Eagala (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) program, Anam Cara Stables, has been providing life-changing services and improving the mental health of individuals, families, and groups through equine-assisted psychotherapy since May 2016.
The Eagala Model is a team approach that includes a licensed Mental Health Professional, a qualified Equine Specialist, and horses working together with the client in an arena at all times. When inside the arena, all the work is done on the ground with the horses front and center, deliberately unhindered and never ridden, and allowed to interact with the client as they wish. “This creates the space for the client, with the support of the professional facilitators, to reflect, project, and make deep connections.
This has proven to be extremely effective in working with marginalized groups such as women and children, sex-trafficking survivors, and criminal offenders. Inspired by true events, The Mustang, premiered Friday, March 15th. It tells the story of a violent convict who is given the chance to participate in a prison rehabilitation program centered around the training of wild mustangs. Both The Mustang and the Eagala Model show the power of the horse in addressing mental health needs. As prey animals, horses respond to nonverbal messages, even unconscious ones, and their responses often remind clients of their goals, personal challenges, or relationships with themselves and others. This provides a safe environment to work through those relationships, where the horses only change when we do.”