Bob: Hello, Echo! We're excited to have you here today for this special interview. Can you share a bit about your background, particularly your journey from being a formerly wild mustang?
Echo: Thank you, Bob. It's great to be here and share my story. I arrived at the Thomas Foundation in 2020, but my journey started even earlier. I was rescued by the amazing Bluestem Acres in Towanda, Kansas, back in 2017. At that time, I was a Navajo mustang, living wild, and carrying a foal. Thankfully, I was saved me from a difficult fate. I delivered a beautiful colt, who was later adopted.
I came from a background where I had to be cautious, especially around new people. It's hard for me to trust quickly, given my past experiences. But once I found my way to STEPS with Horses, I began to settle nicely into the herd and started to trust my new human coworkers and clients.
Bob: It sounds like quite the journey, Echo. Can you tell us about your friends, Maggie and Sissy, in the herd?
Echo: Oh, Maggie and Sissy, we met at the Thomas Foundation and came to STEPS together. They're my partners in crime. Maggie's the wise one in the group, always keeping an eye out for everyone. Sissy is the playful and mischievous one, but we all balance each other out quite nicely. Together, we (and Max) created a little herd of our own within the bigger one.
Bob: That's lovely to hear. Now, how has participating in equine assisted counseling helped you personally, Echo?
Echo: Equine assisted counseling has been transformative for me. You see, I used to be quite anxious, and being in new situations or around people made me nervous. Through our sessions, I've learned to manage my anxiety. I've found that helping others helps me too, and that's been a real confidence booster.
Bob: It's wonderful to hear how you've grown through this experience, Echo. Can you tell us about your special talent in recognizing and calling out clients' incongruence?
Echo: Well, it's interesting, isn't it? Horses like me, we're excellent at sensing what's going on with people. If a client says one thing but their body language or emotions tell a different story (we call this incongruence), I'm not afraid to call it out. To be honest, I’m pretty direct about it. It's like I can see through the words to the heart of the matter. It's amazing how clients can benefit from this honesty, and I take pride in being able to help them find congruence within themselves.
Bob: Echo, you've been sharing some incredible insights today, and I have one more question. Can you tell us about your love for doing outreach by working with groups to share the power of the human-equine relationship and equine assisted counseling?
Echo: Certainly, I'd be happy to, Bob. These outreach activities are an essential part of our mission. When we host class visits, it's a wonderful opportunity for students to come and meet us, the therapy horses, and learn about the incredible bond between humans and horses. We often see their faces light up with excitement and curiosity.
When volunteer groups visit us, it's heartwarming to see people from various backgrounds come together to support our mission. They help care for us, the herd, and in doing so, they become a part of our extended family.
"Meet the Herd" days are a chance for the community to get up close and personal with us. These events allow people to see the magic of equine assisted counseling in action, to interact with therapy equines, and learn how we help individuals on their journey to emotional healing.
Our equine assisted wellness events for other nonprofits and corporate groups are incredibly special. We get to work with a diverse range of people, from children to adults, helping them discover the power of the human-equine relationship in their own unique ways. I love helping people learn new skills - team-building, communication, self-care, leadership, and more.
In all these activities, I feel proud to be a part of something bigger than myself, something that helps people understand the magic of equine-assisted counseling and how it can positively impact their lives. It's truly a remarkable experience for all involved.
Bob: You have a remarkable gift, Echo. Thank you for sharing your insights with us today. You're a valued member of our therapy herd, and it's clear that you're making a meaningful impact in the lives of those you work with.
Want to support Echo? Join Echo's Carrot Club! You'll receive a special gift, personalized monthly newsletters, and more!
Interested in working with Echo as a client? Fill out the Counseling Interest Form!
Echo would also be thrilled to host your group for a volunteer day or service or an equine assisted wellness event! Want to know more? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (682) 219-8733!
STEPS With Horses