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Idaho Youth Ranch expands its horse therapy program for kids and teens

"In particular, we find it's really helpful for youth suffering from depression, anxiety, PTSD, adjustment disorders, and things like that."

CALDWELL, Idaho — For kids and teens who don't respond to traditional forms of therapy, Scott Curtis, the CEO of the Idaho Youth Ranch, says sometimes healing can be found through horses.

"They are very intelligent, very perceptive of human emotion and that comes out in the therapeutic relationship," Curtis said. "In particular, we find it's really helpful for youth suffering from depression, anxiety, PTSD, adjustment disorders, and things like that."

Curtis says in the Gem State, there is no shortage of children suffering.

"Idaho has an unusual high rate of childhood trauma and that manifests itself in a lot of ways," he said.

At The Hands of Promise Ranch, Curtis says for the past couple of years they've been offering equine therapy, and it's been effective in treating children and teens.

"One young woman was trying to process the death of her father and really shutting down to a traditional therapeutic environment but opened up through the assistance of a horse," Curtis said.

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Equine therapy has only been available on a limited basis, due to cold weather in the winter.

Thanks to generous donors, the ranch built an indoor arena where therapy can take place year round. 

And just in time for the grand opening next week, the ranch welcomed the first foal to be born on the property on Sunday.

"It's the name of the whole campus and the first foal to be born here is appropriately named Promise," Curtis said.

The Idaho Youth Ranch relies on the community to be able to offer programs like equine therapy.

You can support the Idaho Youth ranch through Idaho Gives this Thursday.

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