We have combined over 70 years of 'horse life' and EAL study with our shared vision to bring the benefits of equine assisted learning to our community!
Betty Ann Balcom
Betty Ann convinced her parents to get a pony when she was nine - with the sum of her strawberry and apple-picking wages, saved over three years! She learned a lot hacking out by herself on her green pony and she has been learning from the horse ever since. In 2004, she attended the Natural Horsemanship Summit in Guelph, Ontario, where she discovered the potential and depth of the horse/human relationship. As she practiced these principles of natural horsemanship, she gained insight into how our physiological and emotional essence affects our relationship with the horse. In 2012 and 2013, she participated in natural horsemanship clinics with Don Holiday and Devanee Cardinal at the Cardinal Ranch in Valmount, British Columbia. In 2014, she participated in Don's clinic in Nova Scotia. In 2012, she attended the International Symposium on Healing with Horses/Equine Facilitation in Denver, Colorado - a cross-model workshop for equine facilitators who wish to partner with horse - to uplift the lives of humans around the globe. This is where Betty Ann and Terry met and synergy took seed. In 2013, at the Emotional Fitness Clinic for Horses and Humans, with psychiatrist Dr. Jenny and Linda Parelli, she learned more about how past experience and thoughts affect our sense of wellness and value, and how relationships with humans and horses are limited by these patterns and mirrored in the horse and other humans. In 2012, she became a member of Equine Experiential Learning Association, studied for two years with that organization and traveled to Pennsylvania in the fall of 2013 to complete her certification in Equine Assisted Learning. In 2013 she also attained certification in "Turning Crisis Situations into OK", in Chester, NS, through the OK Corral organization, with Greg Kersten from Nebraska, and founder of E.A.G.A.L.A. She also took the module "Coming Home Again: Equine Assisted Applications for Veterans and their Families" from Greg in 2017. In the summer of 2016, she was in Pennsylvania taking a youth-centered internship with Gina Yarrish of Yarcorte Acres, in a program that focused on leadership, self-awareness and making good choices. Betty Ann continues to better understand how the horse responds to our energy and intentions. She has been an independent entrepreneur for the past 28 years, founding and building four businesses. She has learned much about people - assessing the needs of both workplace teams and clients. She is very familiar with the challenges faced by business owners and she is looking forward to bringing her resourcefulness, creativity and positive outlook to delivering equine-experiential benefits to the local community.
Terry's interest in horses began at a very young age when she stayed up late many nights reading every horse book available at the local library - and others that they special-ordered in! She began her hands-on learning of horsemanship at a small stable on summer vacation when she was 12. She participated in the high school riding club, spent four years hacking in the countryside and worked part-time as a trail ride guide for a few years. After two years in the hunter/jumper forum, at the age of 40, she found her first pony, a sweet little Arabian mare, Annie. After a few years of competing at breed shows, she and her partner built an equine facility at home for Annie and her son Ivan. After studying classical riding for several years, Terry decided to shift her focus to create and facilitate a different kind of program for people of all ages - with a mission to explore a mutually beneficial horse/human relationship. In 2012, she participated in a "Horses Know the Way Home" workshop in Rhode Island, where she confirmed what she had already intuitively discovered - that it is possible to make a positive difference in the lives of people through the model of the horse, by bringing clarity to existing personal development principles and natural laws. In 2012, she attended the International Symposium on Healing with Horses/Equine Facilitation - a cross-model workshop for equine facilitators who wish to partner with horse - to uplift the lives of humans around the globe. That is where she met Betty Ann and they discovered a mutual passion in the horse-human affinity. At the symposium, she participated in an inspiring and informative combination of experiences designed to give facilitators new tools, inspiration and insights. She met and received coaching from Drea Berquist-Bowen, founder of Heart of the Herd Ranch, and learned more about the gift of partnering with horses to support her clients through meaningful and sustainable personal discovery and professional growth. Terry facilitated integrated programs that included EAL at her own facility, which included custom activities for children, teens and adults, including recreational therapy clients from local health organizations. She has also studied and pursued visual arts for many years. In 2015, she received her certification as a yoga instructor and over the past two years, has become very engaged in the science of breathing, with a focus on sharing with people breath, awareness and movement tools for stress management and wellbeing. She also teaches yoga and hosts process art sessions in her Smiling Horse Studio and wherever there is an opportunity to breathe, create and move!