Therapeutic Horse Program Helps Bring New Beginnings to Kids

Meet Valkyrie, the Newest Member of the Therapeutic Horse Program!

Located at Canyon Acres Ranch in Anaheim Hills, the Therapeutic Horse Program is now a joint program of Canyon Acres and Kinship Center, designed to help children with past trauma build positive relationships. The program is one of very few PATH Premiere Accredited Centers.

Valkyrie is part of a team of five horses who work on a daily basis at the Ranch with children ages 6-12 in a program that allows youngsters the chance to build a bond with a horse, develop trust and acquire greater self esteem. The program provides opportunity for children to exercise creativity, assertiveness, leadership and teamwork as they learn about the horses, assist in caring for them, and build skills in riding and controlling the horse.

Valkyrie is a 6-year-old Icelandic horse who was orphaned and hand-raised as a foal, which makes her especially sweet and personable, according to Kimberlee Green, Mental Health Worker in the Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy Program. "Her owner has raised her since birth and is excited about the prospect of her working as a therapy animal," said Green. "She will be starting her 30-day trial period to make sure she is a fit for the program." 

For more information about Kinship Center's children's mental health programs, click here. For information about therapeutic programs located specifically at the Canyon Acres Ranch facility, click here.

More about Icelandic horses: Icelandic horses were selectively bred by the Vikings for their small size and great strength. The Vikings could fit more of these small horses into battle, and they were strong enough to carry the Viking riders and their gear. Despite the fact that Icelandics are pony sized, they are still considered horses because of their strength and valiant demeanor!



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