Equine Assisted Counseling and Learning
5006 Charlestown Pike, Jeffersonville, Indiana
Sky is a sorrel quarter horse mare. She still exhibits strong will and determination from her previous years in racing.
She demands teamwork from her clients! Sky is no longer able to be ridden as the extra weight of a rider would cause severe
pain to her lower back and hips, but our therapy clients don't ride anyway, so it's not an issue.
Lucy is a bay Arabian mare. She is quite inquisitive and sensitive to her surroundings. She has the unique ability to
mimic clients' emotions which allows them to gain greater insight into their feelings.
Mikey is a sorrel quarter horse gelding. "Hey Mikey, he likes it" fits him perfectly! He is a retired show horse that
is extremely happy to be used in therapy. His former job required a lot of serious work hours and now his hours are filled with
pampering and having fun with his clients during counseling sessions. Mikey allows his clients the opportunity to de-stress
and have some fun!
Mikey may need surgery for his navicular disease and was diagnosed, then hospitalized, with
severe ulcers which are managed with medications. For now, he's doing well and we make sure he receives the care he deserves.
Bear is bay Irish draught gelding. He is our "gentle giant" and must be the center of attention. He has a unique ability
to lift clients' moods. At times he can be quite stubborn which allows his clients the opportunity to practice patience and
cooperation. After a luxurious life as a dressage show horse, Bear was taken to a horse rescue in Indiana for the cooler climate,
as excessive heat takes its toll on him. In our hot weather, Bear is hosed down with water to help keep him cool in addition
to his two personal fans.
Lady is a gray quarter horse mare. She is extremely patient and kind. Because she is so patient, she allows her clients
plenty of opportunity to think outside the box. She has the unique ability to help her clients overcome fears and build
trust. She also is a good listener and has heard many stories from her clients! We're so glad we saved lady before she
went to a sale barn in Kentucky.
Cletus is a sorrel and white paint gelding. He is very sensitive and has a strong need to please his clients. He loves
working with his clients and is effective in teaching good communication and sensitivity to others. When Cletus came to
the farm, he was sunburned from head to tail and was so dehydrated that his swollen tongue didn't fit in his mouth; you wouldn't know
that today by looking at this pretty boy.
Dolly is a bay and white paint miniature mare. She is extremly effective at helping clients work through trust issues.
She was found in a neglected situation where she had to fend for herself for food and safety among full size horses. With time
and patience, she is learning how to trust people.
Our Vision: A time when our therapy horses are officially retired because no one needs their help.
Deuce is a black percheron quarter horse cross
gelding. He was a former pack horse in Montana
and then became a lesson horse
at our farm. He
developed arthritis in one of his hocks, which made
it painful for him to carry the weight of a rider. He
still gets plenty of attention in the therapy
program. Deuce is extremely calm and patient, but
don’t let that fool you,
he is certainly no push over.
He does an amazing job of teaching clients about
setting appropriate boundaries.
Brutus is a 19 year old quarter horse gelding. His previous owners, Kim and Neil Stalhiem, gave him to Opening Gates upon his
retirement as an outrider at Hoosier Park in Anderson, IN. Brutus is a serious, proud, confident, patient and caring horse.
It is not uncommon to see Brutus stand patiently for long periods of time, focusing on this human partners while they tell him about
their day. We are grateful to the Stalhiems for trusting us with their precious Brutus, and allowing him to be a part of our
A big thank you to the Gunther Family for sponsoring me for February 2015!
Maycie is an appendix quarter horse (thoroughbred/quarter horse cross) that brings a powerful punch to each session she participates
in. She likes to do things according to her agenda, and gets quite fussy if you do not allow it. It is amazing how a kind
and caring hand can make Maycie putty in your hand. She is a true case of “if you treat me right, I will treat you right”.
Yoko is a retired thoroughbred who ran the steeplechase. He is somewhat of a worrier and has a tremendous amount of energy. He still shows us some of his old skills by jumping in the air when he gets anxious. Yoko challenges his clients to gain insight
into their feelings, because he mirrors their feelings and emotions. This also allows the clients the opportunities to work
on managing their emotions, and finding new and healthier responses to situations.