Working in a somatic oriented way, we incorporate intentional ways for clients to facilitate the processing of trauma through partnerships with our herd. Relationships are built to help clients find congruence, authenticity, connection, and safety in order to form healthy behaviors, understand brain responses, and integrate these patterns into daily living. All equine-assisted interventions take place at Gordon's Green Gables, 30 minutes northeast of the Twin Cities, in Hugo, Minnesota.
I help empower individuals of all ages to heal from trauma, let go of old relationship patterns, and find connection so they can have freedom, ease, and live authentically.
We often find ourselves feeling lost or not connected to who we strive to be. We feel voiceless and dismissed as though no one cares to listen to our pain. I want to build a safe and consistent relationship with you to find a renewed sense of self. In this space, I want to empower you to embrace your authentic self in the full circle of creation, nurturing, connecting and transforming. As we weave in the principles of mindful living together, I want to help you find the answers that have been inside of you all along as you begin to trust yourself and let go of whatever is holding you back.
I believe in you and want to truly hear you. I want your voice to be heard so you can live as your authentic self every day. Will you allow me to walk with you on this healing journey?
Horses have a sense of majesty and wonder that bring awe to many. They have a strong emotional sense and offer unique traits as therapy partners. Having horses present during therapeutic engagement can offer a sense of peace as they react with no threat of judgment to our emotional experience.
Because they are sensitive to people’s emotions and reactions in their environment, horses can help individuals practice self acceptance, self awareness, authenticity, and genuine connections. Horses do not judge or blame, but are straightforward in their interactions. So often building relationships with humans is challenging, with the horses we will learn to rebuild some of the trust that has been lost along our life journey.
In working with our horses through equine assisted learning, individuals will be offered a safe space to explore the connection and healing presence of horses in a natural environment. Our certified facilitator, Cimena Gordon, will create an opportunity for those present to grow in experience and reflection.
Domingo is a Tobiano Paint and is 19 years old. As a guide and a leader it has taken Domingo awhile to find his authentic self. Spending a few years overshadowed by flashier, stronger, and more outgoing horses, he has now found a genuine sense of belonging. Partnering with Domingo has led to an understanding of living authentically.
Tweed is a Quarter Horse born in 2007. Tweed is the epitome of true friendship and loyalty. He always shows up for both his horse and human herd. With nuzzles and full body embraces, Tweed is consistent and reliable.
Ginger is a Palomino Quarter Horse and gracefully aging at 23. Ginger brings a true sense of connectedness and peace to all who are willing to look inward. She is a wise elder with a heart of gold.
My intrigue, fascination, and fondness for equines began around the age of 8. I started out riding donkeys around our rural Alaskan neighborhood, showing in 4H shows, eventually barrel racing, jumping, and riding on the beach. I consistently rode at least 15 different horses at various times in my life, each which had a message to teach me. One particular horse had a lasting impression on me, impacting the way I engage with horses, and the connection I find with them.
When I was 12 years old, there was an opportunity to participate in an after school program riding and caring for 4 horses. I joined with my friend and dove head first into a love of horses. The sweet smell of grass, their breath, the touch of their muzzle and warmth of their coat in the sun, brought a sense of wonder and awe. I was driven with a sense of purpose (to ride) and a sense of fear (not to get seriously injured).
I rode all of the horses, but at some point Dancer became my horse. No one else rode him, no one else could. Considered a bit on the dangerous side because he was green broke, Dancer wore a red ribbon in his tail during any public sessions. This signified to other riders that he might buck, kick, rear, or simply put--be out of control. For 3-4 years, we shared a connection that only deepened with time.
In between the barn and the arena where we practiced riding was a field. During the spring the dancing buttercups would cover the field. As a kid, the field appeared so large and vast that anything could happen. We had to ride our horses through the field to the arena for our lesson. These horses were known to be barn sour and want to head back, take off and run towards the arena, or have other absurd behaviors.
Instead of teaching me to fear Dancer, my instructor Heather taught me how to fearlessly ride him. She taught me to listen to him and to myself, to feel his movements, recognize his behaviors, and anticipate his reactions. Eventually he stopped kicking and bucking at everyone else, or maybe everyone else just got out of our way. Together we were strong and fearless, sharing our vulnerabilities with each other.
Soon I was too old for the group, which meant Dancer and I had to part ways. In a bittersweet way we said goodbye, knowing that although I may have shaped his way of riding, he shaped me in my learning. I don’t know if I ever let go enough to truly find the deeper meaning of my connection with Dancer, but I do know that he is an inspiration and a guide for me today. As I unlearn the modalities of power and control within a horse and human relationship, I sit with the idea of vulnerability and connectedness.
When I imagine a safe space in my mindfulness journeys, I remember the feeling of galloping with Dancer through the field of buttercups. I feel weightless, like I am floating. He is holding me, supporting me, guiding me. There is freedom, ease, and authenticity.
*Photo by Roy Hamson
We would love to walk with you on your journey to freedom, ease, and authenticity.
If the idea of partnering with a horse in your healing journey with the support of a trauma-informed psychotherapist piques your interest, reach out to us today.
Rainfall Therapy and Equine Retreats
Gordon's Green Gables sits on the traditional land of the Dakota, Sioux, Anishinabe, Chippewa, and Ojibwe peoples. We acknowledge their ancestors who lived in the Hugo area and were forcibly removed from here. Hugo was the summer land of the Dakota people who harvested wild rice from the lakes in this area. Honoring the past, present, and future Indigenous stewards of this land is one small way that we are working to decolonize and spread awareness of historical truths.
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📍 Gordon's Green Gables in Hugo, Minnesota