Equine therapy organization in Lubbock looking for donations, more horses

Refuge Services
Refuge Services(DreamTaxi)
Published: Apr. 1, 2023 at 5:59 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A Lubbock nonprofit that provides therapy services through horses is seeking your help to keep clients riding.

Refuge Services provides three types of therapy to help clients mentally, physically and spiritually. All therapy types use horses. One service the organization provides is called hippotherapy.

“Which is physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy incorporating a horse,” the Executive Director of Refuge Services, Patti Mandrell, said.

There’s also therapeutic riding for those who have a disability and equine assisted psychotherapy which is mental health counseling using horses. Mandrell says these services can also benefit veterans.

“So, all horses with lots of different types of therapy,” Mandrell said. “We serve clients as young as two years of age up to geriatric.”

Mandrell also is a licensed counselor who has been around equine therapy for 24 years. She says being in the saddle can sometimes help people more than traditional services.

“I see people be able to heal faster through this process and because of that I’m such an advocate for equine therapy,” Mandrell said.

But Mandrell says when you add horses into the equation, it can become more costly because you have to feed the animals and have more staff.

“There is more overhead because you have more professionals involved, and that includes our horses that very much are a professional in this as well,” Mandrell said.

Refuge Services hosted their Boots & Buckles benefit on Saturday, hoping to raise enough money to keep cost of therapy the same. Mandrell says the extra bucks are crucial since their service doesn’t take insurance.

“So that we’re able to reduce the rate of therapy for those that can’t afford it throughout the year,” Mandrell said. “We do not want to turn anyone away that has a need.”

Mandrell says funds are needed to continue serving 160 clients a week, and she is looking to add more horses into the herd.

To donate to Refuge services click here. If you know of a horse that would be good for equine therapy, you can call them at (806) 748-7202.