Advice needed:starting my own therapy barn - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 27 Old 12-23-2015, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 4
• Horses: 0
Advice needed:starting my own therapy barn

I am starting my own program, using horses to help heal emotionally scarred people. PTSD, self-esteem, trust issues etc. It will be free. Faith based. NFPO. My dilemma is: I am not a mental health professional, ie: social worker, therapist etc. I love EGALA but that takes a team. I have worked with PATH barns for more than 2 years and I want to do more than give riding lessons. I am considering blending groundwork, join-up, maybe 7 games of Parelli, to help people thru their issues. Any ideas or suggestions? This has been on my heart for 12 or more years and I feel the time is right. I can afford to do this without charging. My motto: God equips the called, He doesn't call the equipt. Positive feed back PLEASE. This is in its infantcy stages and I am open to suggestions.
greentree likes this.
suer is offline  
post #2 of 27 Old 12-23-2015, 07:36 AM
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 81
• Horses: 0
I'd think that you need to have some training in the mental health field, if you want to help people by "more than just giving lessons." However, I believe that "just giving lessons", especially when the lessons are focused on their relationship with the horse (like the Parelli Games, for example) is already doing plenty.

Just being understanding of the special needs and being able to adjust your lessons accordingly is already a big deal.

However, if you'd like to do more than that and if you want to be a program that would be trusted by mental health professionals to refer to, I bet you'd need not only experience, but also a certification in something at least vaguely related to mental health. But maybe I'm wrong.

Best of luck to you.
Wallaby likes this.
ojzab is offline  
post #3 of 27 Old 12-23-2015, 07:41 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 7,195
• Horses: 3
Your use of the term "mentally scarred people" suggests maybe you should focus for now on volunteering with organizations that provide services to people with disabilities so you gain a deeper understanding of your future clients.
Posted via Mobile Device
egrogan is offline  
post #4 of 27 Old 12-23-2015, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 4
• Horses: 0
The term I used was emotionally scarred.
ojzab likes this.
suer is offline  
post #5 of 27 Old 12-23-2015, 11:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 17,293
• Horses: 0
What would be your source of revenue as it takes a lot of money to support the horses, tack, insurance, facilities. Unless a mental health professional is willing to volunteer time then that means payroll.

Saddlebag is offline  
post #6 of 27 Old 12-24-2015, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 4
• Horses: 0
I have my own horse,tack,facility etc. I would like to be able to help people with doing ground exercises. Combining natural horsemanship to heal hurts, increase self esteem work on trust issues. I work full time as a nurse so I will pay for the needs of the horse. Just looking for suggestions on what programs to use.
ojzab likes this.
suer is offline  
post #7 of 27 Old 12-24-2015, 12:42 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 5,402
• Horses: 1
You can really negatively influence someone that is working through trauma/emotional scarring if you're not experienced and don't know what you're doing. Just like a person can really mess up a horse trying to train it themselves, you can inadvertently cause damage to someone that's already fragile.

If you're trying to be a legit organization, you need to approach it seriously. You need training and experience. I think your first step should be in getting a proper education in working in the mental health field.

* I'm often reading and posting from mobile and Siri loves to make a mockery of the English language.
DancingArabian is offline  
post #8 of 27 Old 12-24-2015, 05:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: England - UK
Posts: 439
• Horses: 0
I have to say that Dancing and others are right - if you want to help that is fantastic, but in order to help you have to know how to help otherwise you are just offering natural horsemanship lessons.

It sounds like you've some basic experience working in the field and in general caring for people so I would use that base and contacts that you've got to find ways to train or to pay for training. That way you can arm yourself with specific tools and gain increased awareness. It might also help you become more aware of alternative method and treatments since anyone coming to you might well be visiting another professional for help and as such each person might well be under different forms of treatment. Being aware of those different forms lets you fit in with them much more easily rather than throwing a new slew of theories/methods at a person.
Palomine likes this.
Overread is offline  
post #9 of 27 Old 12-24-2015, 07:24 AM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 5,669
• Horses: 0
I've taught many life lessons and boosted a lot of self-esteem by "just teaching horseback riding lessons". Just because something isn't deems therapeutic doesn't mean it won't be to that person.

I'd say you best bet would be to go through the (daunting) task becoming a horse person in an EAGALA team. Being a nurse, you wouldn't expected a someone to be practicing nursing without a license, would you? Likewise you cannot just be a mental health practitioner.

Financially, how do you expect to pay for a facility, horses, workers equipment PLUS your daily living expenses? I have trouble affording my horse, my student loans and my rent on my nursing salary (I'm a full time bachelors degree RN). I pick up over time left and right! Maybe it would be better for you to link up with a riding facility and pay them a fee to use their horses. EAGALA may be able to help you find that, and a mental health professional to work with!
Posted via Mobile Device
Palomine and greentree like this.
SlideStop is offline  
post #10 of 27 Old 12-24-2015, 04:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 17,293
• Horses: 0
I agree about ways to help people just with regular riding lessons. One of my students was a child in grade four, horse crazy, of course. Her spelling was atrocious as was her handwriting. I asked her to keep a journal and to work on it as soon as the lesson was finished. Within weeks there was a noticeable improvement and she was complimented by the teach. So there are many ways to assist, especially kids from the poorest families.

greentree and ojzab like this.
Saddlebag is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Advice Needed for New Barn Job fourfigure Barn Maintenance 6 10-04-2015 11:15 AM
New Horse - Old Owner on Site at Barn - Advice Needed nyoung123 Horse Talk 11 10-12-2014 11:53 AM
Boarders ex-barn owner trespassing - advice needed! Poco1220 Horse Law 20 12-16-2011 11:24 AM
Final straw...advice needed from Barn owners Maverick101 Barn Maintenance 41 10-04-2011 01:34 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome