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.

Just Posted

Professor Nancy Sandy of Williams Lake First Nation, seen here travelling on the land in Tahltan territory, is heading up the new Indigenous Law and Justice Institute at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont. (Patricia Squires photo)
WLFN professor named director of Lakehead University’s Idigenous law, justice institute

A lawyer, Nancy Sandy is also a former chief of Williams Lake First Nation

Lorne Doerkson is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Black Press Media file photos)
MLA’s CORNER: Mining month in B.C.

Mining Month 2021 gives us the opportunity to learn more about how the industry is changing

Williams Lake Farmers’ Market manager Barb Scharf said Friday, May 7, she was glad to have everyone back for another season. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Farmers’ market season underway in Williams Lake

The Friday market goes from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Lake City Secondary School Grade 7 Outdoor Education students Geordi Wonnacott (from left), Brody Brook, James Wilker, Ali Calabrese and Kaitlyn Brown explore a burned area at the top end of the trails at Bull Mountain Ski Area last year as part of the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club’s ski school program. (Martin Kruus photo)
Ski school glides to successful year at Bull Mountain

Avah Akeson, also in grade seven, said that just having the opportunity to ski was really fun

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

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

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Dr. Steve Beerman, of Nanaimo, shows off his Dr. David Bishop Gold Medal, awarded for distinguished medical service. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Most Read