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Healing Hearts Equine Therapy

Mission Statement: To provide support and healing for children and youth who have

experienced trauma and other challenges, within an equine assisted counselling program.

Overview of Program:

            This is an equine assisted counselling program that works from a trauma informed practice with a team of professionals, consisting of a registered clinical counsellor and two equine specialists. The focus of this program is geared towards children and youth, ages 5-16, who have experienced traumatic events in their lives, with the goals of helping them process and heal from these experiences.

Experiencing any kind of trauma, whether it is a one-time event or ongoing, can be difficult to process and overcome. This equine based trauma therapy uses the gentle nature of the horse to help the client rebuild trust and confidence within themselves. This experience can help clients process and move through the traumatic events by providing skills to set healthier boundaries, become more aware of triggers and how to cope with the sometimes overwhelming feelings and sensations, learning how to be present in the 'now' and in their bodies, in healthier and calmer ways. This experience can also assist with opportunities to experience post traumatic progress.

Goals:    Healthy Boundaries, Safety (Emotional/Physical), Improved Self-esteem, Healthy Communication, Conflict Resolution, Self-care, Grounding/Body Work

Description of Program:

This program consists of a twelve week curriculum, with each session being 1 1/2 hours long, with a maximum of four clients per group.  Groups will be for children ages 5-8 or ages 9-16.  Each participant will be assigned a horse and/or pony that they will work with during the entire program.  Each week will consist of working towards the goals listed above in a safe and therapeutic environment at the Millshaw Meadows Equestrian Centre in Mill Bay, BC.  Present at each session will be two equine specialists and a registered clinical counsellor and an approved volunteer when needed.

Required Equipment/Clothing:

Each participant will be provided the necessary tack and equipment required to work with and ride horses, including a riding helmet.  Each participant will be required to wear appropriate footwear and clothing. Footwear must be a shoe or boot with a heel and clothing must include long pants.


Each participant will require insurance through the Horse Council of B.C., which will require the written permission of the legal guardian, and will be applied for by the Program Coordinators and included in the cost of the program.

Cost of Program

12 weeks - per participant - $1,200 + GST. Maximum four kids per group. Group will run with a minimum of three kids.

Schedule of Group(s)

Group will happen on Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and/or 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. January - March, April - June, October - December.  Dates to be fixed.

How to Register

Contact, Cheryl Nowshadi, RCC, Mill Bay Counselling Services at: to arrange for an intake/screening appointment.

Healing Hearts Equine Team:

Cheryl Nowshadi, Registered Clinical Counsellor, Owner/Operator of Mill Bay Counselling Services

Cathie Newman, Equine Canada Certified Coach, Owner/Operator of Millshaw Meadows Equestrian Centre

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