Equine Facilitated Wellness
“We partner with horses in a safe and natural setting to create opportunities for healing, facilitate change and cultivate hope.”
- Safe individual counseling sessions in the company of horses
- Integrated and evidenced based, developmentally appropriate treatment for children & youth
- Customized programs suited to children, youth, adults & educational groups.
- Opportunities for self-exploration & learning
- Focus on personal development & authentic connection to self and others
- Workshops in horsemanship and ground-based skills development
- Life-skills, communication and leadership
Whether your focus is learning how to move through difficult life challenges, healing old wounds, quieting emotional turmoil, rebuilding your sense of trust, or deepening your connection to self and your body, integrating horses into the therapeutic relationship in this way can promote a path towards:
- Creating authentic connection to self & body
- Nurturing a sense of trust and safety
- Discovering emotional balance
- Promoting clarity of communication
- Sourcing your own innate wisdom
- Fostering gentle self-compassion
- Igniting heartfelt hope and purpose
Our equine-assisted approach can be helpful for people living with grief and loss, trauma, eating disorders, anxiety and depression, divorce and separation, and relationship challenges.
In a safe and natural setting, you will be encouraged to step onto your path of healing and discovery, and move towards rebuilding trust, hope and solace.
Why horses you ask?
Horses have an innate ability to make strong connections with one another in the herd, (both physically, socially and emotionally) and they are willing teachers when it comes to working with people.
As prey animals, horses are primarily motivated by a need for comfort and safety, and as humans living in busy and uncertain worlds, we tend to resonate with this desire. Horses however, are not preoccupied with the same anxieties and cognitive distractions that face people today. Their ability to be in the present moment allows for immediate changes to be made, if necessary, for their own safety and wellbeing. Horses know how to take care of themselves, and they are happy to show us how to do that for ourselves.
The strength of the horse lies in their deep connection to their own powerful bodies, use of all their senses and their present moment focus. Through these strengths their can read the inner state of another.
Horses have the ability to mirror our own uncertainties and struggles, in a non-judgemental manner, which can lead to better insights as to how we may connect with our true self.
Horses are gentle, warm and caring healers and can attune warmly to people who are being emotionally honest. They can help their human friends to become more connected to their own emotions, clarify their body’s messages, and often unmask limiting beliefs.
In a facilitated session with a horse, you will be gently supported and encouraged to move past old patterns which may no longer serve you, towards creating natural healing, authentic change, igniting hope and fostering purpose-filled living.
Equine facilitated wellness strategies can be applied in:
- Personal development
- Integration with Mental Health approaches with children, youth and adults
- Promoting better leadership and communication
- Building community through herd principles and land-based connection
- Bettering your relationship with your horse
- Employment settings
Horses are big animals…what about safety?
As an EFW practitioner I am required to ensure safety first for the client, the horse and myself. I will ensure the horse is ready and willing to be in the session and will step in and provide guidance wherever necessary.
EFW is not about horsemanship (i.e. learning to ride) but clients will learn about appropriate behaviour around a horse, how to be with them on the ground, including grooming and some fundamentals with regards to care and respectful and ethical treatment of horses.
Do I have to be comfortable with horses?
No, in fact, you do not have to go into the arena with the horse. We are able and willing to working with any fear and discomfort you may bring to session, it is all information for you to help you gain more insight and connect to yourself in a new way.
Are the horses treated ethically?
As an NAEFW Professional I am bound by a code of ethics, and will will always engage in responsible care for equine participants. I understand that as my co-therapists, my horses are completely dependent upon me for all their needs, and I do my utmost to meet their psychological and physical needs. This includes ensuring that my horses have adequate time for play, socializing, turnout, and rest, and that they are allowed to retire from this work when needed regardless of age. I engage with other professionals as needed to ensure my horses are provided with appropriate day-to-day care, regular veterinary attention, farrier services and anything else that will make help them lead long and happy lives.
Do a client have to have previous horse experience?
Not at all. Horse experience is neither necessary or needed, you need only bring an authentic desire and curiosity to learn more about them and yourself.