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Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning at Pathways to Hope

Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning @ Pathways to Hope

In 2021 we were really happy to be able to introduce equine assisted programs off-site at two farms in Brantford, this was started through our sister company Brant Mental Health Solutions.

Whilst in office, traditional counselling is something most people opt for, it was important for us to make sure we provide therapeutic experiences for those who don’t feel “traditional” therapy is the right fit for them.

We get asked a lot of questions about these programs, so we felt it would be helpful to break down the different equine assisted options and explain a bit about the two therapists who offer them.

Who does equine assisted therapy benefit? Whilst anyone who enjoys being outside and around animals and nature can benefit from these programs, we have seen great responses from the following types of people: 1. Children and adults with ADHD, Autism or other learning/developmental concerns, 2. Children and adults suffering from PTSD/CPTSD (including first responders and veterans), 3. People who find in office therapy overwhelming/intimidating, 4. People who have found it hard to connect to a therapist in a clinical setting.

Registered Psychotherapist Robin Oldroyd: Robin is one of the therapists on our team who offers Equine Assisted

Therapy with her barn partners Bernie and Brenda. The three of them sat down with a

videographer last year to explain more about the program they run with Brant Mental Health Solutions, you can find the video here

Robin works with people of all ages and her many years of experience as a therapist, combined with her love of horses, makes this a unique experience for her clients.

Certified Psychosocial Rehabilitation Recovery Practitioner and equine assisted program facilitator, Aleka Duguay: During Aleka's, own mental health journey, horses were a major component in leading her

towards a healthier mindset and teaching her skills that she have now uses in her own life for years. She has always wanted to help others and equine assisted learning seemed to be the perfect fit. She is passionate about fostering an environment where humans and animals can work side by side to achieve a common goal of peace and balance within. She graduated from the University of Guelph with a degree in Sociology and a diploma in Psychosocial Rehabilitation from Mohawk College. During her university studies, she completed a life coaching certificate program, a mindfulness course, and a course dedicated to supporting individuals with PTSD. She is currently working towards obtaining a membership with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

Since 2017, she have been practicing equine assisted learning with youth and adults struggling with their mental health and wellness. I’m looking forward to continuing on this journey with Brant Mental Health Solutions and Pathways to Hope.

Is equine assisted therapy covered by my benefits? If you have coverage for a Registered Psychotherapist, sessions with Robin would be covered. Aleka is currently working towards her Social Worker Be sure to call your insurance company if you are wanting to use benefits so that you can make sure you know what you have available to you.

If I have equine assisted sessions, can I also have in office sessions? If that is something you feel would work for you – yes! Some of our clients add in equine assisted sessions here and there to support the work they are doing in the office with their therapist. Others choose to stick with one or the other.

How often do I have to have equine sessions? As is the case with in-office sessions, the therapist and client will discuss an appropriate care schedule after their first meeting. As always, the therapist’s recommendation will be combined with other factors such as, financial constraints and time for scheduling appointments based on each client’s life and circumstances. We work hard to balance your care with what works with your schedule!

Can I have equine assisted sessions during the winter, or just in the Spring/Summer and Fall? We run our programs all year long. Occasionally, we have to reschedule in extreme weather, but the farms are beautiful in each season and are there to enjoy!

If you are interested in more information about either of these programs, or would like to book a free 15-minute consultation with one of the therapists, feel free to reach out to us at 519.751.0728 or email

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