The journey that I embarked on covering this story was one that I was not expecting. I drove up to Fresh Steps EAP to learn more about Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (Horse Therapy) but what I got out of my interview was much more. Owner of Fresh Steps EAP, Darcie Kelly, EAGALA Advanced Certified, was reluctant to do an interview. Instead, she had me do a 'demo' session, where I was in the arena with one of her horses. I found myself paralyzed with fear at the thought of being with an animal I didn't really have experience with, but each session has an Equine Specialist, who makes the physical space safe for the client, and Darcie provided the mental health insight during my interaction with the horse.
The first task was to catch and halter a horse, how? Anyway you please. This proved to be somewhat challenging, and within thirty minutes I had experienced an array of emotions from frustration, to happiness over having conquered the first task. As the mental health member of the team, Darcie observed the entire session, her role is to identify how I react to my surroundings, as well as my interaction with the horse. I was astounded by the simplicity of the exercise and the intensity that revealed so much about my personality.
EAP is not just for those with serious mental conditions, but for individuals, groups or businesses who want to work together, or learn self growth. You can find out more information about EAP or Equine Assisted Learning at http://www.eagala.org/ or http://www.freshsteps.net/