Horses Heal Humans

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What started as a horse riding club two years ago has evolved into something much more. As the members bonded with the horses and each other, many found new health and new hope. Reed Galin invites us to come along on a ride to recovery.

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(Locator: Quaker City, Ohio)

Horse sounds: “Neigh!!!”

Rider: “Gonna get to ride horses today.”

Rider: “I can’t wait. I really can’t.”

Rider: “Look at this, it’s like heaven. It’s just absolutely gorgeous.”

Charlene Williams is self-conscious about her appearance. Surgery to remove a brain tumor left Williams with some facial paralysis. It has been a long recovery and this weekly trail ride is therapy.

Charlene Williams, Rider: “For a couple of hours, I forget my troubles and just ride and look at the countryside and just get out of the house.”

Dick Robertson (grooming a horse): “I think they’ve been cleaned in the last day or so.”

Dick Robertson also rides with the group. Physical limitations haven’t stopped him from participating.

Dick Robertson, Rider: “I am visually impaired, so there are a lot of things I can’t do or am not allowed to do, like drive a car. And so horseback riding has given me a tremendous amount of freedom.”

Janet Muffet (grooming a horse): “That’s a pretty girl.”

Janet Muffet teamed up with members of her United Methodist church in Kennonsburg, Ohio to form this club know as “GEM”—God’s Equine Ministry.

Janet Muffet: GEM Founder: “We want to address people emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually in their healing. And, you know, horses are great healers.”

Wally Smierciak, Rider: “I have a different outlook on life now. It’s trying to make my marriage better, trying to make my family better.”

The group rides from about 10 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon, and stops for a picnic lunch. Dick Robertson’s wife Sue says the group helped overcome her own fears. Plus, it eased her lower back pain.

Sue Robertson, Rider: “We’ve all become, I would say, more whole in different ways because we’ve been doing this.”

Janet Muffet: “A horse might just be the means to someone’s new life.”

(Group sings) “Happy trails to you…”


Janet Muffet owns and cares for all the horses used for the weekly rides. Helmets and other equipment are donated.

If you’re interested in learning more God’s Equine Ministry, please send an email to or call Kennonsburg United Methodist Church at

Posted: August 5, 2009