Creating Pathways Farm is proud to offer Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) to military service men and women, veterans and their loved ones. We have an unwavering commitment to serving clients of diverse backgrounds, and that includes the appreciation that military culture is a unique, valid culture that differs from civilian culture. We searched out veterans who graciously gave of their time and experience to learn more. All of our staff have attended professional development seminars and educational webinars focused on military service in order to best be prepared to respond to the particular needs of military personnel, veterans and their loved ones.
The Creating Pathways Farm staff have studied the particular strains and stresses of military life: military training itself, possible deployment, transitional stresses related to returning to civilian life, and generally, the impact of military service on relationships, including the relationship to one’s self. We stand “mission ready” to work with you on issues such as:
- Difficulties in regulating emotions — anger and sadness are often prominent
- Loss and grief, including loss of identity
- Moral injury/soul wounds — the feeling that one has lost oneself
- Stress related symptoms — anxiety, hyper-vigilance, numbness, feeling separate
- Addictions and addictive behaviors
- Trauma including MST and PTSD?
Working with horses in therapy has been shown to be beneficial to veterans. We work in teams — a mental health specialist, an equine specialist and the horses; no riding is involved, and no prior experience with horses is necessary. Unlike traditional talk therapies in an office, EAT focuses on your observation of or interaction with the horses, and uses those real-life, immediate experiences to help you create real-life solutions to the concerns you bring to therapy.
Trauma Related Issues and PTSD
All of our therapy work is trauma informed, which means we are sensitive to the impact of childhood or other trauma on your current life experience and your experiences at Creating Pathways Farm. Working with horses is particularly beneficial in helping people to regulate their emotions and to reduce the likelihood of being triggered. We recognize that many military service members and veterans have difficulty in calming the sense of hypervigilance that is necessary for military service, especially in those who have been deployed to active service, and how this may have a negative impact on their civilian relationships and civilian life. On the other end of the spectrum, veterans who have experienced trauma may feel numb and disconnected from themselves, from others, and from their own emotions. In either case, horses are particularly good at reading and responding to others’ emotions and giving direct and compassionate responses which help to balance the nervous system. Horses are prey animals — they have evolved to be vigilant and alert to possible threats, but they also have learned how to stay grounded and to return to a peaceful though attentive presence once the perceived danger has passed. Horses are also herd animals: they are part of a group where their status in the herd is known and respected. The herd leader gives clear, direct communication, much like military command structure. In these ways and more, horses are very skilled, nonjudgmental partners in the therapy process.
What an Appointment Looks Like
Appointments may take place in one of our indoor or outdoor arenas or natural settings. The EAT team will be present with you allowing you to have a direct experience with the horses rather than talking with us. The client is free to choose to observe or to interact with the horses depending on their level of comfort. The client might not even touch the horses at all. The client may also choose tasks such as brushing or touching the horses. The EAT team may suggest various activities that would be helpful based on your personal concerns and issues. For example, you might move the horse through obstacles or patterns.
After your session with the horses, there will be time to review with your EAT team. This allows you to identify insights and new problem-solving skills that you can use in everyday life.
Please see the Equine Assisted Therapy page on this website for additional information on EAT for a fuller description of what a session looks like.
We welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss your individual needs and to create a healing space for you with our staff — including the 4 legged ones!
45 minute sessions:
$200 groups up to 4 people
$250 for groups of 5-8 people
Payment is required at the time of service.
Creating Pathways Farm accepts insurance. Clients are responsible for submitting claims for reimbursement. CPF is not responsible for determining eligibility for insurance benefits/coverage. Insurance coverage varies.
If you are a provider making a referral, please click the Referral Form button below.
We appreciate your interest in our services. We hope many of your questions have been answered and look forward to speaking with you. Please click on the Contact Form button below to complete the following Contact Form. One of the (human, not equine) staff at Creating Pathways Farm will get in touch.