Anam Cara Farm and Learning Center is host to Unbridled Potential, Empowered By Horses and Standing Six. With a philosophy founded on equine knowledge and herd dynamics these experiential programs empower, educate and support healing and growth for people of all ages.
Empowered By Horses facilitates the Horse – Human Connection through programs, individual sessions and consultations
1) Equine Facilitated Wellness Programs
* Equine Facilitated Wellness for children, youth and adults
*Equine Facilitated Wellness for FIrst Responders (click here for Standing Six Programs)
2) Programs for those partnering with horses in a therapeutic capacity (Included EFW trainees)
* Mentorship for EFW certification candidates (in EFLP and EP)
* Heart Centered Horsemanship
3) Choosing the right horse for EFW, EC and Animal Assisted Therapy
* workshops and private consultations
Equine Facilitated Wellness
The focus of Equine Facilitated Wellness (EFW) sessions is healing, growth and empowerment. Although an EFW session is not psychotherapy or counselling it is a learning experience that promotes self awareness; social and communication skills; and provides tools for coping with personal challenges, decision making and problem solving. EFW is based on research that suggests being in nature and connecting with animals is not only a gentle and effective way to foster self discovery and healing but that horses actually support this process.
EFW facilitators use a trauma-informed lens. Their therapeutic work is used world-wide with war veterans, people with autism, and children who have experienced trauma. EFW has also been shown to successfully support and empower clients recovering from a wide range of challenges including anxiety, depression, ADD/ADHD, PTSD, poor self esteem, family stress and divorce. While EFW works well alone, it is also used in partnership with mental health professionals.
(EFW professional and Registered Clinical Counsellor)
Equine Counselling blends professional mental health counselling and Equine Facilitated Wellness. Our trauma-informed therapists, provide a gentle space for healing, learning, and growth based on respect and compassion for the unique needs of each client. This proven integrated approach benefits children, adults, families and communities.
Equine work has been shown to successfully support and empower clients suffering from a wide range of mental health challenges including anxiety, depression, ADD/ADHD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and self esteem issues.
Partnering With Horses - Mentorship
Being an EFW-CAN professional is more than just taking a few courses, learning about horses and being a coach or a counsellor. It’s about being a guide between horses and humans. EFW-CAN professionals bridge the gap of equine and human knowledge and encourage all interactions to be respectful and mutually beneficial. Mentorship is a key element for EFW professional development.
Although it is required to have ten hours of mentorship for EFW-CAN certification, mentors do more than just fulfill the requirements. Mentors support EFW trainees to achieve their goals, keep motivated to stay on their chosen timeline and offer constructive feedback. With multiple years of experience, mentors are invaluable assets to not only trainees but newly certified practitioners.
Heart Centered Horsemanship
Heart Centered Horsemanship (HCH) uses a relationship focused approach to the horse-human connection. This means that regardless of whether the partnership is one of liberty, casual riding or therapeutic work, the horse’s perspective is considered equal to that of the human. Through observation, exercises and careful study of how human emotion, ego and intention can influence horse-human dynamics. HCH is an effective and non-abusive method for forging strong bonds and positive outcomes.
For EFW trainees with limited equine experience, Empowered By Horses offers HCH sessions and programs to upgrade and learn new skills.
Finding the Right Horse
Not all humans want to be counsellors and not all horses desire to be therapists, nor are they all good at it. Like humans, horses portray a wide range of personality types from introverted to extroverted, leader to follower.
Putting an unsuitable horse (or any animal) in a therapeutic role is not only stressful for the animal but potentially harmful to both participants.
Carla Webb has over a decade of experience assessing horses and other animals, including dogs, cats, chickens and sheep for therapeutic work.