Local Mayors offered a glimpse of how to Heal with Horses

CLOSE CONNECTION (left) Doreen Refuse Westall, Development Director at Heal with Horses, Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson and Suzanne Latchford-Kulker, Founder and Executive Director of Heal with Horses posed with one of the 15 horses on site as part of the tour for mayors last week. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette staff)




Heal with Horses in Hillier hosted a tour for Quinte-area mayors Saturday to illustrate the municipalities how the equine therapy support program works and how it can benefit local communities.

Heal With Horses is a Registered Canadian Charity dedicated to providing horse and small animal-related activities and programs. The farms primary focus is to promote good physical & mental health & wellness, as well as to enhance our participants’ overall sense of well-being.

The farm is operated by Founder and Executive Director Suzanne Latchford-Kulker, Doreen Refuse Westall who serves as Development Director and Lisa Rashotte, Collaborative Specialist as well as a team of workers and volunteers.

“We’ve been here for 15 years and we didn’t have a business plan for this enterprise, which has evolved,” expressed Latchford-Kulker. “I had 10 years away from horses and I knew I would get them back in my life but I wanted it to be in a more therapeutic nature where the animals are actually revered for the gifts that they share just through there own natural instincts.”

Mayor Steve Ferguson from Prince Edward County and Mayor Jim Harrison from Quinte West attended the tour and experienced anEquine Soul Session.

Mayor Steve Ferguson during the tour. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette staff)

Heal with Horses Equine Soul Session pledges to leave you feeling refreshed and more connected to yourself and nature.

Our Equine Soul Session Activities Include

  • Tree Meditation: Begin your experience by walking through the pasture and into the forest to the cedar grove sanctuary.  There you will ground yourself in the moment and experience a group meditative moment. 
  • Meet The Herd:  This activity is guided. We will walk into the pasture and hang out among our herd of 15 horses.  You and the horses are free to walk around, stand together, observe, connect and interact.  
  • Reflective Grooming:  This is a prescribed method of grooming the horse with special grooming gloves worn on your hands.  The intimacy of the experience for you and the horse is close, comforting and mindful.
  • Join Up Heart Connection: This activity is one-on-one (horse and human) in a round fenced enclosure with a trained facilitator as your guide.  The objective is to make an authentic heart connection with the horse.
  • Journaling:  The vital objective of the entire morning’s activities is to be “present and in the moment” so that you can witness your own self awareness.  We will provide you with your own customized journal to jot down your observations and feelings during the morning’s activities.

As stated on the Heal with Horses website, horses are amazing teachers.

“They require us to bring our best selves forward. They are highly intuitive and teach us how to balance our emotions. They keep us present because they truly exist in the moment. They show us how to become more self-aware & ultimately achieve inner peace.”

“The whole key is to have an environment that does not stress because individuals that we’re working with are vulnerable,” added Latchford-Kulker.

Horses are prey animals,  meaning that in nature they are hunted by predators that put them in danger.

As a matter of survival, horses are always on the look out for predators.  Due to this innate instinct, horses have developed a very keen level of awareness. They have the ability to sense intent, read body language, interpret movement and so on.  Whether the object of observation is a grizzly bear or a person, the horse’s ability to “read” is the same.

“You hear these stories of people going out and swimming with the whales or dolphins and connecting with something entirely beyond their world and that’s what you have here,” Mayor Ferguson said. “It’s pretty cool.”

For more information on Heal with Horses or to book a session please visit https://www.healwithhorses.ca/