Just stand in front of a horse, if you ever want to know how others might perceive you and what your energy is saying. The first thing you will hear from both our 2- and 4-legged healers, counselors, therapists and instructors at WindWalkers is:
“I see you and accept you. Yes, you!”
With a herd of 24 gentle horses and a backdrop of majestic 14,000-foot peaks in Carbondale, Colorado, WindWalkers Equine Assisted Learning and Therapy Center (“WindWalkers”) works its magic, providing equine assisted services to at-risk underserved populations and their families within our community. Since 2005, WindWalkers has served more than 9,700 unique individuals from early childhood to late life who are struggling with a variety of emotional, neurological, and/or physical challenges. Using an integrated focus, our programs extend therapeutic services and support to the family as a whole, helping both individuals and their families experience improved health and well-being. The positive impact of these programs trickles over into relationships with extended family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and schoolmates, illustrating how the benefits and reach of a well-designed equine therapy program can extend far within the community. Every week I see the faces of our riders light up as they work with their horses and manage the challenges that make riding difficult for them. In these sessions challenges are not barriers, and frustration and pain do not define the relationship. The horse/human partnership, carefully facilitated by the WindWalkers staff, lifts riders above their daily struggles and offers the opportunity for joy, self-confidence, and a deep sense of accomplishment.
Why Horses? They have a unique ability to affect us, stirring awe and wonder, opening hearts and minds, giving us wings, lifting us out of trauma response, and helping us regulate our emotions. The research is clear: horses provide us with more than just a good feeling, they facilitate well being, stabilize moods, and support neurological development, making them hugely beneficial in many therapeutic settings. “One of the most beautiful aspects of this work is that the horses are able to be themselves, totally authentic in who they are, and invite us to do the same,” says Executive Director, Gabrielle Greeves. There are many other ways the horses teach us about ourselves, yet experiencing it for yourself is the best way to know!
Visit our website and callus to learn about “upcoming” experiential learning workshops. We also offer individual sessions in Therapeutic Riding, Wellness Counseling and what better way than with a horse by your side! So,
To learn more about WindWalkers you can get in touch with Gabrielle Greeves at: