My name is Ellie Atkinson, and I have been in love with horses for as long as I can remember. Over the last four and a half years, as a result of being part of a very special ministry, I have developed a soft spot in my heart for women who are and who have been involved in the sex industry. I am so excited about the opportunity to bring equine therapy to Refuge for Women. It was arranged by God.
At home the view from the kitchen window is of our horses in their pasture. For a little over a year, each time I would see them there I would think about how I knew that they were made for and were capable of something great. Something God sized, that would matter and give them purpose.
In the ministry I’m a part of we have been able to help get some of these women into treatment programs. There was something that some of them were really excited about. Equine therapy.
Finally a light bulb turned on in my mind and I realized equine therapy would be the perfect solution to the purpose I was seeking for our horses. It just seemed natural to combine my love of horses and my love of these women. I didn’t know why I hadn’t realized it before, but God’s timing is perfect. After some thought and prayer I was hoping specifically to have this opportunity to bring equine therapy to Refuge for Women. But I was unsure about what it would look like. I wondered, “Would Refuge for Women be interested? If so, would the women be excited about it? What about insurance?...” So I kept putting it off because I didn’t know what to expect. But God wouldn’t let it go. He kept nudging me until I finally mustered up enough courage to set up a meeting with the founder of Refuge for Women, Ked Frank.
To my relief our meeting was great and everything just fell into place perfectly and a couple of weeks later I was trailering a horse out to Refuge for Women. It was a surreal drive that morning. I couldn’t believe that it was actually happening. I’m so glad that God is in charge and not me!
I am not a therapist and don't make any claims to be. Horses however are. They are gifted with the natural capability to bring healing, as well as an ability to bring about a sense of self awareness. Sometimes they cause a stir in us and sometimes they remind us to be still. I believe that horses can help us discover things about ourselves and help us to know when corners of our hearts need attention.
My intention is to be there to help facilitate experiences with the horse, and to be a friend to these women. There may be times that are emotional or frustrating and there may be times that are just fun. I will be there to listen to and encourage these women as they make these discoveries within themselves, and my hope is that they will follow up with someone who is walking along side them in the program who is equipped to help them work through it.
I am grateful first to God who led me to here, and also to Refuge for Women for the opportunity to share our horses and the love that they exude. I look forward to what the future holds.
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean” (Revelation 19:11-14 NIV).
Many Thanks, Ellie
"God made the horse from the breath of the wind, the beauty of the earth, and the soul of an angel." ~ Unknown
*This is a snapshot of Prime taken the first morning we were at Refuge for Women.