We offer trauma-informed equine facilitated therapy, focusing on the horse-human connection as a pathway to building connected relationships.
Research shows that just standing next to a horse lowers your heart rate. Like people, horses are designed to live in relationship and in community. At Brave Grace, we use lessons learned from the horse to help you grow, heal, and strengthen relationships.
Our dedicated team shares a commonality with the herd in that we all come from different life places and experiences that add to the overall experience. We all (horse and human) share a commitment to bringing healing to others through the power of connectedness.
April has loved all things equine for as long as she can remember and will never forget her first ride on a big Palomino named River. April was blessed to grow up riding, and spent time working on a ranch in college. This gave her the opportunity to interact with many different horses, it was here she fell in love with their intuitive nature and kind hearts. Her dream of bringing the horse into the healing process has been realized in her work as an Equine Facilitated Psychotherapist. April is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, she is also certified in Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy. April's therapeutic philosophy involves inviting the horse as a willing participant into the session, she firmly believes in the horses ability to facilitate change and healing. She has worked with adults, children and families struggling with a variety of issues, and has been witness many times to the power of equine therapy.
Equine Specialist, Co-Founder
Growing up in rural Idaho, Sheila's favorite thing to do as a young girl was to spend time on her grandparent's ranch in Montana and be among the horses. Carrying this love into her adult life, she has become very skilled at reading horses and brings years of experience into her sessions.
As a student of her own horse, a beautiful Colonial Spanish Barb, she has learned how horses are the perfect teachers of patience, respect and understanding. After raising her children, she found her calling as an Equine Specialist. Sheila helps clients connect with the horses and discover new insights about themselves.
She holds a certificate in Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy and blends natural horsemanship and a good measure of heart into her work. Since 2009 she has worked as an Equine Specialist serving a variety of populations. Sheila loves this work and is a gift to those who benefit from her wisdom.
Sue has been in the social work profession for over 25 years with a commitment to helping others heal. She has worked with many populations including children and families engaged with the Social services system (adoption, family reunification and forensic interviewing of children who were victims of abuse), College age adults as a director of a college counseling center, private practice and foster youth. She also enjoys teaching and training other mental health professionals as a clinical supervisor. She is trained in EMDR and Natural Lifemanship.
Sue came to equine work as an avenue to support herself in her own healing journey. She’d always had a love of animals but little experience with horses. Over the last 5 years she has been so excited to watch and learn what the horses have to teach. Every day, she sees the intersection in best trauma practice and how horses live. It’s an honor to do this work alongside the Brave Grace herd and humans!
Our horses are our teachers, we respectfully consider them the most important part of the therapeutic team. At Brave Grace we have been gifted with a truly special group of beautiful horses that continually amaze us with their healing spirits.
Our program is hosted at Serrano Creek Ranch Equestrian Center in Lake Forest. It is a hidden gem with easy freeway access and is next to a park so it offers the peace of nature and slow pace we often need. There are multiple working arenas. The park is also used as a place to take meditative horse walks.
Q: If I don’t have horse experience, is equine therapy going to assist me?
A: Yes! Often, when we step into something new or an old thing in a new way, we can deepen our learning and growing. Those initial learning steps are often some of the most powerful. Additionally, the staff hold safety with prominent importance so the experience can be helpful for all involved. You will be guided each step of the way.
Q: What should I wear?
A:We recommend clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. A hat, sunscreen and water to drink are also suggested. We have a loaner boot barn for you to borrow boots for safety if you don’t have your own.
Q: How many sessions are needed to help me?
A: The number of sessions vary depending on what you are wanting to accomplish. With your first session we can discuss your needs and goals and see what makes the best sense for you.
Q: Do you take insurance?
A: At this time, we do not take insurance. We can provide you a Superbill for you to submit to your insurance or health saving account for reimbursement.
Q: How much does a session cost?
A: We have a variety of rates depending on what is provided. Services include individual sessions, group sessions and workshops. For specific questions and information, please email April@bravegrace.com. We look forward to serving you.
© 2020 Brave Grace