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Changes at Spirit Reins as a result of COVID-19

Due to the programmatic and financial impacts of COVID-19, Spirit Reins has ended our psychotherapy services.


To continue serving the community, we have launched EQUINE CONNECTIONS—a new program that provides connection and promotes emotional stability for teens and caregivers experiencing isolation, depression, and uncertainty as a result of the pandemic. Each experience is an opportunity to work with our equine professionals at the ranch, walk the land, and connect with horses.

Why choose Spirit Reins?

For over 18 years, Spirit Reins has acquired expertise in helping children and families impacted by complex trauma. We have established our core competencies—land, horses, and the power of connection—and developed a particular brand of healing that depends upon the in-person experience and unique relationships formed between our clients, our team, and our horses. There is no virtual substitute that can replace the sense of connection while at the ranch.

During a time when social distancing is necessary for our health and well-being, Spirit Reins' 125-acres in the Texas Hill Country—with wide, open green spaces—uniquely positions us to safely offer in-person, experiential services. The land also offers the opportunity to engage with the healing power of nature.

Our horses are powerful partners in our work. Significant research shows that horses can help humans:

  • stabilize their heart rates.

  • practice mindfulness.

  • see instant biofeedback.

  • develop or enhance relationship skills.


A horse's heart field is four times larger and much stronger than a human's. This means that horses possess the ability to directly influence and stabilize the heart rate and rhythm of humans near them. Horses have a coherent heart rate—a heart rate pattern that has consistent emotional states of calm and joy. When we are near horses, this coherent heart rate lower our blood pressure, decreases our stress levels, and reduces our feelings of anxiety.

As prey animals, horses are keenly aware of their surroundings and constantly live in-the-moment to feel safe. In other words, their fight-flight-or-freeze response system is always on. The awareness horses have of their environment is a sort of mindfulness we must emulate to experience true connection with a horse. Mindfulness is also a known technique for relieving stress and improving well-being.

Part of living in-the-moment for horses is their ability to recognize potential dangers by "reading" energies. For example, a mountain lion moving slowly toward the herd and trying to appear non-threatening would not fool an alert horse; they would sense the feline's heightened energy and react instantly. For humans, that means that a horse always knows when our behaviors do not match what we are feeling internally. They "read" our dysregulated energy and react to it with complete honesty—they might flatten their ears or turn away or even yawn to release the tension they sense inside of us. This instant biofeedback from horses offers insight into our feelings and behaviors. It also provides us with the opportunity to become more honest and find congruency within ourselves.

Because horses live so honestly, they are incredibly non-judgemental. They don't care how we acted yesterday or what we might do tomorrow. They care about how we are interacting with them in the present moment. For that reason, horses allow us to be with them, practice our relationship skills, be unsuccessful, and immediately try again until we are successful.

Spirit Reins knows that being in a healing space with a supportive team, while connecting with horses is a transformative experience. To learn more about participating in one of these experiences, visit our Equine Connections page.