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'A sense of calm comes over you': Connecting with horses and nature helps some find mental well-being

An Oregon life coach is helping those struggling with anxiety find balance through a connection with horses.

FOREST GROVE, Ore. — It is estimated that about half of all Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

An Oregon life coach is helping those struggling with anxiety find balance through a connection with horses.

Nestled in the tranquil rolling hills of Forest Grove, you will find Looking-Glass House & Farm. It’s the home of Soul Equine, where Audrey Daniel uses the gentle calmness of horses to help clients find mental well-being.

“I'm a holistic life coach, but I specialize in nature and equine-guided learning,” she said.

Daniel says animals have a particular way of helping people find balance and clarity in what can be an otherwise chaotic and overwhelming world.

“Horses reflect back at us what's going on within us, even when we're not aware of it,” Daniel said. “And they can't lie and it's nonjudgmental. So, it's almost like a safe place to have self-discovery."

A workshop Memorial Day weekend will help clients get in touch with how changing seasons effects them.

“Sometimes we'll overload ourselves and just go, go, go all summer because we're afraid of it running out,” Daniel said.

Soul Equine has partnered with The Eternal Child, a Los Angeles-based lifestyle company for the upcoming workshop. It is concentrated on being active while also finding time for stillness.

“Remember to be present in the moment, rather than always worrying about the summer running out or the sun going away,” she said.

During the workshop May 25 and 26, participants will explore living in accordance with the seasons by connecting with the environment and through an immersion with animals.

Daniel’s horses Kamali and Tango will lead by example.

“Depression is living in the past, anxiety is living in the future, and horses sort of force us to be in the present moment.”

Taking charge of your mental wellness comes in many forms and Daniel is offering an alternative way to do that.

“When we take people out into the pasture everything happens; your blood pressure lowers, your heart rhythm lowers, you become – a sense of calm comes over you,” Daniel said.

To learn more about Soul Equine, equine-guided learning, and the Memorial Day weekend workshop visit their website.

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