Opening Gates
Equine Assisted Counseling and Learning
5006 Charlestown Pike, Jeffersonville, Indiana
Stand near the horse’s tail and become as small as a fly.
Run your hand down a horse’s leg and experience strength.
Touch the horse’s muzzle and feel gentleness.
Hug the horse’s neck and experience friendship.
Whisper to the horse and know he needs you.
Look into a horse’s eyes and see acceptance.
Walk beside an untethered horse and recognize trust.
~Judy Wiesenauer
We offer counseling services for Individuals, Families, and Groups. The Group Programs are:
We offer learning programs for school or business groups

How The Programs Work
The state licensed counselor interviews the clients and pairs each client with a horse or horses.  Under the supervision of a horse specialist, the clients are given tasks, such as moving their horses to a particular area without touching the horses.  This enables the clients to learn about the horses and themselves.  After the tasks are completed, the group discusses their insights, feelings, and experiences.
A bond develops between the horses and the clients.  The clients learn to trust these large animals with big eyes, curious noses, and alert ears and, although the horses don't use words, they communicate.  All interaction is done on the ground; no riding occurs in our equine assisted counseling.  The clients may lead, groom, hug, and pat the horses.  They often whisper or talk to the horses.
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Leading a Horse is a group learning program for small groups of teenagers who will focus on leadership skills using our therapy horses.
Hold Your Horses! is a group anger management program for adolescent girls and boys.  Group meets for 10 weeks, working with horses under the guidance of a counselor and horse specialist.  These clients work toward learning to manage their anger in a more adaptive way.
Stable Girls and Cowboy Up are group programs for adolescent girls and boys.  Groups meet for twelve weekly sessions working in the natural settings of arenas and stables with horses under the guidance of a counselor and horse specialist.  Our clients are referred by school counselors, private mental health therapists, and child services.  These clients are considered at-risk, having issues at school, at home, or in the community.  Their issues include self-esteem, self -image, anger, anxiety, stree, and abuse.
H.A.L.T.E.R, Horses Altering Lives Through Education and Recreation, is a social skills program for tackling the challenges of curbing childhood obesity.  Those children struggling with obesity will meet with a nurtritionist, a fitness coach, and a mental health counselor at the horse farm.
Pony Pages is a tutoring program for special education and elementary students in reading and writing.  Upon completion of the program, students should show improvement in reading fluency, reading comprehension, and writing.  An improved attitude towards literacy is also expected.
Counting Ponies is a math tutoring program for special education and elementary students.  Under the direction of a licensed teacher, students work on skills such as mathematical thinking, fact practice, and computation - all the while having fun with the horses.  No referral is necessary.