Polygamous kids to start riding horses for therapy
Published: February 8, 2013 12:27PM
Updated: February 8, 2013 10:23AM
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Shawn Bennett, right, stands beside Sen. Orrin Hatch and two teenage boys in this 2012 photo. Bennett operates New Found Life Mentor Foundation in Grantsville and helps children who have left polygamous communities. Bennett wants the children to start riding horses as therapy. Photo courtesy of Shawn Bennett.

Like a scene out of a John Ford Western, boys who have no home will soon ride the rugged ridges of Utah on horseback.

Within several weeks the New Found Life Mentor Foundation plans to bring in a pair of horses for boys leaving the polygamous communities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Colo.

New Found Life Mentor Foundation is in Grantsville. Executive director Shawn Bennett said he anticipates the horses offering a therapeutic opportunity to take care of animals and go riding.

According to Bennett, the New Found Life Mentor Foundation was formally organized in April to help young people who leave polygamous communities. Bennett said the foundation is open to boys or girls leaving any community, but right now has focused on Hildalde and Colorado City because people are being displaced there.

Currently, Bennett is working with two boys, who live with Bennett and his wife, Naomi, in Grantsville while they “come into mainstream culture.”

Bennett said the boys also practice shooting while at the foundation and one of them will soon compete in a shotgun competition.

The horses will be a permanent part of the foundation’s programming, but will be owned and handled by wrangler Richard White.

The idea was inspired by similar programs in Granstville that allow veterans to work with horses, Bennett added.

jdalrymple@sltrib.com

Twitter: jimmycdii