Equine Assisted World Ep 2: Joy O’Neal – Red Barn – AL, USA

Sometimes the cutting edge is not where you expect to find it. Way down in Birmingham, Alabama Joy O’Neal’s Red Barn has quietly been creating technology to address the potent mix of neuro-psychiatric, emotional and physical challenges faced by children and families caught up in the foster care system. 

We use the word technology deliberately here – the word does not always mean simply mechanical or digital engineering; it also means the know how on a cellular level to provide human solutions for human dilemmas.

Seeing first hand how the challenges of her own blended and special needs family responded to horses, Joy O’Neal, despite having had no horse background at all growing up in poverty in the Alabama backwoods, rose to the challenge of fulfilling the dream of a friend and riding mentor for her own family who wanted to make equine therapy available for people on low income. 

Perhaps the lack of horse background proved a strength here: Joy O’Neal set out to learn a range of equine and other healing approaches. With an unusual lack of prejudice, combining them into a potent cocktail of service that now serves as a beacon for effective and holistic equine therapy. 

Joy is also an advocate for women’s heart health, having survived a near brush with death this way herself. And because of this knows that the most important thing is providing joy (pun intended) in every moment of every day. Or at least as much as circumstance will allow. 

Join us on a fascinating exploration on how Red Barn combines a number of new approaches to achieve well being not just for children and families but also for the horses that serve them. 

Remember to send us questions for Joy’s follow up episode at podcast@longridehome.com

You can find out more about The Red Barn at www.theredbarn.org

Like always also check out our other programs and shows at www.RupertIsaacson.com and subscribe to our newsletter here.


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