Monday, August 6, 2012

Writing Off Into The Sunset - Journaling with Horses, Tuesday eve group starts Aug. 14

Writing Off Into The Sunset
What is Journaling with Horses?

Well first of all, it’s a journal writing group. People who like to write. People who like to express themselves and communicate, through writing. People who like to reflect on their life and explore new ideas  and plans for the future, through writing. People who like to try to make sense of things or figure things out, through writing.
Journaling can be very private, or it can be shared and even published.

In our Journaling with Horses, we do have a different theme each week. But from that theme, the journaling  goes in many different directions and styles. Some people like to observe and write about the horses, related to our theme. Some people think in metaphors, and our horses may remind them of people and situations in their past or present or future. Some people like to write poems. It doesn’t matter. Our Journaling with Horses has very few rules. We do ask that participants share something with us each week. Some of us write several different pieces about a theme and keep some of it secret and share some of it with the group.
With permission, we appreciate the opportunity to publish some of our group’s journaling, on our websites. We might even be able to collect some of our faves and put them into a book. Your own art work may become a part of your Journaling with Horses as well. We do not publish and share without permission.

You do not need to have any previous journaling experience. There is no right or wrong way to journal.
You also do not need to have any previous horse experience to participate. You may interact with the horses, or you may choose to observe them from the other side of the fence.

Why Horses?
Equine Assisted Learning is becoming a hot topic all over the nation. It is used for therapy, counseling, psychotherapy, etc. It’s also used for corporate team building, personal/human development, photography and art lessons, dancing, yoga and yes, JOURNALNG.

Horses do not pre-judge. They are 100% honest. You have a clean slate when you meet a horse. They really don’t care what you look like. But they will respond and react differently to various types of communication styles, when encountering humans as well as other horses.
Most of the horses in our Journaling program were rescued from starvation or other neglectful situations. There are 19 of them here, ages 3 to 30. Most of them have overcome their bad memories and exhibit great love and appreciation (or at least curiosity) for humans. There are a few, however, who have some pretty deep trust issues still. Horses, like humans, have individual personalities. They form special friendships. Some of them get along with the entire herd. Some of them only want one or two friends. You might observe them arguing, playing, proving who is more dominant, scratching & grooming each other, napping, thinking, becoming jealous of another’s attention, etc. Horses have a very interesting and obvious social structure. They do have herd rules and there can be consequences if rules are not followed. 

Though they do have some similar qualities to humans, HORSES ARE NOT HUMANS. Horses are prey animals, while humans would be considered predators. And they will react and respond immediately to whatever is going on, which they are very aware of.
In any case, horses are beautiful, magnificent, honest, intelligent, unique among their herd; and many of us think they have some sort of almost magical quality about them.

For sure, if you are trying to figure something out, if you pay attention, a horse might just come along and figure it out for you.
So whether you want to observe and learn and write about the horses,

Or think in metaphors and compare the horses to people and situations in your life,
Or if you want to write poems or school assignments, etc.,

Please consider joining us for Journaling with Horses.
Your first session is $20.00. After that it will be free will donation. (we are a 501c3 nonprofit as Horse Help Providers, Inc.) This money is used to help feed and care for our rescued horses.

Our new group starts Tuesday Aug. 14, 2012, 5:30-7:30 p.m. and will meet on Tuesday evenings. You may jump in any week after that. If those days and times do not work for you, let us know what would be better. Perhaps we could start another journaling group on a different day/time of the week.
Groups meet once a week. Bring your own journal and pens etc. No alcoholic beverages. We are a no-smoking facility. You may bring water or pop etc. No food in the barn area (humans and horses both tend to act different when food is around). Youth 12 and under must be accompanied by adult.  So there are a few rules I guess.

Our group coordinator is me. Darci Hortness. I do have a BA in Education and I did have a teaching career including classes in English/Language Arts/Journalism/Creative Writing/ Sociology/Psychology/Personal & Professional Development  at high school and college/adult levels before devoting most of my life to the rescued horses. I invite others to volunteer to be the facilitator with a special plan/topic in mind for a weekly meeting. Or if you know of a professional who might want to be a guest facilitator some week, we could consider that too!
Call for more information or to get signed up. 605 359-0961.
Or email

If you would like to do this as a private group we can do that too. Equine assisted learning sessions are available as observing/journaling, or as activities with the horses without the journaling.  Sessions are available for individuals, families, couples, corporations/businesses, other groups, etc. We can work with a counselor or therapist as a co-facilitator if you would like these sessions to be more for therapy.
Corporations/businesses and other groups may contact us for equine assisted learning that might involve team building, communication styles, leadership, projects & goals, etc.

We do have a large indoor arena. While there is no heat/AC, we ARE protected from the sun, bugs, wind, rain, snow, etc. It’s really quite comfortable.  
Hope that explains it a little bit. We can’t tell you exactly what will happen each week because, well, it really will be up to the horses!

Please join us.
We’ll be writing off into the sunset.
Will you?