St. Joseph’s Indian School Hosts National OK Corral Equine Therapy Training

Posted on: July 11, 2024

St. Joseph’s Indian School hosted a national training for the OK Corral Equine Therapy Red Series on July 9 through 11, 2024. Attendees included 10 of the school’s counseling staff, three attendees from nearby Lower Brule Reservation and seven others from around the country.

OK Corral President Greg Kersten led the three-day training in the school’s recently opened Equine Therapy Center. The 19,200-square-foot facility includes a large riding area, tack rooms, a wash bay, a classroom, bathrooms, offices, an observation area and a kitchenette making it an ideal place for hosting the training.

Director of Counseling Services Robyn Knecht expressed gratitude to Kersten for bringing the training to the South Dakota campus. “I have had the opportunity to participate in this training elsewhere, and I saw this as an important opportunity for our staff. It is our pleasure to share our facility with others who also can benefit.”

The school’s horses, Blue, Coachee, Gramma, Pony Boy, Sox and Violet worked with trainers to provide the Red Series training — Crisis to Confidence: Turning “Bad” into “O.K.” This seminar is the definitive crisis management offered by OK Corral and blends the basics of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy with nonverbal, emotional skills to make a “bad” situation “O.K.”

The school’s program has an additional four horses, Napolean, JT, Slim and Willow who are training to be part of the school’s Equine Therapy Program. St. Joseph’s Indian School developed this jewel of the school’s Counseling Services program over the past six years because the šúŋkawakȟáŋ — horse — is a relative to Native American students who attend there. For centuries, there has been a special kinship between the horse and the people.