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schools, libraries, retirement communities, hospices, and other locations where a friendly - and furry - face can provide joy and comfort. Other initiatives that rely on the positive impact of visits from affable pups are York County Libraries’ Sit, Stay, Read and Tales for Tails programs, in which young readers can practice reading aloud to a nonjudgmental audience composed of a friendly dog and its handler. The pups help to bolster confidence and a love of reading in their young pals. Dogs are well known for providing assistance to humans, whether as search-and-rescue professionals or as service animals or therapy dogs, but canines are not the only animals providing valuable contributions to the York County community. Spending time with horses can provide therapeutic benefits to a variety of individuals, and EquiTeam Support Services and Leg Up Farm are two York County organizations that are tapping into this horse-powered resource. “EquiTeam changes lives with equine-assisted therapy,” stated Ellie Williams, the organization’s executive director. Located in Dallastown, EquiTeam provides therapeutic services intended to improve the psychological and emotional health and well-being of individuals, families, and groups. “Using horses as teacher-guides, our certified professionals interact with clients of all ages to foster selfmotivation, communication, and selfexpression that is helpful for working through complex emotions, trauma, and abuse,” Williams explained.
The organization offers its services to a variety of people. EquiTeam provides equine therapy to at-risk youths and families in need, with a specialization in trauma and attachment, and it is also expanding its work with military personnel through a joint program of equine therapeutic intervention and neurofeedback services. “We love what we do here and want to share this with anyone who can benefit from the amazing services we offer,” added Williams. Also employing equine therapy to serve its clients is Leg Up Farm, a nonprofit pediatric therapy center in Mount Wolf that works with clients from birth through age 21 who are impacted by a special health care need. “At Leg Up Farm, we believe every child is special and deserves the opportunity to grow, learn, interact, and realize his or her full potential,” noted Crystal Kimball, director of communications and special events. “Our individually tailored treatment plans and child-friendly engaging environment (are) vital in helping our clients reach their therapy goals.” In addition to providing clients the opportunity to engage in therapeutic horsemanship, Leg Up Farm offers a multitude of other services, including physical, occupational, speech, and aquatic therapy; counseling services; educational and recreational programming; and nutritional services. Leg Up Farm, which opened in 2010, and Able-Services, a program the Leg Up Farm Family opened in 2014 for young adults and adults with special needs, have impacted the lives of more than 2,700 children, teenagers, and adults with