Are You Overwhelmed, Stressed and Looking for Something That Can Really Help?
Are you or someone you love struggling to cope with depression, feeling anxious or feeling overwhelmed? Are you dealing with loss or coping with a difficult – and perhaps unexpected – life transition? Maybe life events have chipped away at your sense of self, safety and security, and you feel scared, overwhelmed and angry that things are out of your control. If you’ve experienced a significant life transition, you may find yourself sad, lonely and grieving, not only for what you lost, but also what you never had—the road not taken. As you struggle with illness, trauma, loss and conflicts—from daily stressors to major life changes—you might feel increasingly isolated and alienated from family members, friends and, even more importantly, yourself. In the struggle to keep up and just get through the day, it’s easy to lose sight of who you are and who you can be.
Are you lost in a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions that get in the way of your relationships, your health and things you need to do? Do you yearn for calm amidst the chaos? Do you wish that you could sort everything out and find your peace, but don’t know how?
You Are Not Alone, and Equine Therapy Can Help
Regardless of what you are going through, you are not alone or broken. I understand, because I’ve been there. I also know that healing is possible.
Horses possess an extraordinary ability to observe and evaluate the world around them.
Horses don’t care about looks, gender, sexual orientation, social life, money, ethnicity or what you have or haven’t done in your life. Horses accept who you are without expectations or judgment, and they intuitively know what you really need, regardless how you may act or present yourself on the outside. You can’t hide your feelings from a horse or pretend to be something you are not. Horses are congruent animals that live in the present moment, and so provide us with constant feedback. Through their constant awareness and energetic communication, they honestly—and continually—remind us to stay fully present and true to ourselves.
And this is why equine assisted therapy with an experienced, skilled therapist can truly help. In our work together, supported by the wisdom and authenticity of the herd, you can deepen your connection to yourself, others and the world around you.
Equine Therapy Can Help You Discover Lasting Calm
Horses carry a steady strength and wisdom that offers encouragement, support and courage. They pull you into the present, allowing the rare grounding opportunity to move into your body, to discover where you are holding your stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, loneliness, fears, worries and more. Being in contact with a horse often evokes strong emotions, releasing energy that has long been trapped in your body, causing blocks and making you feel stuck. During equine psychotherapy sessions, I will guide you through this unique, powerful healing process with skill and compassion, helping you to fully embrace the moment.
I am constantly amazed by the process of equine assisted therapy—by how quickly energy shifts, awareness unfolds and change happens. When working with individuals and groups, I’ve witnessed more self-empowering change and integrated healing experiences in an afternoon of horse therapy than in hours of in-office counseling.
No matter what you are struggling with, I can help you to quiet the chaos and get out of your mind and into your body. If you are seeking anxiety treatment or depression treatment, wrapping yourself in the love and warmth of a horse can help you interrupt the noisy, repetitive chatter in your head that just won’t stop, calm the anxiety and relieve the overwhelm. I will work by your side, guiding you to find the stillness within and learn to stay with it, moment by moment. In addition, I will support and guide you through the process of identifying patterns, beliefs, strengths and vulnerabilities, as well as developing resiliency and self-esteem. With guided mindfulness and self-awareness activities, you can learn to integrate the quiet strength of the horses, the peaceful calm of the land and the comforting warmth of the barn into your day-to-day life.
Therapy horses are like mirrors. They provide a living, breathing reflection of who we are, how we relate to others, how we make our judgments and interpretations—basically every relationship we have. You can find yourself witnessing the very roles you play in own herd—your family members, friends, schoolmates and coworkers. You can gain powerful insights that allow you to more fully experience yourself and your relationships, leading to healthy connections with loved ones, peers and family members. These moments of clarity, which often happen suddenly and unexpectedly, open the door to change, choice and self-empowerment.
You may have questions or concerns about therapy with horses…
I don’t have any experience with horses. Does that matter?
Absolutely no equine experience is needed! “Equine psychotherapy” may sound overly clinical and intimidating, but it’s actually a simple, non-threatening process that takes place in a welcoming, natural environment. This is not “horseback riding,” but rather a relational process of self-awareness, contact and connection that is developed through on-the-ground activities with horses, such as grooming, haltering, leading, etc. Mounted (on-the-horse) work is safely included when therapeutically appropriate. Each session is highly individualized and always includes the option of spending time together in my private, comfortable office in the barn or our spacious meditation room.
What if I’m afraid of horses?
A lot of people are afraid of horses, which is totally understandable. When working with horses, safety is always the top priority. Our therapy horses are very well trained, gentle and trustworthy, but even the best horse can step on your foot or knock you down if you’re not paying attention. Most accidents and injuries can be prevented with good, common horse sense, but I teach, review and model horse safety skills on a continuous basis. In fact, the first thing you’ll learn during equine therapy is how to stay safe. For example, we’ll go over how to approach a horse, where to stand, what to watch for and anything else you need to feel safe. Your sense of security is my priority.
Is horse therapy really therapy?
The training to become a qualified equine psychotherapist is actually quite extensive. I am a graduate of the Gestalt Equine Institute of the Rockies, and I hold Master’s Degrees in both Transpersonal Counseling and Human Services. I also raise, ride and train horses.
Horses are masters at teaching us self-responsibility and how to set and maintain healthy boundaries. And as for building confidence and self-esteem? Whether you are eight or eighty, learning to halter and lead a horse feels great. The connection and trust between you and your horse creates an opening for your true, authentic self to emerge. As you step into your power at Meadowlark Integrated Healing, you will step into your power in life.