BraveHearts Equine Assisted Psychotherapy & Learning

Connecting with horses to facilitate growth, learning and healing to individuals, families & groups.

"We take a different approach to healing and learning."

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Address: 3135 West 22nd Street
Kearney, NE 68845
Phone Number: 308-440-0315
BraveHearts' mission is connecting with horses to facilitate growth, learning and healing in individuals, families and groups. We are not a therapeutic riding facility. All of our activities are completed on the ground to help children through adults work through emotional, social and behavioral issues.

Nine-year old David was being bullied at school. He believed no one was around to help him. During his first therapy session in the arena, David identified the white horse as the bully. No matter how many times the black horse would stand in between David and the white horse (the bully), he could not see that the black horse was protecting him. As time went on, he began to view things differently. By the end of the 5th session, David had become proactive in taking charge of his life. Instead of allowing the bully (the white horse) to push him, he learned the fine art of resiliency and stood up for himself. He learned to identify several people who could help him in times of need (like the black horse).

With a certified mental health therapist, an equine specialist and horses (in an outdoor arena), psychotherapy sessions are offered to individuals, families, couples, and groups discover a solution-focused approach to current issues. It is not about horsemanship skills or riding. It is about gaining the tools necessary to face life challenges.

Taylor had just completed Kindergarten for the second time and would move on 1st grade in the fall, but she had no interest in learning. During our first session of HorsePowered Reading, Taylor choose a hula hoop to direct her horse buddy through an on-the-ground reading activity. The horse buddy was a 1200-pound boss mare. When Taylor tried to skip over the vocabulary words, her horse buddy stood firm - waiting. All of a sudden, reading became a new adventure when her horse buddy was traveling down the same path with her while holding her accountable at the same time. By the end of first session, Taylor wanted to know how to spell everything in sight. Reading and learning took on a whole new direction for her.

Horses mirror our behavior. Using the EAGALA model, the Equine Specialist, the therapist and the horses work together with the participant(s). Close attention is paid to the behavior of the horses as the participants are creating metaphors. We believe that people solve problems best when they are given the opportunity to discover the solutions themselves. Rather than directing answers, participants are allowed to experiment, problem-solve, take risks, employ creativity and find their own solutions that work best for them.

We offer an array of programs - HorsePowered Math, HorsePowered Reading, Equine Empowerment, Ponies & Preschool, Parenting from the Barn (for parents only) since the activity shelter is near completion.

We want to bring people of all ages and walks of life into our arena and help them through the "muddy" parts of life.....whether it is the student struggling in school, the teenager battling a drug addiction, the vet returning from the battle fields or the mom needing a new & healthier direction in life.

Although our programs may change over the years, the one thing that will never change is WHY BraveHearts exists. Because, sometimes, there are no words and a horse understands that completely.

BraveHearts operates on the generosity of donations. All of our staff members are volunteers. We would love to partner with you in assisting people of all ages.

Categories: equine therapy, horses, HorsePowered, children, education, adults, psychotherapy, math, reading, EAGALA
Parenting from the Barn: "The horses helped me see when I need to let go of the control and when I needed to set firm boundaries with my children. By interacting with the horses, I
was able to "see" how my nonverbal communication affected others. This was especially helpful when 80% of our communication is nonverbal."

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy: "I believe the next thing I need work on is forgiveness." "The horses helped me to understand that I am responsible for my own safety by making
better choices."

HorsePowered Reading: "Dillon is excited about reading. He longer says, 'This is going to be hard.' He now says, "I can do this!"
From Amie: "The horses always know when I have a crabby face!"

HorsePowered Math: "Tyler now is taking responsibility for his own homework. I no longer have to remind him."

From a child in foster care: "The horses taught me that sometimes I have to ask for help from more than one person."