Therapy workshops with horses
Two Waipa¯ women are joining forces to offer workshops that use horses to provide professional development, team building and therapy.
Cara Burgess is the owner of Discover Through Horses, a therapy service based in Kihikihi. Lisa Ryan owns Soulscaping, a business offering a range of alternative natural healthcare in Te Awamutu.
The pair hit it off over a phone call and decided to combine their expertise for a series of workshops for families, groups and corporate groups.
The monthly workshops start in October and will be held at the Kihikihi Domain and the Cambridge Riding for the Disabled Centre.
The sessions are about working with horses to find solution orientated outcomes through self-believing, personal development, authenticity, connection, team building and wellbeing.
Three horses — Noah, Madi and miniature pony Poppy — are used in the ground-based sessions.
No previous horse knowledge or experience is required to take part.
Lisa and Cara both have a passion for wellbeing and say horses play an important role in this.
“Horses are an emotional animal and pick up on our emotions,” Lisa says.
“They can become our teachers and mentors, helping us to transform our lives and achieve positive outcomes.”
“During a workshop the horses help with learning and growth, allowing the clients the opportunity to explore feelings, behaviours and patterns by applying the skills required within a session.
“The client is actively engaged in posing questions, investigating, being curious, solving problems, assuming responsibility, being creative and constructing meaning.”
The sessions are designed to give clients steps to work towards goals and outcomes.
“We pride ourselves on providing a safe, supportive and fun environment that allows change and positive steps forward.”
Corporate sessions can be tailored to the business’ needs.
Lisa, originally from Te Ku¯ iti, now lives in Te Awamutu and runs Soulscaping from Nga¯roto Rd.
She is qualified in massage therapy, reiki, personal development, the emotion code, holistic life coaching and emotional weight management.
The business allows her to combine a unique blend of therapies tailor-made for the individual client.
Lisa has been involved in the Otorohanga ¯ Riding for the Disabled (RDA) for the last 12 years.
Cara has more than 20 years’ experience working alongside horses, starting as a groom through to running professional yards.
She and her family moved to from the UK to New Zealand 12 years ago.
Cara started volunteering at the Tauranga RDA, which led her to various other roles, including holiday programme coordinator and then contracting to the RDA to provide equine-based therapy programmes.
She has been an Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) facilitator since 2013.
Cara says horses help clients to stay present during a session.
“Horses bring about transformative moments, with clients able to express themselves, with the horse giving authentic feedback in a non-judgmental environment.”
“Equine-assisted workshops often help clients realise the change needed to grow effectively and have positive outcomes within work or home life.”
Lisa Ryan (left) and Cara Burgess and horses Noah (right), Madi and miniature pony Poppy are putting on a series of horse-related workshops in the Waipa¯ .