The Equus Effect
People in Recovery
There are many twists and turns for each person on the journey to a healthy, productive life without substances or behaviors that keep you from success at home, work and school. Rebuilding healthy relationships depends on many factors that horses willingly share with us. They reward us with trust for our emotional honesty, teach us how to set healthy boundaries and respect any request that comes from a place of congruence — when what we think, feel and do are the same.
For those in treatment or new to the 12-Steps
This confidential peer-to-peer program is for people who are at the beginning of the road to recovery. We offer a chance to work on the steps with our horses as a way of experiencing how important it is to become honest, open-minded and willing. Our horses can show you where you're stuck, how to settle down and begin to let go of old patterns. Physical, emotional and mental well-being begin with the belief that change is possible and that you can do things differently.
You'll have the chance to find out how essential emotional honesty is to rebuilding trust in yourself and from others. This program is directly linked to the first three steps - so that you can feel what it's like to come from a deeper, more humble and open place and reap the rewards in real time, right now.
This peer-to-peer program is both confidential and extremely enlightening. The more you see and understand both your gifts, blind spots and self-limiting patterns, the more you know how to take responsibility for yourself and move forward.
I was really having trouble with Step 2. Then, I spent the afternoon working with Tango and it became as clear as day.
On the Road…
For those in sober houses or who've been coming around for a while
This program is appropriate for those who've made a commitment to themselves to stay sober and live more independently with others who share their values. The steps play an integral role in rebuilding healthy relationships with ourselves and others… so does support, feedback and experimenting with new ways of being. On the Road is designed to give you all three.
We offer people who have moved into phase two of sobriety the chance to practice new behaviors and test out healthy strategies for engaging in life based on self-awareness, self-esteem and compassion for others. Good sobriety depends on our ability to have healthy relationships and horses are masterful teachers. Their sensitivity to our true intentions and capacity to mirror what's really going on inside makes them perfect guides for a successful return to life in the real world.
I got a lot out of treatment, but it's not the same as dealing with situations and people on the outside. Things happen that make me react in ways I don't like. When I was working with Apache, I got a chance to practice setting healthy boundaries in real time and got instant feedback when I was being effective.
STEP 12 and BEYOND…
For staff, sponsors or those who support others in recovery
We offer this program for those who would like to understand how to mentor others as sponsors, counselors or family members who wish to understand more about rebuilding healthy relationships. Whether you're trying to understand effective ways to communicate with someone you love who is in recovery, how to face compassion fatigue or need to develop strategies for dealing with people you mentor, horses are consummate mirrors for what you bring that works — and doesn't. The answer is always the same…clarity, congruence and compassion…but the barriers are as unique as our fingerprints.
This program is for those who would like to open their minds and learn more ways to reach others without losing touch with their own needs and values. More can always be revealed…in ways that are both relaxing AND energizing.
Now I understand that just because something is easy for me, it's not for someone else. Working with Dutch and Apache made me realize that if something isn't going the way I want, I need to ask a different question, ask it another way — or ask for help. I never would have believed this if I hadn't experienced it myself.