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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Spotlight: Stepping Stone Farms

I have been a woman of many ideas and dreams.

With each of those my life could have gone in so many different directions.
One of these dreams, and i am not sure when it started to form, is the idea that to use horses, especially rescue horses and abused/neglected people, especially children, to help heal each other. 

It has stayed in the back of my mind for some time. And in the mean time, I have gotten my Masters degree in counseling, worked in various areas of trauma and maintained my love of horses. Oh and started a family. :)

A few years ago I started seeing that there are places that are doing just this thing, in various ways. There is even an organized group called EAGALA that does Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and trains people in it. Another organization exists doing the same thing called OK Corral. I have been dong research on them and following where all of their trainings take place and what agencies and organizations actually practice this.

However I have remained stuck in actually doing nothing for a long time. 

Something in the past few months has clicked and changed for me. I have worked through a lot of my own barriers and fears and to make a long story short, I finally signed up for a training in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. And the OK Corral series happened to have a training about 35 minutes north of me last month. So I went. It was at Stepping Stone Farm in Franklin, WI

And this act of actually signing up has set a ball in motion for me. I cannot begin to tell you how nervous I was going to this training, not knowing a single person. but hoping to learn something and make some connections. And I was able to do both.

a few pictures from the farm and the 3 day training:

Lia, the head honcho at Stepping Stone made it clear immediately that they were looking for help. I did not know exactly what that meant or looked like so I eventually spoke to her during the training and after. And have since been working with her to develop some programs, help recruit some fundraising help, going to networking events and actually counseling a group of veterans who come out on Friday mornings. I am stunned by how the veterans are able to open up let their guard down with the horses. "Its like they get me" they say. And the farm is safe and peaceful.

A lot of work that I can do at home, except Friday mornings, and Ben gets to come with me and experience farm life.

Lia works so hard and is so passionate about the work on her farm. And did I mention that most of the horses on her farm ARE RESCUE HORSES!! Each with their own rescue story.
this horse is Nina, so far one of my favorites

Stepping stone farm rehabs these rescue horses, uses them to teach riding lessons, do equine assisted psychotherapy, equine assisted learning and therapeutic riding. We are also working on having workshops, team building, and camps using EAP/EAL. 

Stepping Stone is a non for profit and runs primarily on the heart of Lia, many volunteers and many generous donors who believe in what they do.

I am a believer. 

And so they are my other organization I am running the Biggest Loser Half Marathon for in September this year. Would you consider donating to their cause? My goal is $500

If you are unable to donate financially, can you do one of the following for me?:
- share this cause with friends and encourage them to donate
-keep this organization and its clients in your thoughts and prayers

to donate go here:

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