The Hope & Healing at Hillenglade equine-assisted sessions have been exclusively designed to address specific areas of trauma, particularly PTSD, often experienced by active-duty service members, veterans, first responders and their families. PTSD can negatively impact every aspect life, and if left untreated can lead to divorce, unemployment, homelessness, incarceration and even suicide. And the trickle-down effects of PTSD on families are staggering with divorce rates skyrocketing and suicidal deaths of these brave warriors up to 25 a day.
The Hope & Healing at Hillenglade equine-assisted programs have been shown to help alleviate anxiety and symptoms of depression while building greater self-esteem. Our programs include individual and/or group session guided by our Hope & Healing at Hillenglade Certified Session Leader and Horse Handlers, as well as outside Certified Counselors as needed. Pre- and post-session conversations in the clubhouse are essential for participants to fully digest and embrace the personal growth experienced from their time with the horses.
Qualifications for Equine-Assisted Sessions
Prior knowledge of horses is NOT required to benefit from our Hope & Healing at Hillenglade programs. Ours are not riding programs but are focused on working with the horses from the ground. The only necessary requirements to participate in our equine-assisted sessions are to arrive with the correct wardrobe (pants, hard shoes or boots and appropriate outerwear and hats), and to have the physical ability to safely move around the pen while working with the horses with no restraints. We expect all who participate to always be fully attentive to ensure the safety of everyone, including team members in the pen.
Our objective with the horses is to generate healthy relationships, trust, communication, focus and hope. Embracing a genuine desire to improve and conquer personal issues means participants will fully experience the joy and relaxation the comes naturally by spending time with the horses.
Snippets of an HHH Session
Horse Grooming and Haltering
- Overall safety rules will be reviewed with our HHH Handlers as they explain the reasoning and purpose behind our Curriculum methods.
- You’ll become familiar with each horse while getting to know their unique personalities as you learn to groom them, wash, pick hooves, and manage your four-legged partners.
- We’ll review various expressions the horses use to flag their feelings.
- As you begin to recognize your horse’s cues they telegraph to you about how they’re feeling that day, you’ll be learning to recognize and moderate your own personal behaviors that the horses (and people) may be responding to.
- These behaviors may include tensions or concerns on your part. As you relax, the horses will too.We ALL have an intrinsic and heart-centered need to feel safe, respected, loved and cared for … And when that is shared with the horses, it’s extremely validating!
Working Horses in the Round Pen
- Staying present at all times in the Pen is critical – especially when the horses are “at liberty.”
- Don’t forget that horses are likely to be at least 10x your weight and power, so you must be vigilant!
- Establish a baseline of trust and sensitive authority with your horse by navigating them through some lead-line exercises – And by doing so, your multi-tasking abilities will be strengthened and re-focused.
- Learn when, where and how to successfully use your body-language-pressure, following verbal commands, along with directional support for the horse to achieve the desired movements and reactions you have asked for.
- FYI: I like “asking” first which allows the horse to respond out of their own desire, not aggression or fear.
- Creating a bond with the horse (who is naturally a “flight animal”) is extremely satisfying and surprisingly user-friendly for all other kinds of relationships!
- May I explain “flight animals”: When you meet the horse, they must assess whether you are “friend or foe” – Are you going to “love on them” and partner with the – or are you going to have them for dinner like a cougar out in the wild?
- More in-depth exercises will better show you how to read the horse’s body language and attitudes, as well as establish your leadership position with your horse by way of kind, definitive directions.
- “Partnering” with the horses throughout the various exercises is the key for both of you!
- Learning how to initiate trust between you and your horse can also aid in the restoration of trust and healing with other people, as well as the releasing of various experiences that may have been damaging to you in your past.
- UN-forgiveness only hurts YOU, not your offender.
- Forgiveness, however, does NOT mean you have to have any further exchange with your offender(s) whatsoever!
- Approach, honesty, availability, vulnerability and patience practiced with the horses are invaluable lessons that support overall personal victories for a better and more meaningful life … GRACE, PEACE and LOVE comes to my mind.
- A positive partnership with a horse is often the first step toward refining social skills that are complimentary to becoming a compassionate leader and supporter of others – especially at home, with friends and with co-workers … Expand your territories and purposes!
- Find encouraging and supportive vocal levels – dialogue – self-talk, and share your confidence with positive body language! When you humbly speak WORDS of knowledge, and hard-earned wisdom over yourself and others, (more and more frequently) you will “speak into being” your renewed health and release to freedom!
• A positive partnership with a horse is often the first step toward refining social skills that are complementary to becoming a compassionate leader and support of others, whether with family at home, with friends, or on the job.
• Through working with the horses, you can develop positive body language and encouraging and supportive vocal levels that will increase confidence in your interactions and communication with others.
A note of encouragement: Our goal with the horses is to generate healthy relationships, trust, communication, focus, AND HOPE. Becoming “ONE” with the horse is obtained through mutual respect and compassionate, trustworthy leadership which will ultimately improve one’s “personal coping skills” as well as “advancing their people skills.” A happy, healthy, fruitful future is waiting for all.
Fyi: we are proud to announce the opening of our “For-profit” equine-assisted sessions for
Anyone who may be wrestling with mounting issues of grief, loss, abuse, isolation,
Depressions and thoughts of suicide.
(with 100% of the income going directly into our “Non-profit” 501(c)3 efforts)