ABOUT OUR EQUINE CONNECTIONS PROGRAM
At Spirit Reins, we often say, “What is good for the horse, is good for the human.” In these challenging times, Spirit Reins believes that more than ever. Horses need safety, space, and connection to thrive in their herd. Humans need the same things to thrive in the community.
The pandemic has damaged our ability to safely access these needs. So, Spirit Reins has created an Equine Connections program, which offers in-person experiences on our 125-acre ranch with our equine professionals and horses to provide connection and promote emotional stability for individuals struggling with the widespread feeling of isolation.
Under the guidance of an equine professional, you will spend time one-on-one with a horse, learning about their behavior, calming signals, caring for and grooming them, and utilizing exercises that build connection and trust.
This program can be utilized as a stand alone program or as an adjunct to other psychotherapy services.
Equine Connections is designed for individuals seeking to build meaningful connections, who have a willingness to understand and engage in connected relationships. This work will develop skills for personal growth by illuminating thoughts, behaviors, and actions that often keep us stuck and disconnected in our relationships with ourselves and the people in our lives.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR EXPERIENCE
Prior to arrival, our admin team will help you complete all the necessary paperwork and provide you with the COVID-19 health and safety measures, dress code requirements for a working ranch, and parking instructions. A Spirit Reins staff member will greet you upon arrival.
An equine professional will welcome you and invite you into conversation as you walk the ranch together. After learning a bit more about you and why you have come to Spirit Reins, our equine professional will tell you the stories of several horses in our herd and recommend one of them for your equine connection experience.
Together with your horse, you will walk into an enclosed space, either our arena or a large, circular structure called a round pen. Here, you will begin building a connection with your horse utilizing groundwork. Groundwork is any sort of activity or exercise that you do with your horse while you stay on the ground. For example, groundwork may consist of mindfulness activities, deep breathing exercises, grooming with different sensory brushes, or moving around the round pen in connection with your horse. Groundwork activities and exercises allow you to build a trusting, connected relationship with your horse. Rhythmic riding may be used in some sessions at the discretion of your equine professional, but it is not the focus of the experience.
Themes & Takeaways
Groundwork with horses can help you:
Learn to be present and how to ground yourself in a chaotic world.
Learn the art of nonverbal communication.
Learn how to regulate your emotions.
Build emotional intelligence.
Understand attunement—tuning in to the needs of others and ourselves.
Allow for choice in relationships. Understanding consent.
Notice our boundaries / lack thereof, and improve them.
Learn the nuances of pressure / energy and how to apply in a positive way in our relationships.
Build a sense of safety by working below your fear threshold.
Learn to manage fears.
Learn how to falter or fail and to keep trying.
Build confidence—learning to explore a different way of being.
Learn patience, discipline, and responsibility.
Learn the art of how to be a gentle but consistent leader.
Learn to love nature and the outdoors.
Build curiosity and learn to create adventure together (with your horse partner).
Build trust in a relationship.
Monday - Friday, 10AM - 5PM, averaging 1 hour.
For children and adults (ages 10+).
The cost of each experience is FREE through 2020 (while grant funds allow), although donations to support this program and Spirit Reins are welcome. At the beginning of 2021, the cost of each experience will be $60 with a sliding scale for families in need of financial assistance.
We need your help to be safe: COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocol
At Spirit Reins, we are fortunate to have plenty of room on our 125-acre property to socially distance from one another. However, in order to ensure the safety of our staff and clients, we ask that you adhere to our COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocol. This includes wearing a mask.
To schedule your Equine Connections experience today:
1. Complete the enrollment form.
3. A member of our staff will follow up shortly to confirm the day / time of your experience and discuss payment.
*Please note: This program is not for someone who is experiencing an immediate mental health crisis. If you or your child is experiencing an emergency, please call 9-1-1.