What is horse therapy?
Wildfire Ranch’s horses have undergone extensive preparation for their role in therapy. Before engaging with guests, they train for hours in ground exercises that teach them to show respect toward the humans as “leaders of the herd.” Trainers implement gentle training techniques that involve praising the horses during times of excellence and removing praise during times of disobedience. While the training prepares the horses to perform as expected, we believe that part of the thrill of working with horses comes from the fact that they are living creatures and each possesses a unique personality.
“Horse therapy shows people that they are just existing, not living. Horses can pick up on your emotions even if you don’t feel them.”
Because this intuitive nature, head trainer Cynthia Sweeley believes that at least 90 percent of horse therapy at Wildfire Ranch has an extreme impact on people’s lives. When guests arrive at the ranch for their first therapy session, they are often suppressing their emotions. Because of horses’s natural instincts as prey animals, they have a special way of sensing how other living beings are feeling and behaving. This natural behavior leads a horse to mirror the emotions that are locked deep inside the person they are working with. We believe that this phenomenon helps people to understand the feelings they have been masking, and opens the door to healing.
Cost is $40/hour for the first session. If you like the results you can purchase 3 sessions as a package and the cost goes down to $35/session.
Want more than just a few sessions? Come to our ranch for a week-long horse therapy retreat!