Equine Assisted Therapist and Artist, Mike Scovel, Releases "Reflections" a Feelings Chart for Horses, at Upcoming EAGALA Conference; What is Your Horse Trying to Tell You?

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Popular cowboy artist, Mike Scovel, has joined forces with Healing Reigns, an equine assisted therapy program in the Phoenix area to produce a Feelings Chart for Equine Assisted Therapy programs. Traditional therapy programs have used feelings charts when working with children for many years. Scovel donated his time and skill to create Dakota, the therapy horse, for Phoenix based Healing Reigns. The poster will debut at the EAGALA conference in Ogden, Utah next week.

It was an unlikely match by most standards. Meloney Nunez, founder and owner of Healing Reigns, an equine assisted learning program near Phoenix, had an idea for a new therapy tool. For years, therapists have used a standard Feelings Chart when working with children in a traditional therapy environment. Nunez, who works in both traditional and animal assisted programs, had seen the remarkable effect horses have on children and wanted a different kind of chart - one that reflected a horse's feelings.

What she needed was an artist who knew horses, could project their emotions in caricature and one who would be affordable since she would need at least twelve drawings. Nunez also wanted an artist who would do more than just draw the horse faces. She hoped to create a lovable and endearing animal young people would be drawn to and have feelings for.

On a trip to Las Vegas last December, Nunez found just the artist. Mike Scovel. Scovel, who lives in Texas, is a highly collected cowboy artist whose paintings of crusty down home characters have sold millions of gift products and have been the hallmark for Leanin' Tree Publishing's western line for nearly thirty years. Nunez brought home Scovel's brochure and sent him an email to see if he would be interested in such a project and to find out what he would charge. Busy with the show at hand, Scovel offered to stop in Phoenix on his way home so the two could discuss the project face to face before he quoted a price. Nunez agreed and a few days later, the two met in her Goodyear office.

Nunez described her idea about the lovable horse character and explained her dream to have the poster generate money for "CHANCES FUND" a non profit she and her young son, Skyler, were launching. The fund was named after the gentle chestnut horse the family rescued and cared for until his death in 2005 and would provide money to rescue more horses as well as provide scholarship monies for teens who couldn't afford equine assisted therapy.

It didn't take the artist long to decide he was going to do this project - for nothing. "I knew I wanted to be part of this project about five minutes into our conversation," Scovel says. "It was clear to me that this woman's goal was to help kids and help horses, two of my favorite things so how could I not want to be involved?" And it was just what Meloney Nunez needed to hear.

Three months, many drawings and dozens of emails later, the poster, REFLECTIONS, featuring Dakota, the therapy horse, is done and will make its debut at the 8th annual EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) conference in Ogden, Utah, March 14th - 17th. More information about equine assisted therapy, the REFLECTIONS poster and Chance's Fund is available online at http://www.healingreigns.com.

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DUSTI SCOVEL
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