Program teaches troubled youth lessons through horses

By Drew Stewart - bio | email

TURBEVILLE, SC (WIS) - Children in Turbeville are learning about bonding with adults by working with horses. It's part of a program for kids at the South Carolina Freewill Baptist Children's Home.

"There's a verse in the old testament that says, 'Train up a child in the way he should go' and train in Hebrew literally refers the bit in a horse's mouth," said Pastor Todd Parrish.

That simple lesson from Proverbs is taught everyday at the home. Three new teachers are here to help illustrate the lesson. Call it "horse therapy."

Parrish got the idea of bringing three of his horses to the home. Since he and his wife both have a passion for working with horses, he figured it would be a great thing to help the troubled youth who live at the home.

"We've learned a lot about them, they're so much like people and so we enjoy working with them," said Parrish.

The gentle animals are here to help youth like 17-year-old Michael learn lessons in life. He's only been working with horses for three months and already, his horse Misty has transformed his life. He says the horses have helped him to make better lifestyle choices.

The heat has kept the kids from doing as much activity with them as Parrish would like for them to, but just like the Bible verse emphasizes, the lessons the youth take will last them for life.

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