Awards and Appreciation

VSP staff treated to Breakfast with Horses

Valley State Prison lieutenant sits atop a horse.
Lt. P. Acosta enjoys the ride.

Valley State Prison (VSP) staff were recently treated to breakfast with some special guests: horses.

The Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) Program normally visits VSP every Tuesday at 9 a.m.

But on a recent morning, non-profit organization New Beginnings at Circle T Ranch set up Breakfast with the Horses for VSP staff.

New Beginnings provided staff with coffee, pastries, and the opportunity to get up close with several EAL therapeutic horses. During the fun-filled morning, some VSP staff members not only greeted the EAL horses, but got in the saddle as well.

The organization seeks to improve the quality of life for people who suffer from PTSD, depression, addiction, and other psychological conditions.

Participants of the program interact with horses in a safe, peaceful environment. The interaction can help reduce stress, teach productive coping mechanisms, and facilitate solutions to real-life struggles. Participants work with a certified Equine Specialist to guide them through a safe, positive experience with the horses.

Newly appointed acting Chief Deputy Warden M.T. Dotson appreciates the program.

“The atmosphere which was created was very positive. Everyone had huge smiles, staff were encouraging one another to participate. It was a nice break from the daily work routine,” said Dotson.

Acting Warden M. McVay agreed.

“It was heartwarming to observe staff enjoying themselves at work,” said McVay.

Submitted by Lt. H. Gastelum

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