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Horsemanship and Equine-Assisted Therapy for Troubled Girls

Horsemanship & Equine-Assisted Therapy for Troubled Girls

residential treatment center for girlsWelcome to Re-Creation Retreat, where we harness the unique connection between struggling girls and horses. Our equine therapy program is designed to soften their hearts and teach them practical relational skills that truly matter. Through effective therapeutic interventions and expert-led horsemanship training, we provide troubled girls with a unique opportunity to build powerful relationships with horses, translating into healthier connections with peers, parents, and authority figures.

Horses possess a remarkable ability to understand people on a deep level, often surpassing human comprehension. Our skilled therapists leverage the bond between the girls and the horses to facilitate powerful therapeutic interventions. By interacting with the horses, girls gain self-awareness, exploring the root causes of their stagnation and confusion. Horses possess an unwavering sense of authenticity and can discern trustworthiness, making it impossible to deceive or manipulate them. In their unconditional acceptance and display of real emotions, horses become invaluable teachers of relationships within our safe and nurturing environment.

Restoring Relationships through Equine-Assisted Therapy

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At Re-Creation Retreat, participation in equine therapy is optional. Our equine groups take place off-campus at the personal ranch of our dedicated therapists.

Equine Assisted Therapy is an evidence-based practice with a myriad of benefits. It fosters increased trust, reduces anxiety and feelings of depression and isolation, and enhances self-esteem, self-acceptance, and social skills. It also improves impulse control, problem-solving abilities, and communication skills. Participants gain a better understanding of healthy boundaries, assertiveness, and the ability to shift their focus away from negative, self-absorbed thoughts, nurturing another living being instead.

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Meet Hal and Mercy, our experienced therapists trained in H3 Pyramid Equine Therapy. This unique model emphasizes the interconnectedness of humans, horses, and natural horsemanship. Each Re-Creation student will learn to recognize the horse as a partner and develop the ability to attune to the horse’s needs. Grounded in horsemanship principles and life values, H3 Pyramid therapy enables girls to bond with their horses holistically, connecting their minds, bodies, sensations, emotions, and cognitions. Through this process, they develop self-awareness, empathy, self-mastery, and social skills. Re-Creation Retreat students actively engage with the horses, participating in their journey to embrace positive leadership. Every aspect of H3 therapy benefits both the client and the horse, creating a mutually beneficial relationship.

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The interaction between the horse and the client often acts as a catalyst for unlocking blocked emotions, allowing for healing and processing. Our equine therapists and clients are astounded by how horses intuitively behave in ways that bring forth crucial issues for clients, seemingly aware of their history. Re-Creation girls are encouraged to apply the lessons learned on the ranch to their individual situations and struggles, internalizing principles that facilitate progress towards their treatment goals.

Girls in our care use horses as a tool to build strong and healthy relationships. Our equine-assisted therapy program follows a structured approach to achieve clear objectives. Starting with learning how to be safe around horses, our girls progress to understanding the basics of horse care, including their body language and personalities. Only when they have mastered the fundamentals and established a safe environment can our students begin developing their riding skills in the arena and out on the trail. Through these interactions with the horses, our girls work closely with therapists to process their experiences, generating valuable insights and understanding that contribute to emotional and behavioral growth.

Our horsemanship program, combined with equine-assisted therapy, fosters patience, focus, connection, and commitment to others, nurturing meaningful relationships. It becomes a journey of self-discovery, where girls learn how their thoughts, feelings, and actions impact those close to them.

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Hal & Mercy Stout

Equine Therapist

Mercy has a bachelor’s degree in Interpersonal Communication and a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. She has worked in the field for eleven years and worked with RCR more than 3 years. She has a private practice, Zion Counseling, LLC, in Glendale, Utah. She is domestic violence certified and especially enjoys working with girls, women, and abuse survivors.  She enjoys teaching emotional management skills and relationship tools. She believes in the inherent value of every person and has a goal for everyone she works with to grow their self-love and personal power.   

Hal has owned and loved horses his whole life. This passion has guided his path, leading him to value and enjoy country life to the fullest and eventually start Stout Performance Horses with his brother, Steve. Their focus is on breeding mares, raising and selling foals, training horses, and helping others through sharing their agricultural lifestyle and their horses. Hal has a bachelor’s degree in Zoology with a minor in Agriculture with an emphasis in horse science. Hal retired from a 21-year career as an investigator for Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and has a master’s degree in Forensic Science. 

Hal and Mercy enjoy combining their careers and interests through equine therapy.

More information on the Stout’s Horse Ranch and H3 Pyramid Equine Therapy can be found at: 
stoutperformancehorses.com h3pyramid.com