Family & Youth Agency hosts holiday festival; introduces horse therapy

(Source: Stables at LeBocage Facebook)
(Source: Stables at LeBocage Facebook)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It may not be Christmas yet but locals got a taste of the holiday spirit this weekend.

The Family & Youth Agency Lake Charles hosted the "Lighting of Cupolas" holiday festival.

Founder and CEO of Family & Youth, Julio Galan, said they have been able to provide services to children affected by grief.

"We are delighted to have this event to share the idea, the program and the initiative," said Galan. "We want to help spread the word about our program and the work that we do."

To show what they do, they hit the stables. The event was hosted at the Stables at LeBocage to benefit the Family & Youth Shannon Cox Counseling Center. Locals enjoyed a family friendly afternoon with everything from a cake walk to arts and crafts for the little ones.

The program also introduced guests to a new counseling method involving the horses themselves -- horse therapy.

"Horse therapy helps children who have been affected by the loss of a significant person in their lives," said Galan.

So, what is horse therapy? Horse instructor at the Stables of LeBocage, Jeanne Dennis, said it involves therapeutic mounted and un-mounted lessons that prove to be effective on children.

"It's about the interaction between the kids and the horses," said Dennis. "It enables them to see themselves through the horse so that's completely different than any other therapeutic experience."

Family & Youth officials say they hope to get the word out on this unique form of counseling and get children the help they need.

"The Stables at LeBocage is a tremendous facility," said Galan. "Everybody that is here is really having a great time. We want to integrate horse therapy with the work that we do at Family & Youth."

The Shannon Cox Counseling Center will provide support to grieving children in Southwest Louisiana and their families.

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