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If you, too, believe horses are good for the soul…

Join me in exploring what is happening in the worldwide arena of horses and human beings. For more than 5,000 years, our two species have coexisted; sometimes we being more reliant upon them, sometimes they being more reliant upon us. Not so long ago, we Americans built our nation with the invaluable service of horses to thank for transportation and security. As the Industrial Age slowly but surely made the jobs of horses in daily life all but obsolete, horses found a prominent place in sports and entertainment. More recently, and just in time to help swing the pendulum of reliance back toward center, there has been a growing trend in people working with horses as healers and teachers.

A little bit of history…

In 2008, just as the recession crept in, I quit my office job to search for something more. I didn’t know what something more would look like, I just knew that it included horses. I had grown up on a farm with horses, but somehow, my life’s own version of the Industrial Age distanced them from my daily life. Despite the proverbial “successful career” I had forged for myself doing Human Relations at a well known production company, my soul was lacking something essential, so I set about reading books, articles, heck, the internet, to find out all I could about what interested me the most: how horses are helping heal souls and how I might be able to become a part of that arena. Horses are partners in pyschotherapy, in physiotherapy, in corporate workshops, in youth programs, in prison rehab programs, in life coaching, and so much more. This is fantastic! So… what could I do? Start talking to people!

I first had the good fortune to meet Lisa Eppley of Acacia Farm (http://www.acaciafarm.com/) in 2008 when I began my quest to get horses back in my life, and she, quite literally, got me back in the saddle and has reacquainted me with my farming roots. Though I don’t own a horse of my own, she has generously let me share the joys of hers.

After contacting, visiting, and experiencing the practices of many wonderful people and organizations involved in working with horses in education and therapy, I decided that Equine Guided Education was the practice that most closely aligned with my personal background, experience, philosophy and goals, so in 2010, I became a certified Equine Guided Educator. (see more about EGE and certification at http://www.skyhorseranch.com/)

Oh, I did go back to a day job in production; I now do Human Relations for a growing animation company, and it is my not-so-secret plan to somehow merge the world of production with the industry of working with horses in the service of teaching and healing. More on that later.

At the 2011 Annual EGE Conference, I sat next to Jill Rivoli one morning, and have not stopped talking to her since! A fabulous blend of down-to-earth and always-open-to-possibility, Jill is one of the most experienced facilitators in horse centered learning I know. (see more about Jill at her website http://newperspectivesusa.com/)

So that brings me to now… I am very excited to be embarking on a joint venture with Jill, designing retreats in the Pacific Northwest that are focused on Equine Guided Education.

Thank you for reading my very first post. I look forward to your thoughts, ideas and questions.

~ashley