Health care auxiliary sponsors therapy horse Josefa for a year

Will cover the costs associated with her care and feeding for a year.

A therapy horse named Josefa will be taken care of for the next year thanks to a generous donation by the Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary.

On Feb. 16, members of the Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary presented the Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association (CTRA) with a donation for $2,600. This funding will sponsor Josefa, a Norwegian Fjord owned by CTRA and donated to the program by Anita Goodfellow, and will cover the costs associated with her care and feeding for a year.

“She stands 15 ‘hands high’ (a hand is a measurement of four inches) at the shoulder and is a beautiful mare very characteristic of her breed,” the CTRA states in a press release. “Josefa is known for her kind and reliable personality.”

The Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary has sponsored a horse at CTRA since 2000.

“Josefa is a pleasure to work with,” said CTRA executive director Anne Muir. “She has truly helped shape the lives of many families in the Cowichan Valley.”

The Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary is a long-standing community charity that operates and manages numerous health-related services. The volunteers involved with this organization also actively raise money for community health and wellness programs, and in 2014, they donated and pledged more than $273,000 in medical equipment and support to health-related non-profit societies.

CTRA has been providing therapeutic riding and equine-based therapeutic services in the Cowichan Valley since 1986. The program operates year round, serving approximately 100 participants during each of the six annual sessions, the majority of whom are children. Horse camps for children with special needs are also offered in the spring and summer.

“Therapeutic riding is a proven therapeutic intervention that is recommended for a wide variety of reasons,” according to the press release. “Physical and developmental benefits are often coupled with positive cognitive, emotional, or behavioral outcomes.”

CTRA is the only therapeutic riding association in British Columbia accredited at the highest level as a “Training and Accreditation Centre” with the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association, the national governing body for therapeutic riding, according to the press release.