NAMPA -- A North Idaho equine group came to the Treasure Valley this weekend for the Idaho Horse Expo. And they brought with them a very special kind of animal therapy, that's improving the lives of humans and horses alike.
Brent Glover has worked with horses nearly his whole life, and runs a non-profit in Viola, Idaho called Orphan Acres.
Orphan Acres is an equine, wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and sanctuary, explained Glover.
Since 1975, they have taken in abused and neglected horses or other wildlife, nursed them back to health, and placed about 2,800 horses into new homes. But Glover also uses these animals to help others through horse therapy.
The outside of a horse is good for inside of a man, said Glover. They're big. They're powerful. But, yet, they have a way of knowing when somebody needs something.
He sees that when he takes physically and mentally disabled children on rides.
That kid comes alive.
He also has a Horses for Heroes program for veterans with post traumatic stress disorder, veterans like Dwight Johnsson.
In 1968, I came home from Vietnam and spent six months in a Naval hospital... I wanted to be away from people, said Johnsson.
After some time passed, Dwight found Brent and Orphan Acres. I didn't know him (Brent) but one minute and he said, 'Grab that shovel there.' I spent two weeks down there with his horses, solid, day and night. And it was the best thing that ever happened to me. And, I've seen other veterans come out to his place, and he just opens the doors.
Dwight says, there's a connection there. There's some knowledge an abused and neglected horse has that a veteran who's seen their own trauma, is a kindred spirit. He felt it himself with an abused mustang.
He wouldn't have anything to do with anybody. So, he became a challenge to me. But then, I realized after I thought about it, he and I had the same problem, he said. But, guess what? We're helping each other.
A ride, or just some time spent together, can change both their lives.
How do you put a value on that, and how do you explain that? said Glover.
Orphan Acres has no paid staff, they use only volunteers and are entirely financed through donation. If you want more information, or want to donate, click here.