Gael’s journey to horse medicine facilitation followed a seemingly indirect path. For 30 years she has brought shamanic medicine, healing, and ceremony to thousands of people in North America and now she also facilitates horse medicine work with horses as guides and teachers for human evolution. She awoke to the power of healing with horses many years ago when she was alone on the land doing a three-day personal shamanic ceremony to heal her inner anger and suicidal issues. The silence was suddenly shattered by 60 wild horses galloping across the land towards her. They stopped 50 feet away from her. In that moment her issues with anger, rage and suicide healed. This instantaneous healing has become a part of her life long journey and she has become both a Shamanic Practitioner and Certified Facilitated Equine
Learning ® (FEEL) facilitator. FEEL enables a heart-centred experiential, connecting and learning partnering with horses and humans. Horses offer a deep connection through their natural heart-centred awareness, without judgement. This kind of natural healing approach is so great for dropping cortisol levels and stress. Gael offers 1 on 1 sessions with horses and horse medicine workshops as well as shamanic training courses.
Marilyn has always loved horses and loved riding them and caring for them. She was surprised when a friend of hers recommended letting horses care for us as humans, as well. Whenever this friend took her sadness to the horses, she returned with her spirit eased. Years later, when she trained as a Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning ® (FEEL) facilitator, Marilyn started understanding and experiencing this potential for horses to be healers and true partners in the human-horse relationship. Horses are naturally authentic, curious, direct, and big-hearted. Their sensitivity and intuitive nature make them great facilitators for human healing and self-growth. She learned that partnering with horses in healing
work is natural and dynamic. Marilyn has Honours degrees in Psychology and English. She has also studied and taught shamanic knowledge since the late 80’s and is a co-founder of the Institute of Shamanic Medicine. Because shamanism is focused on experiential learning with the natural world and life experience as your teacher, it is a good fit with horse medicine work. Horses are a natural embodiment of living awake with full presence and awareness and Marilyn has been dreaming them into her life and work for as long as she can remember.
Sonya is a certified Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning ® practitioner (FEEL) and a Shamanic Coach/Practitioner certified through the Institute of Shamanic Medicine in BC. She has worked as a writer and editor for a variety of magazines in Vancouver and her academic background includes undergraduate studies in psychology and English at the University of Toronto.
Her passion for horses, ignited when she was 11years-old, ultimately led her to the FEEL program,which teaches participants how to partner with horses to facilitate guided, on-the-ground sessions for individuals. Sonya has learned first-hand that horses are wise, compassionate and powerful teachers, able to communicate volumes through their expressive body language. Masters at feeling and interpreting energy, they act as brilliant mirrors for us humans. Through the neutral and compassionate reflections offered by a horse, one has the opportunity to gain insight and awareness into their personal issues, and, through the process, to gain more balance and happiness. Blending her love of shamanism with her work with horses as healers, Sonya continues to discover that, in the round pen, anything is possible.
When Christine’s family decided to move from Montreal to Calgary, the timing couldn’t have been better. The strength of the Rocky Mountains and the vastness of the prairie skies had a calming impact and opened opportunities to connect with nature in a deeper way. This connection to nature was strengthened at a summer camp where Christine was introduced to horses and learned how powerful transformations and personal growth can occur when one aligns with the balancing and interconnected qualities of nature. Drawn to health and wellness, Christine completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in Nursing and is currently an Associate Professor at Mount Royal University, School of Nursing and Midwifery, specializing in mental health. Being aware that multiple ways of knowing and connection to nature is paramount in her own personal growth, work with others, and teaching, Christine completed further training in shamanism and Reiki and became a Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning ® (FEEL) certified practitioner. These practices would be her next steps in merging multiple ways of knowing to help others help themselves. Over her time facilitating FEEL sessions, Christine continues to be amazed by the innate abilities horses have as teachers of congruency, emotional agility, and authenticity.
Khatija has spent hours outside for as long as she can remember, investigating the farmers’ fields around her childhood home, riding numerous cities’ bicycle paths and playing and working with outdoor activities and sports. Khatija is an Associate Professor at Mount Royal University teaching athletic therapy and physical literacy. Her love of moving outside translated into Bachelor degrees in Physical and Health Education and Physiotherapy and a MSc and PhD in sport epidemiology. Alongside this formal education, Khatija trained in a wide variety of complementary medicines including acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, visceral manipulation, cupping, Reiki and shamanism. She enjoys investigating knowledge systems and how they can
complement each other towards better health. Khatija is a certified Forest Therapy Guide. Forest Therapy is a practice of cultivating relationship and reciprocity with the natural world around us and with ourselves to help restore health. It brings us to a place of being in the present moment, fosters connection to each other through shared experiences and to the more-than-human-world through sensory interaction, and helps us to embody our authenticity. Khatija is struck at how engaging in a natural space can affect recovery from illness, injury or disease in all the ways these manifest themselves.
Horse and Human Insights in Partnership