In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Mahalo Monday: Therapeutic Benefits of Horseback Riding

Improving physical, mental and emotional well-being

Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente Hawaii

During these times changing times, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and let stress overtake you. However, sometimes we need to remind ourselves to slow down and be present in the moment. On this Mahalo Monday, HI Now host Kainoa Carlson is in Waimanalo at Therapeutic Horsemanship of Hawaii to experience how horses can help both the body and soul.

“Horses are able to help people in a number of ways, ” says Dana Vennen with Therapeutic Horsemanship of Hawaii. “We use horses as partners to teach a variety of individuals to ride with a focus on improving their physical, mental and emotional well-being.”

Riders build strength in their bodies by learning to groom, saddle and ride. They improve their confidence by learning from the horses and receiving unconditional love that only animals can provide. Therapeutic Horsemanship of Hawaii specializes in riding instruction for special needs individuals, but provides therapeutic riding to individuals of any ability. Its mini horses also visit individuals who cannot visit the program due to physical or financial reasons.

The main program offered at Therapeutic Horsemanship of Hawaii is its lesson program. It also offers horse camps as well as a miniature horse outreach program and a Careers in Large Animal class offered at Olomana High School.

About Dana Vennen:

Dana Vennen began riding horses when she was six years old in Waimanalo. She became a volunteer for Therapeutic Horsemanship of Hawaii in high school and returned to the program after college. In 2000, she took over management of the program as a volunteer. As the program grew, she became the full time Executive Director in 2006. She is an Advanced Level Therapeutic Riding instructor certified by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH Intl).

For more information:, or on Facebook and Instagram: @thhwaimanalo