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Horses Provide Healing and Business Opportunities for Regional Revitalization

Across Japan, horses are serving as vehicles for promoting mental health and community and economic development. Horse manure is even being made into paper.



Child riding a pony at the Tenri University Equestrian Club. (© Sankei)

Read the full story on Japan 2 Earth - Horses Provide Healing and Business Opportunities for Regional Revitalization

Horses have been people's companions since ancient times, playing roles in both farming and transportation. In recent years, they have served to comfort children, provide environmental protection, and contribute to community revitalization. 

Horses are the go-betweens of the natural environment and human production and economic activities, and they are close to our hearts. In various locations across the country, efforts focusing on these reliable and gentle creatures are on a slow and steady rise.

Intelligent Animals

Tenten, a 9-year-old pony of the equestrian club at Tenri University in Tenri city of Nara Prefecture, is a favorite with children. "His mane looks so beautiful in the light. Riding a horse is scary because you're up so high, but it feels nice," says a fourth-grade boy. 

About 20 students from the city's "Challenge Manabiya" child development support center visit the facility every other week. There, they spend time with four horses, including Tenten and an old thoroughbred.

"Horses are incredibly intelligent animals. They are gentle and can become close with people," reports Katsuhiko Sumii, 59, an advisor to the facility. Since 2019, Tenri University has run a "horse therapy" program aimed at providing emotional care for children through interaction with horses.

Continue reading the full story on Japan 2 Earth.

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(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: Ikuko Kimura


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