Hello, friends! Thanks so much for dropping by our site and taking the time to check out our blog! This is our very first entry, and it is basically a little introduction to this business we are in the process of creating. We are still very much in the building stage – literally, we are awaiting approval to start construction on our facility – so it will be a while still before we are up and running, complete with our horses, and ready for clients. However, we will continue to update this blog with our progress every step of the way, so we welcome you to check in and follow along on our journey!
Since you can already find a lot of this information on our website we will just provide a quick overview on here of our business-in-the-making. Unbroken Equine-Facilitated Healing, LLC is a therapeutic practice founded and managed by Hadley Hill and Sarah Beth McIntosh that will provide equine-assisted mental health counseling services to people age 16 and up who are struggling with the emotional, behavioral, and somatic effects of some form of trauma. We will work with clients on an individual basis, as well as contract with outside treatment facilities or therapists to provide group sessions for their clients.
Our approach to healing centers around the importance of healthy connection and relationship to the ability of not only humans, but of our equine friends, to survive and thrive. Clients will have the unique opportunity to engage with horses in an entirely new way from the way most of us are taught, and to form relationships with them that are built on trust, cooperation, and mutual respect as opposed to power, control, and compliance. Our goal is to provide a physically and emotionally safe space in which clients can navigate difficult emotions and explore the personal challenges and blocks that may be hindering their ability to build and sustain nourishing, fulfilling relationships. Horses, being social animals by nature who have evolved to either live well in the herd or perish, are incredible teachers and models of positive social behavior, and can help us practice better communication, boundaries, self-awareness, and other key elements of connection with others. Engaging with horses can be particularly powerful for those dealing with trauma, as the brain of a trauma survivor functions very similarly to the brain of a prey animal – with the brainstem (the survival center of the brain) being disproportionally overdeveloped and potentially impeding the functioning of the other parts of the brain that allow for things such as emotional awareness, connection with others, reasoning, and just the general ability to live one’s best life. We believe strongly that true therapeutic work can only happen when a person feels safe, so a large part of our work focuses on giving clients the education and tools to increase physical and emotional awareness, ground and regulate themselves whenever necessary, and help themselves to recruit the stifled parts of their brain that are very much needed in the healing process.
Now for a little bit of background on our team…
Hadley and Sarah Beth became a therapy team at the facility where they formally worked, co-facilitating the majority of sessions in the equine-assisted psychotherapy program. They developed a very strong working relationship, and soon discovered that they held very aligned views and beliefs about how to approach this unique kind of therapy. Hadley had had hopes of someday branching out to start her own practice, and felt a strong drive to take that leap at the very beginning of 2020. In November 2019, Hadley’s aunt Ann Hill, also a lifelong horsewoman, sadly passed away. This was part of the catalyst in making Hadley realize there was no time like the present to take the leap to pursue her dream, and when Hadley learned a month after her passing that Ann’s horses had been left to her, that felt to her like a sign from the universe if there ever was one. By the end of January 2020 she had left her job at the therapeutic riding center and gotten to work teaching herself to set up a business. In the spring of 2020 Sarah Beth made the decision to team up with Hadley in this endeavor, and we have been on this incredible, scary, exciting, stressful, fun, and deeply fulfilling journey ever since. We eagerly await the day we can bring our five horses to their new home at Unbroken, team up with them, and let the healing begin!