Horses Heal, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 tax exempt nonprofit whose mission is to provide mental health services to those in need using horses as co-therapists to promote health & wellness.
Horses Heal was co-founded by psychologist and marriage family therapist Dr Wendy Stephens-Grube and Carl Grube Equine Specialist, a retired aerospace network engineer in June of 2016. Horse Heal Therapy is based on Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) a leading international nonprofit association for professionals incorporating horses to address mental health and personal development needs. Their vision like ours is that every person worldwide will have access to these therapy services known Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)
Horses Heal is located on a 68 acre green valley floor in beautiful Springfield, Vermont, with a large indoor arena for year round equine sessions.
The EAGALA model is an on the ground working program that does not involve riding the horses.
So how does this model works and why do we use horses? The EAGALA model is based on the philosophy that we learn best while doing and experiencing in the moment. Additionally there is a strong belief that the client has within themselves the solution to their concerns and challenges. This approach is very different from the traditional model of talk therapy where a therapist and a client work together and rely on verbal communication. The setting for the Equine Assisted Psychotherapy is usually in an arena with a variety of horses and some tools to facilitate the therapy.
The client is asked to reflect on their challenges using the horses as a mirror. Horses are social prey animals and their survival depends on their quick ability to assess and read nonverbal clues within their herd and social hierarchy. Likewise as humans we operate within a social network and the horses are able to pick up on our emotions as soon as we walk into the arena. The horses “play out” our interpersonal relationships and recreate our present dynamics. They quickly and easily become our spouse, partner, friends, children, ours dreams, and our conflicts, addictions and fears.
Horses are also big and powerful and as we work beside them we have the wonderful opportunity to work through our fears and provide insight into our current life situations. Find out more about EAGALA here.