GRACE ACRES EQUINE CONNECTION
Grace Acres Equine Connection can change your life. Experience freedom from overwhelming feelings and stress through one of our revolutionary programs incorporating horses as the teachers. Our equine assisted services provide relationship building, skills development, wellness and therapy programs for families, women, and people with PTSD who are seeking mental health support and meaningful direction in their lives. We offer Harmony Horsemanship, Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP). These programs help to build healthy relationships – with yourself, the horses and others. Our beautiful farm is a peaceful and safe learning environment where the possibilities for personal growth and wellbeing are endless. From the moment you arrive you will feel a sense of wellbeing and grace all around you. In the presence of horses and nature you will be inspired to find that feeling of grace within you.
Grace Acres Creations is a studio and gallery space for the creation and sale of oil paintings, mixed media, and woodworking. All art can be seen and purchased at the farm and through etsy.com. Some seasonal farm produce is also available on site.
"I learned to be more aware of my own body language and energy. Ruby (the horse) was patient with my hesitancies and confusion. She made me feel calm."
OUR PROGRAMS ARE UNIQUE.
At Grace Acres, the horses are the teachers. Whether it’s working with your own horse or one of our horses, our experiential services offer clients an opportunity for self-discovery and self-awareness of the skills needed to meet not only the task or challenge at hand, but personal life challenges, great or small.
WHY WORK WITH HORSES?
Horses are large, powerful, yet highly sensitive prey animals who have a unique ability to connect with people from all walks of life, on a deeply emotional level just by being near them. Partnering with a horse develops confidence, resilience and strength, because of their size, and we aspire to better understand ourselves, because of the emotions we feel in their presence. Horses are also herd animals and they seek harmony through confident leadership. They invite us to become self-aware, present focused and grounded, and it is through these qualities we learn how to be leaders for ourselves, for the horse and for others. Horses also communicate with non-verbal language, thereby challenging us to be aware, listen to our intuition, and trust our innate wisdom. Horses are not fooled by the masks we wear. Horses sense what is in our hearts and bring our hearts peace.
HOW DOES THIS WORK?
Researchers at the HeartMath Institute in California, have scientifically proven the power of the heart’s electromagnetic field over the brain and nervous system, including the powerful influence of horses on human hearts. Horses have an electromagnetic heart field five times more powerful than our heart, extending up to nine meters. When there is an intense electromagnetic field next to a milder field, the milder field gets in tune with the larger. When horses live in freedom, they are in almost permanent coherence (physical and emotional alignment) or harmony. When we enter the horses’ space, our electromagnetic field aligns with theirs and our hearts match their heart’s rhythm, bringing us a true sense of calm.
"My horse taught me that success doesn't have to be accomplished by crossing the finish line but can just be accomplished by taking the first steps."
EAL and EAP are done on the ground. No horse experience is necessary. Closed-toe footwear is required. Helmets are available on-site. Please inquire about programming and pricing.
“Understand yourself, your horse and the language that connects you.”
Harmony Horsemanship can give you the tools to feel more confident with both horses and fellow humans. Whether you are new to horses, need a change of pace with your own, would like to feel more comfortable on the ground or in the saddle, or simply are looking to experience a unique partnership to transform your life, we can help you create a rewarding relationship with either your own horse, or one of ours, following the Harmony Horsemanship Training Continuum. We offer a variety of individual and small group programming to suit your personal goals. Safety, personal development, basic horse care, and understanding horse body language are the foundation for all lessons.
Please inquire for pricing and program availability.
EAL - EQUINE ASSISTED LEARNING
Equine Assisted Learning can empower the leader within you. EAL is an experiential life skills and personal development program designed to support youth, families, groups/teams, couples, and individuals experiencing a wide variety of challenges (anxiety, depression, divorce, identity, addiction, etc) and/or recovering from trauma and PTSD. EAL is not therapy and there is no therapist involved in the sessions. EAL programs provide an opportunity for participants to engage with the horses on the ground, in a positive leadership role, to accomplish tasks, while practicing a specific skillset, such as trust, leadership or communication. The horses provide immediate, non-judgmental feedback as clients work through the tasks. Real life parallels are made through debriefing with the facilitator for integrating the skillset into personal daily life. Working with horses in this capacity inspires tremendous self- confidence, personal growth and a feeling of empowerment. There is no riding involved in this program.
Please inquire for pricing. Individual and group sessions available.
EAP – EQUINE ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY, EAGALA
The Eagala Model for Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) can liberate your intuition and personal wisdom. EAP is a team approach of high ethical standards involving a licensed, credentialed Mental Health Professional, a qualified Equine Specialist and select horses to effectively address the client’s learning goals and/or treatment plan. Structured sessions provide an emotionally and physically safe, hands-on experience for clients to work through issues such as addiction, abuse, behavior disorders, anxiety and trauma. In Eagala sessions, horses often act as metaphors for real life situations, are equal partners on the team and are allowed to interact freely with the client. Clients work through their life struggles by engaging with the horses and the space as they choose without judgement or interpretation by another person. The Eagala Model is based on the concept that everyone has the ability to overcome challenges by being the expert in their own life. The role of the Eagala team is to provide the space and guidance to support the client’s own unique process to make shifts in their life and create lasting solutions empowering change. There is no riding in this program. Individual sessions only at this time.
Please inquire to book a session.
"I feel so much stress relief at Grace Acres. Laura and the dogs, Faith and Rosie, give such a warm welcome. I always feel so calm and relaxed there. I’ve learned a new way of communication that works for horses and humans. I’ve also learned how to connect with myself better by learning how to connect with the horses."
MEET LAURA SCHWAGER
Grace is what touches our lives so very deeply and beautifully that it is difficult to describe. It is what happens in the presence of horses when our heartbeat softens from the fast-paced beat of life to meet the steady rhythm of their heart. It’s the serendipity of how the world falls into place when we think we’ve hit rock bottom or strayed from our path. Grace seeks us out – always – through our strength and through our most vulnerable times. Grace is there when we feel lost and broken, even when we ignore it, reject it, have nothing to offer back, and feel so undeserving of its gift. Grace is there when we triumph. It is unconditional and unmerited. It is a gift from creation and it is healing. It is what happens in moments of true connection and partnership with ourselves and other beings.
In the presence of horses, even before I could walk, I have always felt the gift of connection. It is through horses that I have maintained a healthy relationship with my authentic self. Through their honesty and humility, horses have especially ‘graced me’ with a deeper sense of who I am and who I want to be. It is this gift of creation that I invite others to experience.
I am the owner of Grace Acres Equine Connection and Creations. I bring to our wellness programming my Indigenous spirituality and world view, a solid teaching foundation as an elementary school teacher at Quinte Mohawk School in Tyendinaga, and current certification as an instructor of Harmony Horsemanship Level 2, a facilitator of EAL - Equine Connection Canada, and a facilitator of EAP as an Eagala Equine Specialist. I have up to date First Aid and CPR. I am also an artist, author and nature enthusiast. I look forward to sharing all of this with you!
Certified Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator through Equine Connection - The Academy of Equine Assisted Learning Ltd.
Certified Level 2 Harmony Horsemanship™ Instructor by Harmony Horsemanship™.
MEET MICHELLE NELJAK
Michelle Neljak, Psy.D., C. Psych. is a registered clinical and forensic psychologist in the Kingston-area. Michelle completed her graduate training with the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Illinois, with experiences in residential substance abuse settings and professional practice settings. Michelle has held psychologist positions with Correctional Services Canada, the Department of National Defence, and the Ministry of the Solicitor General. Michelle operates a small private practice in the Kingston community and recently became a co-facilitator with the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (or Eagala co-facilitator). In practice, Michelle sees members of the Canadian Armed Forces, veterans, public safety personnel, and adults seeking psychological services in the community.
CREATIVE WRITING & PAINTING
Grace Acres Creations provides a unique studio space and gallery for the sale of oil paintings, mixed media art, and creative writing. From the moment you arrive you will feel a sense of well-being and grace all around you. In the presence of horses and nature you will be inspired and challenged in a peaceful learning environment to find that feeling of grace within you.
"I feel stress has left me and I am at ease."