Horses Healing Hearts
Hope Fund Sponsor
ARCHway believes in recovery from the disease of addiction.
Horses Healing Hearts (HHH) is a non-profit that supports children and adolescents (ages 7-17) who have been affected by a family member with a substance use disorder. Through working with horses, these young people learn how to cope physically, mentally and spiritually with their family member’s addiction.
Addiction can be generational. Adolescents who grow up with alcoholism and drug abuse in their family may learn to cope with their own negative emotions and struggles through the use of substances. HHH works to prevent this.
In addition, we call addiction a family disease because it ultimately affects the entire family. Many times without asking for it and without being able to prevent it, children are put into negative and even harmful situations because of a loved one’s disease. HHH strives to support and protect these young people.
Lizabeth Olszewski, Founder and Executive Director of HHH, knows what it is like to be one of these children. She, herself, grew up affected by a family member’s addiction. Her mother passed from alcoholism when Liz was in her early 20’s. As a child, she spent a great deal of time at her aunt’s home in Pennsylvania. Her aunt had rescued a mustang, and it was here with this horse where her love for horses and her connection to horses on a spiritual level began. Liz credits the horses and her mentors along the way for literally saving her life.
Liz said, “I started this [HHH] as an opportunity to pay forward blessings that were given to me.” And she has done just that.
HHH was started about 10 years ago and has since helped hundreds of families. Liz shared that HHH helps children and adolescents understand aspects of their family member’s disease. They teach these young people that their parent’s disease is not their fault, that it is okay to love their parent but not love their disease or their parent’s behavior, and that they are, above all, not alone. They do this partially through working with horses.
You may be asking yourself: why horses?
Liz explains that horses are a pray animal making them incredibly intuitive. They know 80-feet out if a predator is fake sleeping or actually sleeping. They can sense it. With humans, horses know if you are being fake on the outside to cover up emotions on the inside. They want us to be honest with ourselves, and when we are, they will ultimately trust us. Horses help to ground us or center us. Watch the video below for more information.
In addition to the wonderful work HHH does to support and educate children, it continues to grow through two programs: one for helping adults in recovery and a second for businesses looking to lead through equine assisted development. To learn more visit, https://www.horseshealingheartsusa.org/.