Equine Experiential Education

A relaxing afternoon and well deserved break outdoors in nature with the wise and intuitive horse! 

Celebrate with a special day and share the good feelings of  SAFE social connections

Calm, safe, trained and experienced horses

It’s Your Time

In one amazing afternoon you’ll discover:

  • time for yourself (no work/students/family demands)
  • fresh air and sunshine (away from your laptop)
  • human interaction (without the word ZOOM underneath their face)
  •  mindfulness and calm through noticing simple experiences of the senses
  • A real life lesson you can take with you
  • the power of horses to show how strong, beautiful and resilient you are

An enjoyable, enlightening and memorable experience!

Saturdays in the Summer

“Breakaway” is offered in small groups of 4 (kids allowed with adult participants only)  on Saturdays in the summer starting , July 4th from 12 to 2 pm at the Healing Hearts Ranch in Olympia* (about 40 minutes from Longview/Kelso).

Participants can choose to simply sit and observe the horses or experience the connection of standing with or brushing a horse and moving at a walk. There is no experience necessary to participate. 

*The facility is equipped to offer masks and gloves to all participants if they wish and each staff member is required to wear a mask during the event with a wash station and hand sanitizer available.


SIGN UP FOR “Breakaway” TODAY!

Donations are $25 for the 2-hour event. You can attend one or several of the Saturday sessions. All of the proceeds go to the nonprofit, Heart Strides Therapeutic Horsemanship which operates out of Healing Hearts Ranch at 3500 85th Lane, Olympia, WA 98512



Dress for the weather and working outdoors in covered arena or pastures. WEAR ONLY CLOSED TOED SHOES. For any questions, CONTACT US.

“It’s a great program, and not just for horse people” The biggest AHA moment was “being able to be calm around horses and seeing them from a different perspective”


Some of the insights from the others opened me to new ideas. Understanding the needs of others, humans or creatures, benefits us all”


Meet One of  the Teachers

“Wave” 12 year old Arabian Gelding

Wave has been part of our family since 2013 when he arrived as a gift from a student who felt he was too much of a challenge. Once he matured, Wave showed what a brilliant teacher he is by staying true to his personality-bright, curious, energetic and encouraging students to grow in their assertiveness and confidence during life lessons. Thanks Wave!

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 Shetland pony, Daisy. 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 socks-no sandals, no exceptions.

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

Yes, lunch is available during GROUP CLASSES and LEADERSHIP TRAINING. 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 SOME 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.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy requires a trained mental health professional to be present and the work is done with his/her patients and the horses supervised by a trained horse professional.

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 to move forward in your life through positive change.

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!