Coaching + Assisted Learning
About Equine Therapy
Working with horses is a wonderful way to facilitate healing. Once a bond is created between a human and a horse, healing and learning can begin. Since horses are prey animals, they have had to learn some serious survival skills in the wild. This includes learning to ’smell’ the chemicals of emotions of another to understand if they are a threat or not. These animals are so respondent and sensitive - which proves to be a great attribute for those who are holding onto trauma, or even just feel stuck in their life. Horses will respond to what is happening underneath the surface and in your emotional and physcial body.
One of the reasons I decided to become an occupational therapist is because of the opportunities to incorporate animals into healing. At my first internship, we used dogs, cats, and occasional other animals to retrieve balls, allowing a stroke patient to strengthen their arm by combing or petting, etc. The use of animals instead of objects not only increases joy and participation, but many health benefits have been proven as well. There is also hippo therapy, where children with disabilities get to ride horses to improve their balance, confidence, movement patterns and the list goes on…
However, what I've come to learn and be able to offer through my partnership with Specialspirit.org (EAGALA & PATH certified equine specialists, mentorship with https://www.freedomreignsranch.com, attendance of Level One: Emotional Intelligence & Energy Mastery training program through the Academy for Coaching with Horses (taught by Kathy Pike) and over a decade of somatic body work training, including most recently completion of the VITA relationship and love coaching, is how to use mind-body centered/somatic approaches to tap into trauma that is stored in the body and keeps our nervous system in flight, fight, freeze and fawn patterns. Acknowledging where and how the body is carrying tension, pain and constrictions from these traumas and stress allows us to change the way they are stored in the body with the presence and encouragement of the equine. Also, activities of engaging with the horses provide powerful tools of healing that help to recognize and let go of old patterns of behavior, set boundaries and discover new ways of approaching areas of life and self that have felt stuck or based in fear and limiting beliefs. Patience, confidence, self love and exploration can also be brought to light as one learns to be present and aware of their surroundings, patterns and processing while interacting with these large but attentive and intuitive animals. Sometimes, just hanging with and around the horses is enough as it brings some calming, connection and curiosity for our bodies, minds, heart and spirit. The horses ALWAYS know how to give the space, the nudge, the lesson. They are the true facilitators and ’therapists’ in this work.
Equine Assisted Programs are not about horsemanship skills or riding skills. They are about experiencing a unique and authentic partnership, challenging yourself to honestly assess your life, finding your strengths and building problem solving skills for your struggles. No prior horse experience is necessary.
The ranch is located 30 minutes outside of Los Angeles.
Sessions are approximately 60-75 minutes.
Rate is $120/session.
Please feel free to reach out for any questions and to set up your chance to find connection and awareness with these healing creatures.
“I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of me from the trauma that I had been carrying with me for years.”
- Nicole, Lived Experience Expert
“…My Life has changed in this one experience. As a singular therapy session, by far the most impactful that Ive had in my life. Connecting with this giant animal as its nudging me -it was such a powerful experience. ”
“They did exercises with us around boundaries, it felt really empower to be able to connect with such a huge animal and then also feel like I was still in control. It was just really moving and really special.”
Check out our video at www.anewdawnfoundation.org where participants in Equine Assisted Learning discuss the impact of working with horses for their healing journey.