What is the GRATITUDE Retreat?

Horses do not judge, which provides an emotionally safe place for a person to express thoughts and ideas about themselves and their struggles openly. Observations discussed are centered around the horses behavior, consequently eliminating the stress of feeling defensive.

Columbia Missourian article on Storybook Farms

The EAGALA therapy model is 100% ground based, no riding.  This model is a team approach which consists of a mental health professional (MH), an equine specialist (ES), trained therapy horses and the client(s).   A treatment plan is established by the MH which guides the planning of activities for the sessions. Therapeutic services at Storybook Farms LLC are structured using EAGALA standards and code of ethics. Our facilitators are EAGALA certified along with their other educational and professional experience. Our facilitators have additional specialized training and experience in the military community to provide EAP (Equine Assisted Psychotherapy) and EAL (Equine Assisted Learning) with cultural competency for military service members, their families and veterans.

  • In  EAP counseling sessions a horse (or horses), a horse professional, and a Licensed Mental Health Professional, combine to become the therapy team.  Horses are consistent and immediate in their reactions to human non-verbal cues and function like a large mirror for the therapy team. The horse professional is an expert in the interpretation of these equine responses and provides valuable feedback to the therapist in much the same way that a treatment team provides a therapist with feedback from behind a one-way mirror.