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Group helping Maui fire survivors heal with horses says they’re seeing ‘miracles’

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

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Group helping Maui fire survivors heal with horses says they’re seeing ‘miracles’

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Updated: 4:43 AM PDT May 12, 2024

As Maui fire survivors continue to heal mentally and emotionally from the August tragedy, one group is trying to help them recover with a unique tool: horses.”The horses are always in a state of coherence,” Paige Deponte, director of Spirit Horse Ranch, said. “Something you notice about horses is that they’re very calm, very present. Horses have the innate ability to make people feel safe.”Located in Upcountry Maui, Spirit Horse Ranch is intended as a safe space that focuses on equine therapy. The practice involves participants realigning their nervous system with their heart and brain by working with horses. “Horses will instinctively send a message to your heart when you’re standing next to them, and start to regulate your heartbeat to match theirs, so it’s very calming. Brushing horses releases serotonin,” Deponte said. The non-profit group began as a youth program but opened up services to Maui’s fire survivors after the August disaster. Since then, the organization has completed hundreds of sessions, for those both directly and indirectly impacted by the tragedy. “There’s just amazing miracles that happen,” Deponte added. More information on the ranch’s free sessions is available here: thespirithorseranch.org.

As Maui fire survivors continue to heal mentally and emotionally from the August tragedy, one group is trying to help them recover with a unique tool: horses.

“The horses are always in a state of coherence,” Paige Deponte, director of Spirit Horse Ranch, said. “Something you notice about horses is that they’re very calm, very present. Horses have the innate ability to make people feel safe.”

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Located in Upcountry Maui, Spirit Horse Ranch is intended as a safe space that focuses on equine therapy. The practice involves participants realigning their nervous system with their heart and brain by working with horses.

“Horses will instinctively send a message to your heart when you’re standing next to them, and start to regulate your heartbeat to match theirs, so it’s very calming. Brushing horses releases serotonin,” Deponte said.

The non-profit group began as a youth program but opened up services to Maui’s fire survivors after the August disaster. Since then, the organization has completed hundreds of sessions, for those both directly and indirectly impacted by the tragedy.

“There’s just amazing miracles that happen,” Deponte added.

More information on the ranch’s free sessions is available here: thespirithorseranch.org.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.

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