Growing to Help, Wherever the Need Is.


Local Equine Therapy organization is creating a mobile therapy unit to prevent suicide.

Article Contributed by
Happy Hounds Hotel

Local organization N.E.I.G.H. (National Equine Institute of Growth through Healing, Inc.) provides Equine assisted therapy and learning to help clients improve their emotional, mental, and social well-being.

Dawn Samuelson, the founder of N.E.I.G.H., explains how trained equine therapists “can see that [behavior] and use that information to give them [the class member] tools and strategies to have their own boundaries and personal space. We teach them confidence and assertiveness that they can use in their everyday life. The horses help to show how we’re viewed, and we can change our behavior to better communicate with others.”

The goal is to aid in the prevention of suicide, an epidemic taking the lives of veterans and civilians across the country. The hands-on approach of The Constance Project and Beyond the Reins creates a safe environment for self-discovery and empowerment, so clients can find peace-of-mind.

Dawn maintains a healthy mental state for the horses, sharing “I think it’s very important we maintain their mental stability as well. Our facilitators need to be trained to be aware of that, and things may need to be adjusted accordingly. The horses love the attention too. It’s almost like they know when somebody needs a hug.”

N.E.I.G.H. recently received a donation from Happy Hounds Hotel in hopes of saving more lives through behavior modification and positive reinforcement, N.E.I.G.H.’s specialty. The donation will be used to create a new mobile therapy unit.

Dawn states “If people can’t come to us, we’ll come to them. We set up at VA hospitals, schools, military bases, and fire departments as well, wherever the need is.” A mobile therapy unit creates incredible opportunities to reach new people. Dawn plans to continue to grow N.E.I.G.H. to help more people in the community and across the country.

She states “If we can do anything to help people make a living by doing what we are doing, then I feel like I can leave this legacy to my children. We are in the process of franchising our model. When somebody donates, that helps us to cover our horse expenses, our travel, and helps us continue to do that at no charge to veterans and our first responders. We are honored to serve those who served us.”

Donations can be sent by mail to PO Box 104, Gerry, NY 14740 or visit them online at Please make checks payable to NEIGH.

If you or someone you know could benefit from N.E.I.G.H.’s programs, please do not hesitate to contact them at (716) 985-1066 or by email at A friendly staff member is prepared to work with you to achieve a healthy state-of-mind. N.E.I.G.H. is currently running sessions at Homestead Stables in Gerry, NY.

Happy Hounds Hotel is a business in the Lakewood, NY area providing grooming, daycare, and boarding services for dogs of all sizes. To contact Happy Hounds, call (716) 338-9850.