Tucked away in the small town of Ulm lies a place where spirits come to find not only refuge, but to play.
“Spirit Horses of Montana” was created in 2003 by attorney Bobbie Cross Guns and remains an open pasture for people with mental health disorders like PTSD, anxiety, stress, and depression.
Bobbie is not only a lover of horses, frequently rescuing those whose owners for one reason or another could not care for them any longer, but also a lover of people.
She opened the ranch after experiencing the loss of some her co-workers due to suicide.
“It really started due to the high suicide rate among attorneys,” Cross Guns said. “Because I am an attorney, and people in this profession are at huge risk.”
September marks Suicide Awareness Month and Cross Guns helps veterans and victims of mental health disorders, regardless of who they are or where they came from.
“I am not a therapist, but I believe these horses are definitely therapists and they will force people to be better. They somehow reach into you, and I say in my tag line, ‘They’ll touch your soul.’”
Cross Guns currently has 14 horses, with room for more in need of a place to call home. Each of them aid children, men, and women with underlying stress, the irony being that the horses themselves were once rescues.
“Spirit Horses of Montana” has become a peaceful place where humans and horses are more alike than one may think.
“How do you help people overcome fear?" said Cross Guns. "How do we help horses overcome that? And that comes from here. You have to come with the intention, an intention to heal, and an intention to help them feel better.”
For more information on how you can be a part of “Spirit Horses of Montana,” make a donation, or volunteer, click here to visit the website , which includes this overview:
Spirit Horses offers a specialized horsemanship integration program that provides opportunities for veterans, children, and adolescents to develop a beneficial relationship with a horse. For years equine activities have been used for those with physical disabilities, especially for cerebral palsy and autism. However, now mental health professionals across the nation have begun utilizing equine-assisted activities as part of a therapeutic approach. Studies are demonstrating that the human/horse relationship positively impacts psychosocial characteristics particularly among children. Equine assisted activity is being successfully used to improve mental and behavioral health, including those with depression, post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, eating disorders, addiction, hostility, and behavioral challenges.