Photo submitted                                Jenn Macpherson spends some time with her horses, Gabe and Missy, which she uses to offer equine therapy.

Photo submitted Jenn Macpherson spends some time with her horses, Gabe and Missy, which she uses to offer equine therapy.

Equine therapy: using horses to connect with those in need

“It’s a place to come and feel safe”

Jenn Macpherson believes in the healing power of horses.

“I’ve got this calling in my heart,” Macpherson said of what inspired her to relocate from the Lower Mainland and purchase and restore a rural property in the Cariboo for her new business as an equine assisted development coach.

“There’s just so many gaps in the system where I’ve seen people in recovery who struggle to connect and live as a sober person. It can be very isolating. Horses create this space, they have the ability to break down some of the walls people have put up.”

Macpherson has been training and preparing for four years to offer her skills full-time as an equine assisted development coach to anyone in need, whether that is someone in recovery from substance use, those who have suffered trauma, therapy for couples or just anyone in need of making connections and feeling supported.

Read More: Williams Lake pursues funding for one-stop-shop for youth services

“When clients come here, it’s a place to stick your cell phone at the door — a place of renewal,” she said of her property, Spirit Valley Ranch, just north of Williams Lake.

Macpherson has worked in the mental health and substance use field for the last decade and said equine therapy just makes sense as another way to connect with those in need.

“It takes so much courage to change and make healthy connections. Every emotion we feel, the world responds to that,” she said. “Horses are honest, (whereas) humans are a little more tricky. Whatever is going on with the clients, the horse reflects that. The horse does all the work. People often (carry) emotions they don’t even know exist.”

Read More: Trucking supports her passion for horses

Often a deeply moving experience, Macpherson has already started working with clients with her two horses Gabe, a Gelderlander Dutch Carriage horse, and Missy, an Appendix mare.

She has spent the last year restoring her property and feels she’s now ready to achieve her own dream of helping others through equine assisted learning full time.

Macpherson is hosting an open house at her Spirit Valley Ranch on Sunday, April 28 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for those interested in learning more. Or, you can visit her website at

Do you have a comment about this story? email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North District RCMP are urging the public's assistance in locating Prince George resident Amber Wuetz, 25, last seen Oct. 18 in the Canim Mahood Lake area north of 100 Mile House. (Photo submitted)
Prince George woman confirmed dead, foul play not suspected

Police confirm Amber Wuertz was found deceased on Oct. 31

As winter gets underway the city is reminding residents of its snow and icy policy and the role residents have in clearing sidewalks and keeping vehicles and carts off the street when snow plows are in the area. (Monica Lamb-Yorski file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake reminds residents of snow and ice policy requirements

Clearing of snow and ice from sidewalks is responsiblity of property owners

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

Quesnel Kangaroos forward Justin Fulton (17) fires the puck on Stampeders goaltender Matt Brenner’s (37) during a contest at the West Fraser Centre in Quesnel last season. (Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Stamps, Central Interior Hockey League, cancel 2020/21 season

The team said it would like to thank the community, its fans, volunteers and sponsors

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; drug toxicity continues to increase

COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate the overdose crisis

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Beaver Creek RCMP Cpl. Robert Drapeau, left to right, Gary Bath, Lynn Marchessault, Payton Marchessault, Rebecca Marchessault and Tim Marchessault pose in this recent handout photo near the Canada-U.S. border crossing near Beaver Creek, Yukon. A family reunion trip for the woman from Georgia that left them stranded ended on a bright note when Bath drove them to the Alaskan border following an appeal for help. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Gary Bath *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Help from B.C. man allows American family to reunite in Alaska

Lynn Marchessault drove from Georgia to the Alaska border to join her husband, who serves in U.S. military

Most Read