Out Side In
Services: Sanctuary, Rehabilitation, Adoption, Equine-Assisted
Location: Grand Haven, MI
Average Number of Thoroughbreds: 16
Out Side In is a Thoroughbred rescue, rehabilitation, and retraining program, and an outpatient mental health facility that provides equine-assisted psychotherapy to individuals, families, couples, and groups.
OSI’s licensed clinical therapists use horses to treat people of all ages who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and myriad other mental and emotional disorders.
In equine-assisted psychotherapy, horses are used to provide this unique form of treatment. It was during a search for an additional horse for the therapy program that Out Side In encountered its first off-the-track Thoroughbred (OTTB). These horses were wonderful therapy partners because they were intelligent, responsive, and incredibly intuitive. This provided an opportunity to not only use horses to improve the lives of people but also to help these horses with a second career and a new purpose in life.
In addition to the Thoroughbred program and therapy programs, in 2014 the facility started its Heroes for Horses program for veterans with PTSD, and the veterans quickly discovered the parallels between the OTTBs and themselves. They both are transitioning into new lives and finding a new purpose. Pairing each veteran with his or her own assigned horse, improved the quality of life for the horses and veterans alike.
Veterans participate in the rehabilitation, retraining, and eventual re-homing of the horse, while at the same time working with a licensed psychotherapist to process their own mental health issues. By combining work with the horses and an indirect therapeutic component, the veterans are more engaged and committed than in traditional psychotherapy. Out Side In is a place where both people and horses find hope and healing.