Monday, May 27, 2024

Windom nonprofit uses horses to tackle mental health

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WINDOM, Minn. (KEYC) – Reinbows in Windom is a nonprofit founded in 2008 that helps connect people through horses.

The herd of eight Norwegian Fjords have made their home among among the Windom community.

The organization has connections with a nearby assisted living facility and the Windom Area school district to bring people in and break down their barriers by engaging with both the animals and each other.

“Anxiety is a big topic that kids nowadays work with. Just having the self-esteem, anger, stress, those types of things that are going on these days,” said Reinbows’ Damon Weinandt. “The horses have a way of just calming you because they’ll listen to you.”

One after school program involves local students reading to the horses.

The nonprofit said that the reading sessions give kids a comfortable environment to practice reading aloud alongside volunteers at the farm, letting them practice both their reading and social skills in a low-stress environment.

“It’s free, no charge. Kids who normally wouldn’t want to read, once you get them in front of a horse they’ll read to the horses and our volunteers, we have a lot of good volunteers.”

And a lot of good stories to tell…

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