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  • Rein In Your Issues

    Equine Assisted Therapy

    Lori Thompson with her best friend Billy- Billy is 34 years old and is a big part of the Equine Therapy sessions

    Lori Thompson with her best friend Billy- Billy is 34 years old and is a big part of the Equine Therapy sessions

    Carseland – I recently had the opportunity to meet with two delightful and enlightened women who have been having some real success using horses to help people become more enlightened, healthier, joyful and successful. The therapy and training they offer ranges from improving communication, body language awareness, relationship building, reduce anxiety and depression and other mental health issues as well as to teach team building and leadership skills.

    Lori Thompson is a RN and a mental health therapist who after taking extensive training in the US with respect to horses and equine therapies opened Inner Equine Journeys in 2006. Thompson facilitates the equine therapy part of the business and her associate, Marcy Field of Mountain Lion Leadership, facilitates the corporate training such as team building and leadership skills.

    Thompson’s interest in using horses in conjunction with more traditional therapy was piqued after her beloved husband died suddenly leaving her to manage life on her own and life with her horses. At that time Thompson’s knowledge of horses was limited to knowing how to ride them and not much more. Thompson’s grief was manifesting itself in ways that she didn’t fully comprehend however, her horses picked up on it and felt something was not right with her and they began acting differently and distancing themselves from her. It wasn’t until she took a Natural Horsemanship Clinic that somebody asked the question of her “what has changed?” Of course, a lot had changed in her life but she was still deep in denial. Thus began her journey that eventually led to the creation of Inner Equine Journeys in Carseland. Her own journey through grief was helped by her relationship with her horses.

    One thing that Thompson pointed out was that horses live in the moment. As obvious as that is, it would help those struggling with such things as anxiety and depression more clearly understand the impact of living in the moment can have on their well-being. The horses don’t harbour a grudge over some mare basking in their special spot in the pasture yesterday and they don’t worry that tomorrow there may be a predator lurking in the trees for them; they merely take each moment as it comes; a great way to live.

    The horses are used to assist people to work through a manner of issues including depression, anxiety, self-esteem, trust and attachment to name but a few. Thompson’s depth of knowledge with respect to horse behaviour and body language allows her to interpret what the horses are feeling about the person they are working with. The horses have a unique ability to mirror back to us what it is we are feeling. With an issue identified, Thompson is able to work with the client to understand their own behaviours and issues.

    Imagine, if you will, being a troubled youngster with all sorts of doubts and insecurities being able to spend some time developing a unique relationship with a horse. Getting to groom it, walk it around obstacles, perhaps even ride it and care for it. What a boost to a youngster’s confidence to be able to handle a horse and get it follow your instructions. This type of experience has the ability to really open up hearts and change lives. Take a moment to read some of the testimonials on Thompson’s website (www.innerequinejourneys.ca) and you’ll get a glimpse of how equine assisted therapy has impacted the lives of her clients. You can also meet her equine partners and read their own personal stories or watch the video of Thompson telling the story of how began her business. It will be worth it.

    Contact Lori Thompson at 403-934-2706 or email equines@platinum.ca ,and Marcy Field at 403-827-2747 – email marcy@mlleadership.com