Youth, Entergy give Spirit Stable a helping hand

Published 5:00 pm Wednesday, April 24, 2019

By Dawn Burleigh

and Chris Kovatch


While the clouds may have been gray on Tuesday, Spirit Stable experienced rays of sunshine as it was presented with a $1,000 check from Entergy Shareholders and a group, one of two Orange County Groups for Leadership Southeast Texas groups, was there to build ‘car washes’ for the horses.

Orangefield and Bridge City Youth Leadership Southeast Texas groups presented to the group two different projects they wanted to see completed and to select one.

“They were both great projects so we decided to use Bridge City’s project at Stable Spirits and use a part of Orangefield’s project to complement it,” Chris Kovatch said.
The ‘car washes’ are for the horses to walk through and get bathed after a workout. It will also make the chore easier for those at the stables.

Stable-Spirit is utilizing these wonderful animals in a variety of other ways to provide beneficial experiences and treatment for many youths in Orange County and across the region through Hippotherapy.

Hippotherapy, according to the American Hippotherapy Association, is a physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement as part of an integrated intervention program to achieve functional outcomes.

Physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech and language pathologists to provide treatment in an environment that is child-friendly and caters to the individuals’ needs to use this therapeutic tool.

Stable-Spirit is a nonprofit organization providing Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) to youth and adults with a special interest in providing mental health services to people experiencing the effects of crime, crisis, trauma, and other issues that may put them at risk. Stable-Spirit also works with families and groups to best support the needs of the clients.

Children can experience 30 minutes per week on a horse, reaching their treatment goals faster. Depending upon what a child needs is how it is determined what horse the child gets, such as in the horse’s gait.  Horses are interactive with kids, as in a child brushing a horse fits in a sequencing order.

In EAP, an equine professional and licensed therapist, involve horses in experiential activities on the ground in a non-threatening way – no riding. This technique is highly effective because horses have a keen awareness of body language and will mirror the feelings and intentions of others in their environment.

In the Equine Experimental Development (EED) programs, an equine professional and success coach involve horses in experiential activities on the ground with a focus toward relating interactions with the horses to interactions in the organization, or in life. It is amazing how the horses’ response to clients reveals their strengths and weaknesses, offering a powerful experiential opportunity to determine what is needed to effect positive change.

Through the quality of life and therapeutic development programs, organization workshops and physical therapy, Stable-Spirit is becoming a popular means of assisting children and adults with a variety of issues and disabilities. This also explains why the program is growing and more people are needed to assist in the programs.

For more information on the Stable-Spirit program, call 409-365-5277 or e-mail or visit the website at