Lourdes Ocotlan -BBVA Mexico- grew up with horses. In addition to practicing charrería, the national sport in Mexico, she shares her passion with children who have psychological problems and helps them improve their lives.
"Horses are like pets to me, they’re my confidants and my best friends. As long as I can remember, I've had horses around," she says. Lourdes not only loves horses, she also discovered how to help people with them. "If you do what you like, why not use it as a way to help the community?".
She carries the love of horses in her blood. "Everyone in my family is a charro." But a trip to the United States to take a course showed her how to share her passion with others and help them improve their lives. "The connection between rider and horse is indescribable. And that's what gave me the idea of equine therapy for children with different abilities."
"Being in contact with horses makes a child's brain mature”
Little by little, more kids signed up." Now I have seven students. It’s not a big group, because to work with animals you need more hands, more people to attend the students. So I decided to put the knowledge I’ve acquired into practice to help" a girl who I was teaching to ride.
Lourdes believes each one of her pupils is unique and she prepares their sessions individually. "The therapy class reinforces what a specialist provides in a doctor's office. What I do is a complement to that. Being in contact with horses makes a child's brain mature." And each one of them gets something different out of it. "For example, it helps direct hyperactive children’s energy towards physical activities. It also increases self-confidence."
She dedicates her weekend to equine therapy— "I get started at around six thirty in the morning.” Although she isn’t in it for money and she doesn’t charge her students, she says she’s it is very rewarding. "Enabling people who don’t have a horse to do this is very satisfying- and it is much more valuable if you don’t share it and it’s just for you. I have the pleasure of living with horses. If it's in my power to support certain people, I'm glad to do it”.
"Setting goals and working as a team leads to success”
Lourdes is also an experienced practitioner of charra, and she and her seven teammates have participated in ten national championships. "Charrería is the national sport par excellence", she says. "It’s an honor to dress up as a charro, but it is also a responsibility."She says she feels the same way about the bank. Setting goals and working as a team leads to success."