Welcome to the first installment in a new series designed to bring attention to various non-profit organizations providing outreach to the veteran community in North Texas! For our inaugural spotlight, we recently spoke with Equests’ Director of Counseling and Veteran Services Jeff Hensley about the unique equine therapy his organization uses to help heal those in need.
Describe the work your organization does and who you endeavor to help.
Equest is a DFW-area nonprofit that seeks to improve the quality of life for clients with diverse needs by connecting them with horses. Equest “Hooves for Heroes” is our fastest-growing program, helping veterans and military families successfully transition to civilian life through a variety of equine assisted activities and therapies.
If someone asked you about your organization, whats the one most important aspect or takeaway you’d want them to remember?
We provide an exciting and challenging alternative to traditional therapy. Our therapeutic approach is experiential and based on working with and establishing relationships with horses. We offer both clinical (counseling) and nonclinical experiences that include learning basic horsemanship skills (groundwork and mounted) as a catalyst for improving emotional regulation, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, non-verbal communication, mindfulness, self-confidence, and others designed to improve quality-of life.
Our goal is to leverage the flexibility of equine activities and therapies to meet clients where they are. This can be as simple as a client grooming and leading their horse or as advanced as competing in horse shows.
What’s the single biggest ‘push’ or area of focus for your organization right now?
Improving mental health and emotional wellness outcomes through equine-facilitated counseling (EFC).
What’s the biggest single need your organization has right now?
Rigorous research to confirm our internal data supporting the efficacy of equine therapy. The Altshuler Center for Education and Research (ACER), the research institute of Metrocare Services recently completed a qualitative/quantitative study of 70 of our past and present participants – the largest study to date of equine therapy as an intervention for veterans. Our hope is that this will motivate another research team to conduct additional, even more comprehensive studies. An enterprising doctoral student would be a great place to start!
See Equest In Action!
Volunteer, Donate, or Connect With Equest
PO Box 171779
Dallas, Texas 75217
Direct line (972) 412-1099
About Holloway Benefit Concepts
HBC was founded in early 2011 by Ryan Holloway. After serving over 8 years on active duty in the US Marine Corps, Ryan transitioned from being a full-time marine into an HR professional in early 2003. This began a journey and awoke a passion for helping companies who value their employees. After spending time working with a COBRA and FSA Administrator, an insurance company, and a large brokerage, Ryan realized that there were more unique and creative solutions for businesses than other companies were willing or able to realize. Seizing on his own entrepreneurial spirit, Ryan set out to found an independent agency designed to provide unique and original insurance solutions. To learn more about HBC, visit https://hollowaybenefitconcepts.com/