Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning

Heart and Mind Equine

Traditional Therapy Isn’t for Everyone

Sitting in an office and having deep discussions about life and feelings and childhood and relationships is great for some clients.

But there are people who need help, really need help, and they just don’t see themselves in the office.

Equine-assisted psychotherapy is a model of ecotherapy that is evidence-based and experiential.

It just works differently.

Who Should Try Equine-Assisted Therapy?

Animal lovers. Nature lovers. Teens. Kids. Husbands. HSPs. People who think therapy doesn’t work.

We don’t ride the horses because they are free – at liberty – to respond to clients with authenticity in real time.

Our private facility is located on a hillside in a beautiful, serene forest with magnificent animals. Just getting out of your car is cause for a deep breath – the air smells so clean here.

Gentle Masters

We like to say our Equine Colleagues are the real therapists, and we humans are the facilitators.

The horses are authenticity experts – they teach us, lead us, guide us to our own truths…

The herd will help you tell your story; and in so doing, you will find your solutions. It works like no other therapy you could ever imagine.

In our Heart & Mind Equine-assisted sessions, clients join with our unique herd of sensitive horses who are adept at helping people learn about relationships, communication, and sensitivity.

Healing for the Whole Community

Our clients are youth and their families, couples, people in recovery, trauma survivors, and businesses seeking a unique opportunity to change relationship dynamics and heighten communication skills.

We offer workshops for highly sensitive people (20% of the population with the innate trait Sensory Processing Sensitivity) who experience their own sensitivity in a new and deeper way.

Sensitivity can also be heightened when families experience life transitions or trauma, such as starting a new school or new relationship, divorce, illness, or moving.

Whether equine-assisted psychotherapy or equine-assisted learning, we are an Eagala-model practice, certified by the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association.

Why Horses?

To evade predators, horses have evolved to be extremely sensitive to their environment. They instinctively analyze and react to our body language and other nonverbal cues providing us with valuable feedback and insights for other areas of our lives.

It’s hard to ignore a horse with its size and presence. We can’t just control a powerful horse. Approaching horses helps us reflect on how we approach our relationships and how we can face other big or overwhelming things in our lives.

Horses are social animals with defined roles within a herd. They have distinct personalities, attitudes, and moods. They could be stubborn, or they could be playful. In other words, horses are a lot like us.

Horses can teach us a lot about being more human.

We begin our sessions outside the fence with observations, moving into the corral, and getting up close and personal with the horses at each individual’s own pace. Interacting with horses provides the opportunity to gain fresh, honest awareness of our truths.

Unlike so many people, horses have no agenda; they don’t care about our power, position, title, degree, or salary.

Learning to use your mental focus with clarity and clear boundaries to direct a 1000-pound horse gives clients a shortcut to self-confidence and a sense of personal power.

How It Works

Equine assisted work is so effective because it embraces the science that humans learn best by doing.

The model prescribes a hands-on approach where clients are given the space to project and analyze their situations, make connections, and find their own solutions.

Since the solutions are personally experienced in conjunction with intellectual understanding, they tend to be deeper, more profound, and longer-lasting.

Client-Centered, Solution-Oriented, Evidence-Driven

Heart and Mind Equine uses team approach that includes a licensed Mental Health Professional, a qualified Equine Specialist, and horses working together with the client in an arena at all times.

When inside the arena, all the work is done on the ground with the horses front and center, deliberately unhindered and never ridden, and allowed to interact with the client as they wish.

This creates authentic space for the client, with the support of the professional facilitators, to reflect, project, and make deep connections.

To find out more call (415) 203-6600 today and schedule your free consultation.

Programming to Fit Every Need

  • HSPs & Horses: Intro Weekend Retreat
  • HSPs & Horses: Deepening into Ourselves
  • HSPs & Horses Weeklong Retreat (Intro and Deepening in one week)
  • Clinicians’ CE Credit and Training is offered at all HSPs & Horses
  • Graceful Boundaries: Ranking and Linking in Work and Personal Relationships
  • Speaking Volumes: Communication that Gets Results
  • Referral Marketing & Networking: Attracting, Developing, and Prospering: Half-day and Full-day Workshops.
  • Youth Leadership Program: Ecotherapy and Leadership groups and retreats for tweens and teens (middle school and high school groups)
  • Team building and Leadership Development for Businesses and Non-profits

“Therapists were surprised at the changes they could see in their clients, several of whom were actively regaining control over their lives.”

Wanda Kay Whittlesey-Jerome,
Journal of Counseling and Professional Psychology

To learn more…

Watch the video below and check out our trademark retreat HSPs and Horses here https://www.alanefreund.com/2022/02/23/hsps-and-horses/. You can read Elaine Aron’s blog on HSPs and Horses here: https://www.alanefreund.com/2019/10/02/elaine-aron-phd-on-her-experience-with-hsps-and-horses-july-13-2015/

Wondering if you are highly sensitive?

Listen to a short talk on it.