For 20-year old Melissa, life seemed to go from bad to worse. Coming from an abusive upbringing, having her children removed from her care, and suffering all the trauma that three years of human trafficking heaps upon the human body and soul, she saw little hope for her future. Her safe-house mother and counselor recommended that she come to equine-assisted coaching sessions…



As with all of our equine-assisted coaching participants, Melissa’s sessions incorporated three facilitators:


    1. An Equine Specialist
    2. An Equine-Assisted Coach
    3. One or more members of our horse team


At Mt. Moriah Ranch, we believe that the equine members of our team are fundamental to the participant’s learning/healing—emotionally, spiritually and mentally. We plan each session by drawing from the best of current equine-assisted modalities within the framework of our ministry’s distinctive ‘personality’. Our team utilizes a framework where the team members’ attitudes, spiritual growth, concern for the clients, and character are attributes that directly facilitate an environment where the client(s) can participate in experiential work with the horse(s). We view these personal attributes to be equally as important as the professional training our staff receives.


While Melissa was perhaps dealing with more trauma than many of us will ever see in our lifetimes, our equine-assisted coaching sessions gave her, and continues to give others, the opportunity to work through a multitude of struggles/traumas including:


  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Grief
  • Eating Disorders
  • Addictions
  • PTSD
  • And more


If the client is under the care of a mental health professional, we encourage that professional to come and observe his/her client’s first session and subsequent sessions if desired

Melissa’s growth through equine-assisted coaching not only helped her healing process, some of her caretakers also discovered that equine-assisted coaching is a wonderful way for individuals and groups to focus on:


  • Teambuilding
  • Communication
  • Individual growth within the context of relationships


Most importantly, Melissa and our other clients have discovered that equine-assisted coaching offers an opportunity to grow in their ability to walk in cadence to God’s heartbeat.


For younger participants (although we also welcome adults), our Relational Horsemanship program teaches horsemanship training skills through hands-on interaction with a horse while also learning about horse behavior and horse psychology. But that isn’t where the learning stops. At Mt. Moriah Ranch, we have found that through our Relational Horsemanship sessions, students learn more about themselves, relational and communication skills, and trust.  


Not yet out of elementary school, Tyler had already been sexually abused multiple times by multiple persons and placed in the foster care system after his parents lost all parental rights. Fortunately, Tyler was adopted by a caring family and began counseling in addition to supplemental activities designed to help him learn healthy relational skills and focus. Mt. Moriah Ranch welcomed him into our Relational Horsemanship program. Our horse specialist paired him with a horse whose unique personality was best suited to help Tyler to learn focus, patience, steadfastness, and leadership.  


As Tyler quickly learned, horses are incredible teachers. Through our Relational Horsemanship sessions, he was able to connect with a thousand-pound horse using methods that imitate aspects of horse-to-horse interaction. The more he connected, the more his confidence grew. His interpersonal skills improved as he transferred his experiences to person-to-person interactions.  

As with Mt. Moriah’s Ranch’s equine-assisted coaching program, our Relational Horsemanship team consists of an Equine Specialist, a Coach (or other relational specialist), and one member of our horse team.  


A student does not need any previous horsemanship training or skills, only a willingness to learn about healthy relationships, communication, and trustworthiness.