CHANTRY - Cindy Dopson has the unique skill of helping people connect with her Shire horses.
Owner of The Horse Effect, Cindy is a certified Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning (FEEL®) facilitator. She completed an apprenticeship program last year to help people increase mindfulness by bonding with horses.
"I was a total skeptic at first of FEEL®," admits Cindy. Then she saw how much the guided sessions were having an effect on herself, the horses and others.
Making a connection with a horse can help people cope with illness and physical disabilities as well as manage stress and depression. It can help address addictions and other issues holding people back. Time spent with horses can improve your overall well being, according to Cindy.
"It's amazing the things I have seen, both during my training and now having experiences with my herd. It gives me joy to see what a strong positive impact my horses can have on people," says Cindy.
"Horses, being a herd animal, have a lot they can teach us about ourselves and our relationships."
Cindy and her husband Chris have been breeding and raising draft horses, including the gentle giant Shires, dating back to 1993.
This is how it works. First you meet the herd of seven Shires. Then, with Cindy as facilitator, you learn to connect to a horse. After that, an amazing variety of exercises and experiences can take place, she says. Sessions can be engaging, powerful and restorative. All sessions are performed on the ground with no riding involved. Cindy has clients in walkers and wheelchairs so it is accessible.
"All animals offer therapy. With horses, they retain that they are prey animals so their instinct is to be very in-tune with their whole environment, including the emotional and physical state of a person around them," says Cindy. When a connection is made, it can be insightful and calming. "It is a very unique experience," says Cindy.
The stable is located at 1204 Chantry Road near Delta. Visit the FEEL® and Horse Spirit Connections