Gallastar's programs are held weekly throughout the year for children aged 6 through 15. Hands-on mounted and unmounted skills at basic, intermediate, and advanced horsemanship levels take the place of traditional, office-based therapy.
Hiking, swimming, and fishing in nearby Shenandoah National Park offer even more opportunities for interaction and growth. Children's emotional needs are specifically addressed as they receive the satisfaction of learning skills that facilitate confidence and responsiblity. After each session, the child and parents meet with the therapists to strengthen the connections between experiences at Gallastar and at home and school.
"We structure our sessions just as we would back in the office," says Ron Pulliam, "with a beginning, middle, and a wrap-up, but here we have a lot more fun doing it. Some kids just can't be reached sitting in an office."
In addition to our regular programs of therapy, here are some of the latest
activities recently developed at Gallastar or planned for the future:
As a national leader in therapeutic horseback riding, Gallastar seeks constantly to improve and apply our innovative concepts to an ever-expanding number of people. We welcome your collaboration and ideas!
- Gallastar developed an intervention specifically designed for sexually abused girls ranging in ages from 10 to 12. Participants were currently in psychotherapy and had disclosed the nature of the abuse. Focused on expression and normalization of feelings, issues of responsibility and control, development of protection skills, and healthy relationships, the intevention treatment areas were woven directly into therapeutic sessions with the horses.
- Building on the success of the program above, Gallastar hopes to develop a similar program which can serve clients with eating disorders.