Benefit concert Aug. 26 for Native Horsemanship Youth Program

INDIANOLA — Lynne Ferguson’s Native Horsemanship Youth Program ( introduces local children to horsemanship and provides equine therapy for a range of needs — children who have autism, veterans diagnosed with PTSD, people recovering from trauma from abuse or accidents.

“The horses heal everyone, no matter what they have suffered,” Ferguson said in an August 2016 story in Kitsap Weekly. “Equine therapy isn’t just for people who are injured, though. Working with the horses helps people learn patience, gentle communication, and healthy boundary setting, so everyone can benefit from it. I wish every child could have some exposure to a form of Native horsemanship, even if only for a few months, because the skills that it instills in them have positive effects that last a lifetime.”

Services are provided for free or on a donation-only basis. Fundraising, therefore, is essential to sustain the program. (Ferguson acknowledges the Suquamish Tribe and Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe for their years of support, and Suquamish master artist Ed Carriere for providing the land that Ferguson leases for the program.)

Ferguson, a singer/songwriter, and her daughter will perform in a benefit concert at 2 p.m. Aug. 26 at the Native Horsemanship Youth Program Ranch on Orcas Road in Indianola. Admission is free; donations will be accepted, with all proceeds benefitting the program. Email or call 360-440-5975.

Ferguson teaches Numunuh, the Comanche Tribe’s method of Native horsemanship, the knowledge of which was passed down from her great-grandfather. Numunuh involves riding bareback without reins, instead using the knees and shifting one’s weight to cue the horse. Ferguson has always been passionate about horses and appreciates the communion that is attainable when interacting with them in the respectful and cooperative manner that the Numunuh method teaches, where mutual trust and complete connection are the goals.