WHAT WE DO
A session with the InterMission horses is designed to help each person develop a skill or aspect of understanding that will benefit them in their life. Examples include reinforcing one’s own boundaries, noticing and respecting other’s boundaries, connecting to deep feelings, recognizing false limitations, and honoring oneself and one’s relationships. We use the EPALA model of equine facilitated teaching, which is focused on building relationships with the horses and creating mutual understanding and connection.
I started out begging my parents for a horse at an early age, but didn’t actually get one of my own until I was 43. Never give up on your dreams! In the meantime, I earned a B.A. in Biology and Ph.D. in Developmental Genetics. I taught college courses in Biology and Genetics for 6 years before I moved to working as a laboratory manager in agriculture.
As a kid, I never felt like I fit in, and all of my best friends seemed to have somebody else as THEIR best friend. I grew up on a wildlife refuge and learned to sneak up on ducks and force feed injured hawks, but struggled to connect with other kids.
One summer during college, I uncovered memories of having been molested as a child, and spent much of the next decade working with various therapists and trying different treatment approaches. I would not be the person I am today if I had not experienced that trauma and the resulting relationships with other survivors. Eventually, I adopted a seven-year old girl from Russia, and learned everything I could get my hands on about potential issues with international adoptions of older children. I spent a lot more time in a counselor’s office with my daughter, learning about attachment theory and therapeutic parenting and the impacts of early childhood trauma.
While our family first got our own horses for my daughter, I have said from the beginning that we have horses in order to share them with others. Over time, I have more and more come to recognize the beauty of a deep and meaningful relationship with these beautiful beings, and understand how such relationships can be healing for those who have experienced trauma, and enriching for anyone open to learning from them. As a result, I founded InterMission, completed a 400 hour, year long apprenticeship, and have earned an Epala Equine Facilitated Coaching Certification.
I’m a pretty eclectic mix of life experiences and enjoy all the craziness that comes with having dogs, cats, chickens, and horses all as part of my life. Adapting to circumstance and accepting reality are important life skills and things I try to role model. I love teaching, whether that comes in the form of developing a formal curriculum for a college course, mentoring staff members, or teaching kids how to build relationships with my horses as they build resilience skills.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
We are located at 9060 194th Ln NW, midway between Nowthen and Elk River. Our 8 acre property includes
We will work outdoors or in the barn if at all possible, although we have a heated indoor area in case of excessive cold. Sessions can be scheduled during most months of the year depending on the weather. Separate seating/waiting areas are available for parents, siblings, or others that are not directly involved in a session.
Most of our sessions happen in the pasture.
Cold weather doesn't slow us down.
Outdoors is the place to be!
The Role Horses Play
Horse activities are focused on building relationships with the horses rather than using the horses to meet our needs. We will not be riding, but rather interacting with them on an equal footing - all six feet on the ground! Activities may include observation as the herd goes about their normal interactions with each other, or direct individual interaction with one horse, such as grooming or leading. They may be as simple as sharing space with the horse without physical contact, or more complex such as practicing finding the different "energy zones" (like our personal space bubbles) surrounding the horse. Each activity will be done with specific preparation and with the participant focused on a particular thought, emotion, or goal for the interaction, so the same activity could be done in different ways and with different outcomes during subsequent sessions.
We invite you to contact us to schedule a sample session at no cost, and experience it for yourself! We do recommend you commit to at least four sessions to fully experience what the horses have to offer.