1986 - a dream . . .
In college almost 30 years ago - my dream was to provide Recreational Therapy through using horses . In graduate school, I further pursued the journey in developing my dream - through beginning a thesis on the “Rehabilitation Benefits of Therapeutic Horsemanship.” Wow, that was in 1991 at San Jose State University. I ended up not completing the thesis - and took examinations to get out early and come back to West Virginia in 1992 to be with my family. I was blessed to own Aries Legacy, named after my Dad - Skip Gilkeson. She was my special connection and helped me develop my skills and knowledge beyond my wildest imagination. I have always had a special connection and relationship with horses (some would describe me as having a horse obsession) but I really believe that this lead me to the most powerful healing work that I have experienced personally and professionally. I have always felt that horses could be valuable partners in our learning and spiritual growth. After completing training and certification with PATH in 1994 (then NARHA obtaining my Intro to Hippotherapy Certification) and CHA, I have found that continuing my growth and development with horses crucial to providing the highest quality services as a Recreational Therapist and Occupational Therapist. I plan to continue to find innovative ways to utilize horses in learning and therapeutic contexts and have an active research agenda to advance the field of Animal Assisted Therapy and Animal Human Bond.
Connie Sue Boggess