Carla G Webb
Owner and Lead Facilitator of Empowered By Horses & Friends
Carla Genevieve Webb – Trainer, Mentor and Facilitator in Nature Based, Animal Assisted and Equine Facilitated Wellness Professional (Equine Professional and Equine Facilitated Learning Professional with Professional Association for Equine Facilitated Wellness)
For over forty year horses have been in the centre of Carla’s life. From the five-year-old pleading with her parents for a pony to the professional horsewoman and Life Coach she is today, horses have been her focus.
Carla first came to understand the healing qualities of horses at age fourteen with the sudden death of her father. As an adult, horses helped her survive the often stressful career as a Vancouver Police Constable and, through volunteer work, she saw the therapeutic and healing possibilities of horses in working with street youth. Horses have been her companions, teachers, and therapists and, since 2008, partners in three different enterprises bringing equine wisdom and healing to her community.
Her first venture was Unbridled Potential, an academy dedicated to forging safe, respectful and trusting bonds between horses and people. She then cofounded Empowered By Horses with Sharolyn Wandzura, to help empower youth to make healthier lifestyle choices. Most recently, she went back to her career roots and created Standing Six, an equine support system for first responders to heal, learn and grow.
With a BA in Psychology, Carla is a certified Life Coach and is dually certified as an Equine Facilitated Wellness Professional (EFLP& EP). She has studied under many eminent teachers including Linda Kohanov, Sandra Wallin, and Suzanne Clothier, but still considers her best teachers are her co-facilitators: the herd of horses at Anam Cara.
Carla’s philosophy of Heart Centered Leadership—the cornerstone of all her programs—is kindness and enhanced empathy and compassion for all beings. It is her passion to build positive relationships and mindful interactions between clients, their horses and the community in which they live.
Carla loves horses but has a not-so-secret admiration for Kune Kune pigs. When not teaching or taking care of the farm you will probably find her snuggled up to one of the pigs or taking them for a walk. The Kune Kunes, she says, especially like bed time stories!
Registered Clinical Counsellors
Kirsten has worked in the human services field for 19 years including: therapeutic horseback riding, teaching Montessori kindergarten, early childhood education, working with children with extra needs, respite foster care, autism intervention, senior’s therapeutic recreation, day camps, summer camps, community development, mental health and counselling. She is a registered clinical counsellor in good standing with the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors.
A strong passion for animals, nature and children come together in her practice. Kirsten’s 4 year old golden retriever and co-therapist Kona often accompanies me to counselling sessions and counselling with horses is also a growing niche in the animal assisted field. Kirsten is also engaged in research in the areas of parental incarceration and the impact on children and families and the impact of offering equine assisted facilitation to Post Secondary students.
Kirsten is an Instructor at the University of the Fraser Valley, a volunteer with Mission Hospice Society with the children’s grief and loss camps and a Board member for Horse Tales Society in the Fraser Valley. She believes in treating the whole person and looks forward to meeting clients where they are at, supporting them in what brings them or their loved one to counselling.,
Jonathan Boudin – Registered Clinical Counsellor: traditional counselling, equine facilitated counselling.
Kids, teens, and adults on challenges including trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety, coping skills, peer relationships, gender identity, ADHD, and developmental issues.
Jonathan began riding at the age of ten, on a horse aptly named Risky. Though Risky lived up to his name, he and Jonathan had an understanding and always did well together. This early relationship with a horse would ultimately shape the path of his life. As a teen, Jonathan’s first horse was pivotal in helping him through those often challenging years, and the seeds were planted for working with horses in a therapeutic way.
Jonathan holds a Maters Degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of British Columbia. He has experience and training in approaches including: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Lifespan Integration, Stress Reduction & Relaxation Therapy, Psychoeducational Therapy, Insight-Oriented Therapy, and Animal Assisted Interventions.
He has spent countless hours with many horses and had guidance from professional instructors since age ten.
Each person is unique. Each set of challenges is different. Therapy is not a one-size-fits-all process. Having the option of traditional counselling, equine facilitated counselling, or a combination of both in a non-clinical, inviting and natural environment, gives clients a therapeutic experience that is tailored to their needs.
Therapy is a creative, supportive, collaborative process that helps us learn new ways of perceiving a problem, develop healthy coping skills, have healthy relationships, and learn about ourselves. We might need an empathetic ear, or we might want specific tools or approaches. Either way, therapy empowers us and helps us remember our personal strengths and what we stand for.
Horses, among other things, put us in the present moment – a place where most of us seldom live, in relationship with a gentle, non-judgemental, sentient being. This experiential process provides potential for powerful therapeutic change, personal reflection, and smiles.
In addition to his love of horses, Jonathan is also passionate about music. He has performed in several musical theatre productions, including as a lead in RENT. Both horses and performing have taught him about passion, determination, relationships, care of self and other, our relationship with fear, and learning what we are capable of. He is also the author of a children’s book about horses.
To book Jonathan – firstname.lastname@example.org or 604.788.1710
- Jonathan is an approved counsellor with First Nations Health Authority.
Registered Professional Counsellor
Lindsay Bouillet – Canadian Professional Counsellor: traditional counselling, coaching/mentoring and animal assisted sessions.
As a child, Lindsay was the little girl rehabilitating all of the critters that her cats decided to bring home as ‘gifts’. Whether it was scaled, feathered, or furry, she believed every creature deserved the same amount of love, care, and respect. She spent her summers working at a local stable to pay for riding lessons but soon found her passion in rehabilitating and building trust, partnership, and understanding with mistreated race horses. She continues to live by this philosophy today, by continuing to volunteer in animal rescue, training with The Pacific Assistance Dogs, teaching violence prevention and self esteem workshops within the school system, and partnering with multiple therapeutic farms in the lower mainland collaborating on programs that reconnect kids and adults alike with nature and partnership with animals. Despite some of the challenges these animals have experienced, they maintain a will to survive and a willingness to trust and love again. Their persistence moved her, and in Lindsay’s belief, people and animals have a strong connection because of this resilience. We can help each other learn, heal and grow, through patience and understanding, one human, one animal at a time.
Lindsay holds accreditation as a life coach, professional counsellor, trauma informed yoga teacher and certified FEEL (Facilitated equine experiential learning) practitioner. She has completed an apprenticeship with Soaring Eagle Nature School and is in the process of completing her training as an end of life/relationship doula with the conscious dying institute.
Although Lindsay’s path has been somewhat unconventional, she now applies both the learning’s of her own colorful self-developmental journey along with her professional training towards her own practice to create an experience that is unique to you. It is Lindsay’s belief that our perception of our challenges plays a significant role in the outcome of these challenges, and that an outside perspective can be critical in shifting limiting perspectives. Lindsay believes you hold the answers and there is untold value in the simple yet profound act of another human (or animal) understanding, listening and supporting you through your experiences. Animals provide an opportunity for self-reflection through clear, unbiased eyes. They mirror how we see ourselves, not just with heightened objectivity but also with greater forgiveness, allowing you to view your challenges from a new perspective.
Mary Waldolf – Social Services Worker, equine/animal assisted learning and wellness professional.
Mary graduated with her Social Services Diploma and Professional Communications in 2020 from the University of the Fraser Valley. She is now completing her final courses for her Bachelor of Social Work; however, this is not where her educational journey will end as she intends to continue into her Master of Counseling. Mary is eager to learn more about the human/horse bond and the healing that it can bring, which is what introduced her to PATH International, where she has pursued becoming a therapeutic riding instructor for individuals with developing abilities for the past two years.
As early as she can remember, animals were what filled Mary’s heart. The unspoken but consistent bond between her and her dog and horse drew in Mary’s quiet spirit and helped her to feel fully loved and understood.
Her dog, Bailey, and the first horse that she was partnered with (who was coincidentally named Bailey, as well) deepened her understanding of authenticity, boundaries, and emotional regulation. Mary grew up English riding and show jumping until the age of 16 but realized that it was never the competition that she felt passionate about, but the relationship between her and her horse. The significant healing that being around animals had for her is what led to over ten years of volunteering for hippotherapy, therapeutic riding, the SPCA, and now practicing as a therapeutic riding instructor for Pacific Riding for Developing Abilities while completing her education in social work.
Despite numerous years of horseback riding, under the mentorship of her coach, Carlee Anderson, Mary found that the connection between humans and horse is eye-opening from the ground. Being near such a large being may bring up feelings of fear, anxiety, or inadequacy – however, experiencing the connection once able to practice true embodiment has the potential for immense self-awareness and growth. It is her belief that the inherent nature of the horse is what allows us to learn how we interact and impact those around us. Partnering with animals can take the discomfort of being vulnerable out of a formal environment and bring that vulnerability into a safe space where it may feel more relaxed and genuine while cultivating a sense of self-efficacy.
Tracy Visser – Registered Nurse
Tracy can’t remember a time when she didn’t love horses. From the equine adventures told by her Grandmother to the first horse she co-owned with her Dad, Tracy was hooked. It wasn’t until she had been working as an RN, however, that she realized how important horses were to her well-being. And the source of that well-being came in the form of a big-hearted Quarter Horse named Bart. Tracy calls Bart her friend, counselor and co-navigator in this journey called life, especially in her work as an ER nurse.
Tracy has been a Registered Nurse for over 27 years, most of those in big city Emergency Rooms. Now the ER may seem far removed from the barn, but her professional career has more than prepared her to be the manager and animal care specialist at Anam Cara. It all comes down to being a great listener, she says, a skill perfected in her nursing career. People in pain or in trauma seldom have the words to speak what they need. To fully hear and provide the support you have to be able to listen with your full body and then communicate safely and effectively. This ability not only helps her to sink into the needs of Empowered By Horses’ clients but also the animals in her care. Her keen eye is attuned to anything out of the ordinary and her calm demeanor is an excellent asset in emergencies whether it be a cut finger or a colicing horse.
For Tracy, balance is the foundation for navigating stress whether it be from work, home or illness. For many years, Tracy would de-compress from an ER shift in the company of Bart. A skilled healer herself, Tracy knows when she is in the presence of another. She finds horses are excellent at discerning emotions and providing the necessary stillness for healing to happen.
Tracy is a rooster whisperer! She is the only one on the farm that Rudy-Roo, the terrorizing rooster of Anam Cara, doesn’t stalk. And not only Rudy-Roo but she whispers to the chickens as well. As soon as Tracy pulls into the driveway, the chickens come running like she’s the Pied Piper of Abbotsford. Now it could be because she sneaks them all raisins but who are we to question the loyalty of the roost?
Facility Manager and Program Support
Steve was inspired to be an outdoorsman (and all around great guy) by his grandfather. Through years of camping, hiking and woodcraft with his elder, Steve not only learned about the forests and its inhabitants but also about the human condition. He developed a deep sense of wonder about the natural world and our place within it. In 2006, Steve found a kindred spirit in Carla Webb and together they began manifesting their vision of a healing and learning center.
Steve is the backbone of Anam Cara Farm and Learning Center. With strong muscles and creative ingenuity, he has built most of the farm structures, maintains the machinery, takes care of the animals, and assists at most group events.
Steve is a keen student of the natural world. From his childhood spent running tame in the wilds to his annual week-long getaways with old friends, the outdoors nurtures him. With countless hours spent around the campfire, Steve is now an avid storyteller, weaving the woods and farm life into tales about what makes us tick. Each story combines fact (and maybe a little fiction) that helps us understand who we are without even knowing we had asked the question.
Steve believes that all beings deserve the right to have a good life whether it’s the coyote searching for chickens or the stray cats that ultimately end up on his lap. His recipe for a healthy lifestyle includes mindful living, respectful bonds between people and animals, and a gorgeous sunset over the barn he and friends just built.
Although Steve explored south-western BC for 22 years as a train engineer, conductor and brakeman (now retired) his favourite part of the day was coming home to a household of happy barks and wagging tails.