What is horse therapy?
Wildfire Ranch’s horses have undergone extensive preparation for their role in therapy. Before engaging with guests, they train for hours in ground exercises that teach them to show respect toward the humans as “leaders of the herd.” Trainers implement gentle training techniques that involve praising the horses during times of excellence and removing praise during times of disobedience. While the training prepares the horses to perform as expected, we believe that part of the thrill of working with horses comes from the fact that they are living creatures and each possesses a unique personality.
“Horse therapy shows people that they are just existing, not living. Horses can pick up on your emotions even if you don’t feel them.”
Because this intuitive nature, head trainer Cynthia Sweeley believes that at least 90 percent of horse therapy at Wildfire Ranch has an extreme impact on people’s lives. When guests arrive at the ranch for their first therapy session, they are often suppressing their emotions. Because of horses’s natural instincts as prey animals, they have a special way of sensing how other living beings are feeling and behaving. This natural behavior leads a horse to mirror the emotions that are locked deep inside the person they are working with. We believe that this phenomenon helps people to understand the feelings they have been masking, and opens the door to healing.
Cost is $55/hour for the first session or purchase a 5-session package for $250 and save $25.00. Wildfire Ranch is located at 332 Harter Road, Spring Mills, Pa. 16875 and operates 7 days/week by appointment only: (814) 422-0534.
Want more than just a few sessions? Come to our ranch for a week-long horse therapy retreat!
Disclosure: Wildfire Ranch Staff members are not licensed counselors, psychologists or psychiatrists nor do we make any such claims. As such there is no counseling conducted during our equine therapy sessions. Clients are given games to play with the horses which empower clients in their weak areas and promote healing from inner traumas as a result. Wildfire Ranch staff members interpret horse behavior during these sessions as the horses 'mirror' what they are sensing in the clients.