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Contact us and let’s talk about how we can create unique educational experiences for you or your group! There’s no obligation and we can answer all of your questions. We can also arrange for you to come out and visit us at Healing Hearts Ranch in Olympia, WAwhere Life Lessons with Horses has classes available now.

 Healing Hearts Ranch, Olympia, WA

I now have the distinct pleasure and honor to be working at several different facilities including an incredible facility, Healing Hearts Ranch in Olympia, WA with owner, Kristy Dees who says:

Healing Hearts Ranch is a place that inspires powerful, positive change in people’s lives. We have created an environment to work with and learn from horses by offering a variety of equine activities such as Equine Assisted Learning (EAL), Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP),as well as Centered Riding lessons. We also offer team building, leadership, and outdoor education opportunities for learning as well.  

Connecting with horses intrinsically motivates positive change in people’s lives. Horses often teach humans much about themselves and their relationship to the world around them. Healing Hearts Ranch provides opportunities and quality experiences with horses that profoundly affect people’s lives, relationships, and their sense of connection in their community

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn How it Works!

Do I need experience with horses?

No. The workshops are not about horsemanship, training or riding. The horse is a facilitator for learning because of its unique characteristics (described below). You will have an experienced horse handler available to assist you at all times during the workshops.

Why do you use horses?
  • Horses are responsive beings with a strong awareness and sensitivity to their surroundings
  • Horses can accurately perceive a participant’s state of mind and quickly reflect this back to them
  • Horses provide immediate and honest feedback as to when participants have clear intention and when they do not
  • Horses have as many individual personalities, physical abilities and limitations as the people who work with them
  • Horses accept people for exactly who they are and what they present internally and externally IN THE MOMENT!
  • The ability to successfully communicate with the horse provides the means to learn better ways of communicating with others
What if I'm afraid of horses?

A safety demonstration is given before each session and the horses used in the workshops are trained to work safely around people,including our smaller pony. If at any time during the activities you feel unsafe or wish to observe only, you are encouraged to notify the staff for help in leaving the arena.

What should i wear to class?

Remember you are dressing to work with horses. Wear clothes that can get dirty and closed toed shoes with sock-no sandals, no exceptions.

WIll there be food served during group classes or leadership training?

Yes. We love good food and are lucky to live in an area where fresh farm produce is readily available. We have a trained chef that creates delicious food for all of our FULL DAY class participants. Snacks and beverages are available all day. Please let us know if you have any food allergies.

what about weather? What if i have allergies?

Programs are held year round. In the Northwest, summers are warm but sometimes rainy. You will spend time in a covered but unheated arena as well as outdoors in a pasture or roundpen. Dress appropriately for the weather. It is best to layer during all seasons. 

If you have known allergies, please consult your health care professional for recommendations. We keep a clean environment, but it is a farm with animals and plants.

What are the highlights of the experience?
  • Fun without fear as you meet new friends, both human and horse and learn to work as a team in your “herd”
  • Self discovery through immediate, honest, observable feedback from your teacher, the horse
  • Develop confidence, empowerment, compassion, independence and inner healing in a fun, non threatening environment
  • Improved communication, self esteem, empathy, tolerance for stress, problem solving skills, responsibility,  trust and improved interpersonal relationships
  • A chance to nurture your soul and find a greater connection to your natural self through the wisdom & intuition of the horse
Is E3 the same as therapy?

No it is not the same. Cathy is trained as an educator, coach and facilitator.  As a facilitator, her job is to keep the focus on the future, not the past, in the context of a learned skill, not an emotion or past event.  Participants are asked to focus on a social skill they learned, a personal insight, or a life skill that may lead to personal growth and making positive change in your every day life.

What training has Cathy completed that qualifies her to facilitate E3 Classes?

Cathy has completed a certification training with the Equine Experiential Education Association(E3A) which is an international professional membership organization offering training, certification, business development and resources for the implementation of Equine Experiential Education (E3) programs by educators, coaches, professional development trainers and other facilitators.  Cathy is also a certified (International Coach Federation) professional coach. 

How long are each of the activities with the horses?

The activities are 20 to 30 minutes followed by reflection with questions from your coach/facilitator and integration of the knowledge gained into a plan moving forward in your life.

Do i need to be fit or athletic to participate in the class? Will I be riding a horse?

NO. There is no riding involved and any level of fitness is fine. If you can walk a half mile, you are fit enough to participate in the horse activities. If you have special needs and prefer not to walk, you can still be an active team participant. Anyone can enjoy learning from horses in this environment.

what if i have experience with horses?

Interestingly, people who love horses enjoy the classes because it gives them a chance to observe and learn from horses in a different environment. Our experiential teaching is not about horsemanship or riding; rather, you gain insights about yourself from horses, other participants and the facilitators. You get 360 feedback in real time!

Meet One of Cathy’s Teachers

“Wave” 10 year old Arabian Gelding

Wave has been part of my family since 2013 when he arrived as a gift from a student of mine who felt he was too much of a challenge. Once he matured, Wave showed us what a brilliant teacher he is by staying true to his personality-bright, curious, energetic and always trying to figure out his human students. He has been an inspiration to me and continues to share his life lessons!