Meet the Herd of Joy
In equine-assisted learning, the horses are the client's facilitators for healing and growth. Above all we value the horses' unique expression of nature and freedom and want them to be themselves.
Only physically and emotionally healthy horses can be effective teachers and healers. This is why the eight equine teachers of the Herd of Joy are kept as naturally as possible: with freedom to roam, eat, interact, and engage with humans.
Our horses are strangers to bits, spurs, and whips. They are invited into partnership and relationship through dialogue and consent. A horse with the freedom to choose is a happy horse.
"Laura and the Herd of Joy turned my whole world inside out." - Maria
Rebel considers himself top dog - a fun-loving, boorish, yet loving boy with a glorious blond mane. He likes to test boundaries and teach people about leadership.
Eaglet is wise, calm, vigilant, and always watching out for the herd. Laura's husband Igor gave him to her on her birthday. Then the stallion was only 3 and came from a semi-wild herd. He was the first horse Laura trained from scratch and the reason she began to explore force-free training methods. Now he teaches her.
Dawn is hardy and very patient, kind, and the bravest member of the herd. Her stature is small, but she has a big heart. She is the lead mare, but it does go to her head. Dawn works with kids and newbies, carefully carrying them on her back.
A sensitive and elegant lady getting on in years, but with an incredibly strong persona and energy. She was a broodmare for most of her life before retiring with the Herd of Joy. That explains why she is drawn to help mothers and their children. Posadka runs the show in healing sessions with the Herd of Joy.
Shy and youthful, but for those who win his trust Kansas is loving and сhummy. His paint color reminds Laura of her native Colorado prairie and the Wild West. Together with his mare Masha, Kansas helps couples take a fresh look at their relationship. He enjoys playing with specially-abled children. Kansas seeks in a person the qualities of a confident and kind leader.
In her youth, before joining the Herd of Joy, the Russian farmhorse Masha plowed fields and hauled wood and hay. Masha is strong, willful, independent, but loyal to her Kansas. In her work, Masha loves to engage with couples and children.
Daisy is still young, but the largest member of the herd. Despite her enormous size, she is gentle, careful around people, and loves playing at liberty. Always the center of attention, she socializes with everyone on her own willful terms.
Fable is as cute as a button with a fuzzy mane and tail and white spots on her rump. She has the personality of a friendly puppy. It is impossible to be afraid of little Fable, so befriending her serves as an excellent bridge to getting to know the other horses. Fable's story in the Herd of Joy has only just begun.