Programs at Anam Cara Stables are individually tailored to provide services for individuals, groups, families, teams and corporations. Certified equine specialists and licensed mental health professionals partner in therapy teams to provide our services. Services range from enhancing school success, to team building to mental health services. Our pastures and a beautiful country setting make Anam Cara Stables the ideal environment for a journey of self-discovery and healing.
Stacey Garcelon, Founder and Director, and Sandy Cogswell, Co-Founder and Equine Specialist, are certified by the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA). Our programs are individually tailored to meet each individual family, group or corporation's needs. Equine Specialists at Anam Cara Stables work with mental health providers who specialize in particular areas. Pamela Stover, LCSW is our contracted therapist who specializes in trauma Informed care. Our newest addition to the team is Terry Mays, a 13 year Navy Veteran, and therapist. She is excited about joining the team and expanding our services to Veterans, active military, and their families.
We provide services for enhancing school success as well as: recovering from trauma, grief/loss, PTSD, eating disorders, anger management, self-esteem/self-worth, ADHD, addiction, anxiety disorders, depression, and other mental health and relationship issues.
Accomplishments of 2017 include expanding both services, and capacity to include the programs listed below in addition to individual therapy. In addition, we have developed close relationships and collaborate frequently with members of the Michigan EAGALA networking group. As a result of this participation, Anam Cara Stables was selected by the Equine Assisted Growth & Learning Association to serve as Indiana’s EAGALA Networking Group and provide quarterly networking meetings and monthly support meetings/practice sessions. Sandy & Stacey also attended the 2017 EAGALA Conference in Colorado and are taking steps to earn Advanced Certification.
Anam Cara Stables, Inc. offers an exciting program for children ages 6-12: Horse-Powered Reading. The program partners horses with students to experience reading with their entire minds and bodies. Using metaphors for reading skills paired with horse-powered obstacles, students build motivation to read and grow their self-confidence in reading abilities.
The ultimate goal of the program is to help students at all levels become more intrinsically motivated learners. The program was developed by Michele Pickel, PhD and utilizes internationally recognized EAGALA Model Equine Assisted Learning (EAL.) Students are supervised by an EAGALA certified team including an Equine Specialist. There is no riding involved.
How do horses help teach reading? With EAGALA Model EAL students see and experience reading with their entire mind and body by creating metaphors for the skills involved in reading. Horses become the reading material or book students need to connect with. Without finding and making some connection with the text, it is easy to drift away from or lose interest in a book. By experiencing how it feels when a book or text is too hard or too easy, students learn to choose a “just right” book. Seeing what tools are used to connect with the book (horse) and how that connection is made, allows facilitators and teachers to use clean questioning to help students discover the importance of connecting and explore better ways to do it through the metaphor.
In a Horse Powered Reading session, reading problems may be made visible by labeling obstacles that get in the way of understanding. Clients create a “Reading River” (obstacle course) that must be navigated with their chosen reading material (horse). Often while reading, readers don’t even know when they have drifted away and no longer understand what the text is talking about. However, in the Reading River it becomes obvious! When an obstacle is met, the reader is forced to stop or move out of the river with their text. “Fix-up strategies” must be explored and used in order to get back in the flow of reading. Facilitators can then ask, “What just happened?” and “How might that look when you are reading?” Perhaps the reader was forced to move out of the river and circle back for a ‘running start’ to get over an obstacle, much like you might need a running start to re-read a paragraph to get the meaning. Maybe the obstacle forced them to take a different route, such as looking at another chapter to figure out what is going on in this paragraph; or to get help by asking another person; or to use another tool such as a dictionary.
Through the EAGALA model, the incredible power of the horse is able to open hearts, give clear, relevant, truthful feedback to actions and attitudes, and give unconditional acceptance in the presence of emotional congruence, on the inside and the outside. It is an incredible opportunity to experience emotional growth, learning, and change. Children frequently experience rejection when some aspects of their "core being" are expressed. They quickly learn that in order to obtain approval or acceptance, they must suppress parts of themselves. When they are unable to have a voice, emotional congruence and authenticity suffer and the search for discovery and expression of the real self is lost.
Horses by their very nature as prey animals, must be able to detect intent in their environment. Therefore, when people work with horses, and try to act they way they think they "should", the lack of emotional congruence is obvious to the horse and they respond accordingly. When the insides and outsides of a person match, the horses relax and are much more cooperative. This is often the first time a person experiences acceptance for true emotional congruence and authenticity. (Tramutt, Jacy. Opening the Gate: Cultivating Self-Awareness and Self Acceptance through Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy p.12)
Power Tools for Living focuses on the emotional constructs for personal success: Respect, Responsibility, Relationship Skills, Boundaries, Empathy, Choices and Consequences. The presence of the horse and the content of the constructs brings out and deepens the strengths of the emotionally healthy and sooths and heals the needs of those with emotional wounds or scars.
A six-week trauma-informed, equine-assisted learning group for individuals interested in understanding how past trauma and substance use often go hand-in-hand. Why Horses? Horses aren’t impressed with recovery talk or good intentions. They know when we’re grounded, focused, and being real; even if we don’t know it ourselves. Horses respond with unique insight into who we are in the moment. They are profoundly gifted reflectors of our true selves because their very survival depends of reading their surroundings correctly. That’s why time spent with horses on the ground, under the guidance of certified EAGALA professionals offers us a safe, hands-on, and immediate way to practice being honest with ourselves and open to change. No riding involved. No previous horse experience necessary.
Horses are experts in feedback because as prey animals, their natural instincts require them to be continually perceptive of their environment. They provide honest immediate feedback to the presenting environment. Clients in recovery are often disconnected with their feelings and their physical body as a result of childhood or recent trauma. They spend a great deal of time thinking about the past or worrying about the future. Being “in the present” and “connecting with their feelings” is very challenging almost universally. Horses help clients “be in the present” and get more “in touch” with their feelings. Being prey animals, horses are keenly aware of their surroundings and intentions of those around them. Additionally, horses’ “insides match their outsides,” consequently, if clients aren’t “congruent” with their body language and feelings, horses know this and give feedback accordingly. Clients are much more open to receiving feedback from an animal as compared to a human therapist. The arena allows for experiential learning without judgment. (EAGALA 2013). There is an unconscious engagement between horses and people, which includes the effects of the Oxytocin hormone. Oxytocin reduces fear/anxiety in both humans and mammals when one encounters another in a safe place (EquiPower 2015 p. 16). Horses are sensitive to non-verbal communication and respond to clients’ accordingly. This provides an opportunity for honest, here-and-now transformational experiences. By creating a safe environment for experiential learning through doing rather than thinking (cognitive processing of talking/listening), clients are offered opportunities for self-reflection, integration, and empowerment of their own learning/life choices.
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy , Individuals, Couples, Families, Groups
We provide experiential activities with our horses to help clients of all ages to heal from trauma, addiction, and build and improve:
These activities help people learn to establish reasonable boundaries, earn respect, and improve communications.
Provide experiential activities to help develop the tools and strategies needed to make good choices. EAL is a fantastic way to experience the benefits of our services for those not requiring therapy to build:
Corporate Training and Development, Leadership - Team Building - Problem Solving