Mane Support helps people heal with horses

Mane Support helps people heal with horses

Mane Support in Roane County is a group that focuses on supporting people through grief and trauma. Horses help lead the way.

ROANE COUNTY, Tenn. — Animals can have healing powers, which is why a Roane County nonprofit organization is using horses to help people heal. Mane stand at Rockwood is a group that focuses on supporting others through grief.

Kim Henry, the founder of Mane Support, says she has always felt a call from God to help others through their grief and trauma.

“Mane Support is a horse-assisted grief counseling program,” Henry said. “We offer ministry to children, youth, teens, adults and families who have experienced all types of loss in their lives.”

On the farm, children and adults can get out of their comfort zone and find themselves in a supportive environment. Each neigh has a deeper meaning.

She said she believed there were healing powers pulsing through a horse’s hooves.

“God gave them this intuitive ability to be able to think and feel before we even know what we’re thinking or feeling,” Henry said.

Inside the barn, the struggles are released. Therapy is a window into wounds.

“It’s the most humbling thing to hear someone’s stories,” Henry said. “The metaphors they take from walking with a horse, and they say, ‘Well, it’s like my dad walking beside me, he was so important in my life,’ or they have a hold on what we call a tether, and they say, “You know, I just didn’t want mom to go,” so that horse becomes mom.”

Volunteers like Karen Malone are at the forefront of transformation away from trauma.

“Maybe they had to get rid of all that weight that was weighing them down because they had to spend time with the horses, they had to spend time with certain activities and they learned that they weren’t not alone in the world with all of this, that there are other people and other children who are going through the same things as them,” Malone said.

For others, like volunteer mother and daughter Shannon and Keira Mowry, plunging into helping the nonprofit is a domino effect.

“It really is an opportunity for me to take care of the animals that are going to help take care of our young people in our area who might be struggling or need them to get through something,” said Shannon Mowry. “I can kind of talk about something while they’re listening.”

Sometimes this understanding manifests itself in silence. Mane Support does not keep all resources for itself either.

“It’s about working together to help more people help more people,” Henry said.

The group reaches out to other nonprofits, as does the nonprofit Getaway Days.

It is an organization that works with young people. It offers children the chance to discover a new future for themselves through experiential learning, according to executive director Kyle Pickell.

“We are thrilled to see how they are a blessing to the community, how they seek to cultivate goodness and beauty, and righteous truth and justice for the children they serve,” said Pickell said.

Kim thinks the blessings will continue to flow.

“Here they know there’s a support system, and all the noises and sounds of the horses, let us know they’re behind us all the time,” Henry said.

The sound of love lingers in the barn, even loose across the field.

There are several upcoming events and fundraisers to help Mane Support. There’s a motorcycle ride this weekend and camps in the fall, like the Katerpillar Children’s Camp.

Later in the summer there will be the Hoof to Heart Dinner. There will also be a suicide prevention hike in partnership with Faith-n-Friends.

Follow them to get information about their The Facebook page.