This cutting-edge workshop allows for a distinct healing experience through experiential activities with horses addressing self-esteem, boundaries, honoring reality, wants and needs, emotional regulation, and spontaneity. The Workshop consists of no more than five participants for an outdoor, five-day experience facilitated by two seasoned professionals, Colleen and Buddy! Participants stay in good ole' Wickenburg and are transported daily to equine facility.
"Spirit" is a great resource for those of us that have already done a great deal of personal work. It is unique, very different from the other forms of therapy I have encountered in my twenty-five years of recovery. I had profound insights and learned techniques to continue nervous system regulation. I was able to complete several pieces of experiential work throughout the week; some deep and others just necessary to integrate.
The relationship between horses and humans is unique. Horses are highly intuitive animals. Buddy told us, "horse give you what you need, not necessarily what you want". This resonated; they present challenges and elicited emotions I may not have otherwise accessed. Without ever mounting a horse, I felt connected to them, myself and nature in a way I hadn't for some time. They represented struggles in my life, and inspired me to stretch. These horses and facilitators helped me connect to my higher self, providing the guidance and the healing I sought in an organic way.
The Meadows’ equine workshop team combines the wisdom of our seasoned therapist trained in Somatic Experiencing® (SE) with an uncommon horseman and highly skilled trainer. This unique equine experience is held on a scenic rustic ranch a short distance from Wickenburg, AZ.
Combining The Meadows Model, Somatic Experiencing® (SE), mindfulness, and natural horsemanship, this cutting-edge workshop allows for a distinct healing experience. The program consists of experiential activities with horses addressing self-esteem, boundaries, honoring reality, wants and needs, emotional regulation, and spontaneity. Created exclusively for a small group of no more than five participants, this workshop is an outdoor five-day experience facilitated by two seasoned professionals. Individuals, couples, families, and professionals are welcome to enroll.
For more information, please refer to the brochure at www.themeadows.com/images/Spirit-Workshop.pdf
If you believe that you or a loved one would benefit from our Equine Workshop, please give us a call at 800-244-4949. Our Intake Coordinators are happy to assist you between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on weekdays, and from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends.
Equine Therapy is a highly effective therapeutic tool used at The Meadows in our addiction and trauma treatment program. As part of our innovative and holistic treatment program, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) helps patients learn new ways of dealing with trauma, their eating disorder, and relationships.
Horses are an integral part of our leading-edge treatment. These powerful yet vulnerable creatures have a large limbic system, the part of the brain responsible for emotion and intuition, which greatly contributes to their keen ability to detect danger. Perhaps most importantly, this also plays a part in their heightened sensitivity to human emotion, body language, and energy. At The Meadows, our patients learn how to be predictable, trustworthy and communicative from the bonds they establish during our Equine Therapy program.
This is why we are excited about our new addition to our mascot family, miniature horse, Cinnamon! She was born on March 17, 2014 on St. Patrick’s day between 10:30 pm -11:00 pm. Harry our security guard helped to deliver the young foal. She weighs approximately 20 pounds and has light brown coloring. She resembles her mother, Nutmeg, in color and is now considered the mini-mini of The Meadows. Both the mare and our new addition are being carefully monitored by our excellent Equine Therapy staff.
They are pleased to report that Cinnamon began walking and drinking milk from her mother immediately after she was born. So far, Cinnamon and Nutmeg have taken a brief nap and they have been soaking in the Arizona sunshine. Enthusiasm has been shared by both humans and animals alike; as Charlie, the dad, and Comet, Nutmeg’s brother, have been seen dancing around, jumping and being quite playful. This is a truly joyous occasion at The Meadows.
The Miniature horses that we have here at The Meadows, Center for Addiction and Trauma Treatment, are Nutmeg (the mom), Charlie (the dad), Comet (the brother) and the new addition Cinnamon (the baby girl). These miniatures are friendly and interact well with our patients and staff. For this reason they are the stable mascots.
Miniatures have natural horse behaviors, including a natural fight or flight instinct, and must be treated like a full-sized equine. Some miniatures have been known to serve as companion guides for the blind. They are also trained as service animals, akin to assistant dogs for people with disabilities. Miniature horses are also trained for driving carts, equine agility and other competitive horse show type events. While miniature horses can be trained to work indoors, they are still real horses and are healthier when allowed to live outdoors (with proper shelter and room to run).
They are generally quite hardy, often living longer on average than some full-sized horse breeds; the average life span of miniature horses is from 25 to 35 years.
To learn more about how horses play a role in treatment, visit our Equine Therapy treatment page
For additional information about the treatment of addiction and trauma, please call to speak to a Counselor at 800-244-4949 or complete an online form and we will contact you with the information you need.
I had the good fortune to participate in The Meadows five day “Spirit” SE Equine Workshop in January. This workshop is one of a kind. “Spirit” combines Somatic Experiencing (SE) and Equine therapy. SE is a body-oriented therapy which releases trauma and regulates the nervous system. Equine therapy uses horses to mirror emotions and teach us boundaries and respectful collaboration which translates into personal relationships.
The moment I got out of my car and took in the surroundings I could feel my nervous system becoming more regulated. The sun was rising, the group was gathering around a fire, a rooster was crowing, and a train moaned in the distance. Visible were close to a dozen magnificent horses corralled nearby. Later, I came to know them as friends, teachers and healers. I was welcomed to this sanctuary by the facilitators, Colleen Derango, MA, LISAC, SEP and Buddy Uldrickson.
Colleen is an incredibly talented, seasoned Meadows trained therapist skillful in Somatic Experiencing (SE). She is warm, wise, grounding, and gifted. Buddy is an uncommon horseman. He is a master at handling and training horses naturally. A man of few words, he imparts “simple wisdom”. He incorporates his own SE training into his horsemanship instruction. Ever vigilant and steady, he eases the fear of the large animals.
“Spirit” is a great resource for those of us that have already done a great deal of personal work. It is unique, very different from the other forms of therapy I have encountered in my twenty-five years of recovery. I had profound insights and learned techniques to continue nervous system regulation. I was able to complete several pieces of experiential work throughout the week; some deep and others just necessary to integrate.
The relationship between horses and humans is unique. Horses are highly intuitive animals. Buddy told us, “horse give you what you need, not necessarily what you want”. This resonated; they present challenges and elicited emotions I may not have otherwise accessed. Without ever mounting a horse, I felt connected to them, myself and nature in a way I hadn’t for some time. They represented struggles in my life, and inspired me to stretch. These horses and facilitators helped me connect to my higher self, providing the guidance and the healing I sought in an organic way.
Two months ago The Meadows Equine department was excited to expand our program with three new additions.
We have added miniature horses to our program. Given their size and highly social nature, miniature horses offer a uniquely novel experience to our Participants.
The Miniature horse is a relatively new breed of horse. Although small horses are documented throughout history the standards for the Miniature breed were set in the 1970’s and 80’s. They are gentle natured and commonly used as companions for larger horses. This desire to companion with others makes them wonderful therapy animals.
Charlie is very brave and adventurous. He is willing to try new things and very outgoing. Charlie has no idea that he is any smaller than the standard size horses and this gives his personality a wonderful enthusiastic flair.
Nutmeg is a big furry pony. She is very loving and patient. She takes her time getting to know the people she is working with and likes to observe what’s going on in our sessions. She seems more sensitive to the issues in a group; she is simply sweet and kind. She loves napping in the sandy shade area of her pen.
Comet is our baby. His truly curious attitude about the world is refreshing. Given that he likes to put everything in his mouth he provides a great chance to practice boundary setting. He is impulsively cheerful and busy. Always exploring and looking for something else to get into. He is always joyful and that makes working with him fun.
Our team looks forward to working with Charlie, Nutmeg and Comet for many years to come. They are truly a treasure here at the barn.
Frustration starts where knowledge ends
- Clinton Anderson
There is a point in many equine experientials where the individual or the group begins to experience a level of frustration. Some of the experientials in equine therapy often create feelings of frustration.
The horse can exhibit frustration in many of the same ways a person can. They can shut down or freeze, leave or walk away, and even at times keep trying new things until there is a pay off. For example some horses can work a gate latch different ways until they are able to get it open. If the horse is frustrated with being in its stall it will use that frustrated energy to figure out a way to get loose. On the other side of that coin, some horses who feel large amounts of frustration and stress can develop unhealthy ways of coping with it such as aggression, cribbing (sucking air compulsively), or weaving back and fourth continuously in a stall. Left unaddressed the horse can be permanently emotionally affected by this.
Often frustration in day to day life is an experience that tends to be avoided. In working with horses therapeutically frustration can be used to help cue healthy change and progress in recovery. Instead of repeating old behavior patterns when frustrated, Participants are encouraged to practice new tools and new skills. A horse is very tuned into those shifts in energy. A horse that has refused to move his feet all session will suddenly become willing and move with ease once a Participant has reframed their frustration, and began drawing on it as a source of motivation and intention.
Often times Participants come to that place in their frustration where they can shut down, withdraw or move forward. At this very important crossroad the horse is always willing to practice the new ways of using the energy around frustration to meet needs. The horse is willing to wait as we work through our process around frustration and let go of what has not worked.
Because of their forgiving and patient nature the horse is willing to journey with us through these trial and error periods. They will stand beside us as we discover what works for us when we are feeling frustrated.