted or abused horses. At Spirit's Promise, they use ground equine therapy that connects people who are in emotional trouble with highly sensitive and vulnerable animals.

One of their most popular therapies is their grief support program. Participants become more in tune and connected with themselves with guidance and feedback from professionals, group members and from the horses who serve as mirrors to what is being expressed, both verbally and non-verbally.

"We decided that this place was a place of peace where people can come to get out of their heads for a little while, to just relax and find their way to healing," said Executive Director/Founder Marisa Striano. "Our horses keep them in the moment."

In addition to their therapy programs, the barn also hosts American country nights along with line dance lessons.

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