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Equine Gestalt Coaching

The Equine Gestalt Coaching Method® was developed by Melisa Pearce, a core founder since 1989, of the horse-human healing movement. The experiential nature of the method involves the horse
as an active partner with the coach in the client’s exploratory process. The integrative approach of the equine’s interaction combined with positive coaching, somatic awareness guidance and Gestalt methodology, assists the client in examining their life and choices made with a focus on designing a positive future. 
©Melisa Pearce

What is Equine Gestalt Coaching?

Equine Gestalt Coaching (EGC) is different from traditional “talk therapy” methods many have experienced.  While there is some re-telling of your stories involved, Gestalt focuses on using experiences to work through the issues that may be keeping you stuck.  The Human Coach is your partner in finding the right experiences to clear any unfinished business and helping you process and heal.  The Equine Coach may provide a variety of healing practices to help you, including energy work to help bring you into balance or using their finely tuned energy detector to help you find your truth.

Is EGC the same as Equine-Assisted Therapy?

EGC is is unlike many equine therapy programs. The participant doesn't ride the horse or care for it (e.g. grooming). Horses are deeply connected to human energy and emotions.  The horse coach in EGC holds space for the participant, provides energy healing, acts as an "equidetector" do determine if the participant is in congruence with their words and feelings. You may forget what you said or did in a session, but you won't forget the 1200 lb equine coach taught you.

How could EGC help me?

So many of us have had traumatic experiences at some time in our lives, or we have grown up in dysfunctional households.  These experiences are often stored in our bodies and manifest as our own dysfunctional behavior and habits.  Sometimes we just feel stuck in life and need a partner to help us move forward.  The EGC method helps you to release any trauma or issues you are holding and work to restore your mind, body, and spirit to their full healthy expression.

What training do EGC practitioners receive?

Equine Gestalt Coaches receive two years of training through Melisa Pearce’s Touched By A Horse® program to be certified.  The training includes trauma-informed instruction and practices, as well as intensive work on our own issues before we can be certified as an EGC practitioner.  To find out more information on the certification program, and the EGC method, please visit the Touched By A Horse® website:

What would I do at an EGC session?

EGC is never the same experience twice.  When you come in, we’ll work with whatever is on your heart and mind in the present moment and allow the experience to unfold.  Examples of possible experiences might include:

  • completing an exercise that examines different parts of self and how they show up in your life,

  • utilizing props to explore your feelings and emotions,

  • releasing anger through physical activity,

  • partnering with the Equine Coach to get clear on what you are feeling about a certain issue, or

  • creating an action plan to accomplish a goal.

The sessions are tailored to you and your goals and often provide results more quickly than traditional talk therapy. 

Where are the EGC Sessions held?

The EGC individual sessions and groups will take place at Second Chance Ranch (SCR). SCR is a wonderful nonprofit that provides a sanctuary for retired sport horses. In addition to providing a sanctuary for horses, their mission includes providing opportunities for equine assisted therapy for humans. Your session will be held in their arena area with one of their fabulous equine coaches.

What if I'm not comfortable with horses? The great thing about EGC is that YOU get to make the choice of whether or not you interact with the horse. The benefits of the work are the same and the horse will hold space for you either way!

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