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Groups, workshops, and individual sessions

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Explained

EAP incorporates horses experientially for emotional growth and learning. Professional therapy  teams which include a licensed therapist, horse professional and a horse, assist participants with  a variety of mental health issues, including  abuse, anger management, trauma, PTSD, self-injury, OCD, anxiety, depression and ADHD. The horses provide a powerful catalyst for insight, change, and personal growth. Many of lifes challenges make themselves apparent quickly through activities with the horses. The client is then able to take responsibility for exploring new manners of coping and being in relationship with their world. 

EAP treatment teams are EAGALA* certified. EAP takes place on the ground. This requires the clients to use a variety of skills to achieve the desired reactions and interactions from the horses. 

As treatment progresses, clients become aware of faulty thinking patterns, actions, and reactions. They learn to solve problems, improve communication skills, self-regulate, and are able to identify and change unhealthy behaviors  and perceptions. Participants develop a sense of empowerment and responsibility. Typical outcomes include development of increased self-esteem, hard work ethic, and leadership skills as well as self control and awareness. At the heart of each session is a focus on building character and internalizing character values.

The Heart of the Matter also works cooperatively with local social service agencies and mental health agencies. 


*Content adapted from Fundamentals of EAGALA Model Practice Manual published by the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association. For further information visit

Benefits of EAP

Group Opportunities

Circle Of Friends

In a group setting, the participants focus on social and personal goals. We practice the following skills throughout the session:

-Emotion recognition with the goal of increased emotion regulation (connection to self).

 - Interpersonal skills with the goal of improved social skills (connection to others)

 -Mindfulness with the goal of increased awareness of the clients impact on the world around him/her

 -Communication with the goal of increased awareness of self-talk and how the participant communicate with others.


Ages: 7-9

Fee: $90/session 

Thursdays: 4:00 - 5:15pm

New group starting in January

*Intake required to determine appropriateness for this group. 

Pony Express 

The primary goals of this group are emotion recognition and regulation, and development of communication and social skills. Team, character, and life skill building as well as mindfulness are organically woven into the program as well. Our experience is that the skills learned in the arena will be reflected in the participants’ overall functioning in their world.  Along with these skills, we see increased self-esteem and ability to connect with self and with others. All sessions take place in the arena with the horses. 

*The first 10 min of this group is a supervised informal gathering of the participants. This allows for organic observation of connection and communication prior to session. 

Ages: 9 -12

Fee: $90/session

Thursdays  5:30 - 7:00pm

New group starting in January

*Intake required to determine appropriateness for this group. 

A Place to be Herd

Our young people need to develop resilience if they are going to move into the world successfully. This group is for the 13-17 year old who may need assistance and support navigating the many challenges of the teen years and beyond. Core elements addressed will be emotion recognition and regulation, strengthening communication skills, development of coping skills, character and leadership development. Additional topics to be explored as the teens bring their own challenges to the group.  All sessions take place in the arena with the horses.

Ages: 13-17

Fee: $90/session

Day and time to be determined. 

New group starting in February

*Intake required to determine appropriateness for this group. 


FREE Community Workshop

For those who are curious and would like to learn more about EAP/EAL in a hands on setting. This workshop is interactive and includes an educational element.

Dates and times TBA - Check back or email us to be put on the list to be notified. 

Parenting from the Pasture

Let the horses assist you in developing new ways of communicating and being in a relationship with your child/adolescent.

Dates and times TBA - Check back or email us to be put on the list to be notified. 

Group Opportunities
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