Kentucky Horse Park
Horses will Help Children Learn to Deal with Grief

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, July 17, 2007  
Contact Information:  Cindy Rullman, 859-259-4209 ext 209  

            LEXINGTON, KY (July 13, 2007) Children who have experienced the death of someone close don’t always know how to work through their grief.  Now, a new program called Healing Hooves will incorporate the use of horses to help facilitate the grieving process for Kentucky children and teenagers ages 7 to 17, who have experienced the death of a loved one.


            Central Kentucky Riding for Hope (CKRH), a therapeutic riding program headquartered at the Kentucky Horse Park is partnering with Hospice of the Bluegrass to facilitate this new bereavement service called Healing Hooves, Jul 26 from 10am to 4pm at the park.


            Healing Hooves is a one day retreat that will combine Hospice bereavement counselors, North American Riding for the Handicapped Association certified equine specialists, and horses from CKRH to assist children with the healing process and help promote healthy coping skills.  Retreat participants will be taught strategies to express their grief, reduce stress and isolation and to connect with others who have lost a loved one.


            John Nicholson, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park, noted, “It is refreshing and promising to see new programs such as Healing Hooves being developed that draw on horses’ sense of compassionate duty to humans.  Thousands of years after man’s initial contact with these wonderful creatures, we continue to benefit from their wide range of abilities and their patient willingness to serve mankind in new ways.  I am very proud to have CKRH located here at the park because they never cease to seek innovative ways to use horses to help people in their programs.” 


Youth will join the counselors and equine specialists at the CKRH facilities at the Kentucky Horse Park.  A screening and application process is required prior to retreat participation.  This program is open to any Kentucky child or teenager who has experienced the death of a loved one.  Participation cost is $30 per chilled or $35 for a family, and scholarships are available. 


For more information contact Brandy Hamby, LCSW, at 859-277-2700.




The Kentucky Horse Park is a working horse farm/theme park and equine competition facility dedicated to man’s relationship with the horse.  The park is an agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet that hosted nearly 900,000 visitors and campers, as well as 15,000 competition horses in more than 100 special events and horse shows in 2006.  The park is home to the National Horse Center which comprises more than 30 national and regional equine organizations.   Located at Exit 120, Interstate 75, just north of Lexington, the Kentucky Horse Park is The place to get close to horses.   Open daily March 15 to October 31, and Wednesday through Sunday, November 1 to March 14.