Carla G Webb
Owner and Lead Facilitator of Empowered By Horses & Friends

Carla Genevieve Webb – BA, Pro-EFW (Learning and Equine Professional), M,Ed in progress.
Trainer, Mentor and Facilitator in Nature Based, Animal Assisted and Equine Facilitated Wellness Professional  

The Beginning

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.

The Study

With a BA in Psychology, Carla is a certified Life Coach and is dually certified as an Equine Facilitated Wellness Professional (EFLP& EP) Facilitator and Mentor. Carla is currently in a M.ED in Humane Education at Antioch University. She has studied under many eminent teachers including Linda Kohanov, Sandra Wallin, and Suzanne Clothier, but still considers her best teachers are her horse partners: the herd of horses at Anam Cara. 

The Philosophy
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. 

The Scoop! 
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!

Carla has availability for  mentoring/training  clients only online or in person. Carla also works with First Responders.

Registered Clinical Counsellors

Kirsten Hargreaves – Registered Clinical Counsellor: traditional counselling, canine facilitated counselling, equine facilitated counselling with equine professional, play therapy.

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

Kirsten is full and has a waitlist.

Equestrian Portraits – Cara Grimshaw 2014. All rights reserved.

Jonathan Boudin – Registered Clinical Counsellor: traditional counselling, equine facilitated counselling.

Works with:
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.

The Study
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.

The Philosophy
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.

The Scoop:
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 – or 604.788.1710

Jonathan is currently full and accepting clients for his waitlist. At the farm Tuesdays and Wednesdays only.

Registered Professional Counsellor 

Lindsay Bouillet – Registered Professional Counsellor: traditional counselling, coaching/mentoring and animal assisted sessions.

The Beginning:
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.

The Study:
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.

The Philosophy:
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.

Lindsay is currently full. No longer accepting private clients with a focus on groups beginning fall 2024. Biweekly weekends.

Mary Waldolf – Social Worker (BSW) and Equine/Animal-inclusive Wellness Professional (EAPDC).
Mary grew up horse riding and show jumping, providing a solid foundation for being drawn to the relational piece and connection between herself and her horse. The significant healing and quiet solitude of being around animals led Mary to over a decade of volunteering in hippotherapy and therapeutic riding, eventually leading her to practice as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor for Pacific Riding for Developing Abilities and becoming certified as an Equine-assisted Personal Development Coach through EAL Canada. Alongside equine inclusive practice, Mary has worked in healthcare for the past eight years, currently practicing as a Social Worker in hospital acute care.

Mary has combined her love for horses and other animals with her trauma-informed social work practice to meet individuals where they are at and intuitively tailor sessions to the client-directed goals and needs. She values a strengths-based approach and honours the horses’ ability to attune to our emotions, providing insightful feedback alongside the individual’s healing journey. Mary believes that the inherent nature of the horse helps us recognize and learn how we interact and impact those around us.

Mary graduated from the University of the Fraser Valley with a Bachelor of Social Work degree and Professional Communications. She is due to complete her Gottman Level 1 training while now pursuing her Master of Social Work to delve deeper into the clinical practice and integration of various therapeutic modalities.

Areas of Special Interest: Adolescent Issues, Anxiety & Panic Attacks, Assertiveness, Communication Issues, Eating Disorders, Emotional Overwhelm, Relationship Issues, Social Skills, Trauma Recovery, Major Life Transitions for Young Adults

 Mary is currently full and accepting clients for her waitlist. She is at the farm Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays

Welcome Melissa Andrews BA, MACP (BCACC in progress)

The Beginning:

Melissa has always been an animal lover and cannot recall a period in her life where they have no played an important role. As a youth, Melissa had horses and rode competitively for several years. Life circumstances brought her horse ownership to an end but the power and impact of the connection has remained. In the past few years, time spent at the barn has provided opportunity to observe and experience the benefits of nature-based and animal-assisted therapy. This has been a source of encouragement and inspiration that she is eager to further explore.

The Study:

Melissa graduated with her BA in Child and Youth Care Counselling from UFV in 2006 and has participated in numerous human service field training courses throughout her career. In 2022, Melissa decided to go back to school to further support children, youth, and families in a different capacity. She is currently completing her Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology through Yorkville University and is scheduled to graduate in April 2024.

The Philosophy:

Melissa’s work is grounded in relationship building and communication, as well as empathy and an intuitive ability to listen to and understand clients’ needs and perspectives. Melissa’s strength-based approach is focused on meeting the client where they are at, collaborating with and empowering them to reach their goals. She is excited to combine her experience, knowledge, and skills, with her passion for animals and supporting children, youth, and families in her therapeutic practice.

The Scoop:

Melissa has worked in the human services field for 20 years including: facilitating recreation programs, day camps and summer camps, youth worker, child and youth care worker within elementary and high schools and various positions within government systems. Melissa has in-depth knowledge of the child protection and associated systems, having held positions in which she supported children, youth, their families, and caregivers with varying levels of need, navigate difficult circumstances, change, and challenges in their lives.

Melissa ‘s professional experience combined with her personal journey as an adoptee and a mother, has taught her so much about connection, human resilience, and adaptability. She is a mom of two unique and active children, who help emphasize the reality of the need and struggle to find balance in life and parenting.

 Barn Manager and Animal Care Specialist 

Tracy Visser – Registered Nurse

The Beginning
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.

The Study 
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.

The Philosophy 
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. 

The Scoop
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 

Steven Robert Kennedy 

The Beginning

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.

The Study

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.

The Philosophy

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.

The Scoop

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.