“Jan. 30 marks one month since Colorado’s most destructive wildfire. The Marshall Fire destroyed more than a thousand homes and claimed the lives of two loved ones.
The fire has also forever changed the lives of many families. And for many of them, recovery is just one step. Healing is the other.
Medicine Horse in Boulder offers free equine-assisted psychotherapy that aims to enhance the mental health of individuals. Through February, they are particularly focusing on those impacted by the Marshall Fire.
“It’s hard to know how to move forward or even make decisions when you’ve lost everything and you’re not sure what the next step is,” said therapist Alison McCabe.
The next step for some survivors of the Marshall Fire is recovery. But before that, they need to take a breath. Many are doing that for the first time inside pastures with horses.
“Equine therapy is really suited for people who are dealing with something that feels really overwhelming. Crisis, trauma, or chronic stressful events. Where talking about it feels cyclical and actually re-traumatizing sometimes,” McCabe said.
Her goal as a therapist hosting these sessions is to help those whose lives changed on Dec. 30.
“And our intention for them is to create an opportunity to connect with the horses, with each other. And to kind of put stuff down for a minute,” McCabe said.
Kate Morris was one hoping for an opportunity to connect with her two daughters.
“I just felt like it was a really good opportunity for my girls to come,” she said.
Kate, her two daughters, and her husband escaped the Marshall Fire, shifting their plans of a New Year’s vacation.
“It was the most terrifying thing that I’ve ever lived through and we’re so grateful to be alive,” Morris said.
For the Morris Family, Sagamore was once home.
“We were on Cherokee which was the houses that backed up to the open space. And we’re just lucky to be alive. We fled our home in the middle of the fire. The smoke got closer and blacker, and closer to the house. And the winds were so strong that it just overcame our house,” she said….”