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Equine-assisted therapy leaders met with U.S. congressman to talk successes, challenges following funding increase

The demonstration and panel discussion was held at the Lexington Convention Center on Saturday.
The demonstration and panel discussion was held at the Lexington Convention Center on Saturday.(WKYT)
Published: Feb. 29, 2020 at 2:24 PM EST
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In the Horse Capital of the World, horses are integrated into most aspects of life, whether for work on a farm, entertainment at Keeneland, or just part of a family as a pet. So, it's only natural they find their way into the field of health.

"One thing about our veterans is that with PTSD, they are hyper-vigilant to everything around them but it’s difficult to stay in the moment,” CEO and Co-Founder of Acres for Life Therapy and Wellness Center Lynn Moore said. “So, they can learn from those horses about what it’s like to be able to be calm, be present."

It's that kind of interaction Eagala is seeing help heal people worldwide, not only veterans with PTSD, but also those struggling with substance abuse, depression, and other mental health problems.

"We have seen some incredible life-changing outcomes," Eagala Military Services Director Halina Kowalski said.

Many of those happening in the last year, after U.S. Congressman Andy Barr introduced an amendment to increase funding for

.

Saturday, a model demonstration and panel discussion at the Lexington Convention Center gave Congressman Barr an inside-the-corral look at exactly what that money is paying for.

And, Eagala got the chance to showcase some of their successes while talking through some of the hurdles they still face.

"One of the challenges we want to discuss is how we're able to get more funding to support the number of sessions that would be equal to the current evidence-based practices for PTSD so that we can show how much more our intervention can be effective," Kowalski said.

It’s an effort to continue helping those in the Horse Capital of the World and around the globe.