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06-08-2020 06:05 PM CET | Health & Medicine

Press release from: Berkshire HorseWorks


RICHMOND, MA June 8, 2020 – Berkshire HorseWorks is reopening its facility to the public June 8th, implementing new “Covid Clean” restrictions while allowing clients to receive mental health treatment and engage in fun outdoor activities safely. Specializing in EAGALA Model Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine-Assisted Team Building, the ranch will make programs available while implementing social distancing, the use of masks and hand-sanitizer, and the sanitizing of facilities before and after appointments.

“Everyone is hurting on so many levels. We would be remiss if we hadn’t found a way to offer our services and activities in the ‘new normal’,” said Hayley Sumner, founder and executive director, “We’ve taken the last few months to regroup and focus on our therapy herd’s mental and physical wellbeing and to repair storm damage. We’ve devised new programming both for those with mental health needs and also for friends, visitors and families who are looking for something fun, safe and challenging to do outdoors. All precautions mandated by the governor are in place to move forward and have people come out to the ranch. Animal lovers can get their fix too!”

Wellness has always been considered integral to Berkshire HorseWorks offerings, where the philosophy of getting out of your head and into your body reigns. From families looking to work on their communication to people needing some friendly socializing after being cooped up, the horses are here to partner with them. Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy, which integrates horses in ground-based metaphorical activities to facilitate change, is an effective modality for individuals, couples or groups working on a specific treatment goal. Tailored workshops use the interaction between people and horses as the basis for personal growth; all legs are on the ground, human and horse, side-by-side ready to learn. Equine -Assisted Team building is available for both families and companies looking to create cohesion , reinforce teamwork and explore group dynamics before returning to school or the office. For local businesses that have been working remotely, Equine-Assisted Team building is a great way to reconnect with one another and explore dynamics and nuances which may have surfaced after three months in seclusion.

Berkshire HorseWorks has also created specific programming to support healthcare workers and their families through the “Healers and Horses” workshop. Designed for those working on the frontlines of the Coronavirus pandemic, this program will provide support to those facing the worst of these unprecedented circumstances. In addition, families who’ve been segmented by behaviors and choices made by a frontline worker, have the opportunity to explore and reinforce their bonds in this workshop. Services are available on a sliding scale.

In addition, fun, frolicsome activities for individuals and families needing a break from confinement have been added this year. Family Team Building, Yoga in the Paddocks, Hikes with Horses, Free-Range Donkey Play, Art at the Ranch, birthday parties, Trail Ride experiences with picnics on the property are also available. Despite the closures of major performance venues this year the ranch will be open throughout the summer and fall. All services integrating horses in mounted and non-mounted activities are open to the public on a sliding scale and are booked by appointment only.

Hiking and Meditation with Horses: A 90-minute experience for those who love to get outdoors and are in need of a hiking buddy. Dedicated to mindfulness as participants hike through private trails with horses in hand, this activity is great for all ages and abilities.

Yoga at the Ranch: 75 minutes of mindful flow for all levels. Nurture your body and mind as horses graze around you. Allow yoga to bring balance to your muscles, decrease your anxiety, lower your blood pressure and increase flexibility.

Trail Ride Experience: Maybe you have ridden before, or maybe this is your first time. Climb up on one of our beautiful horses and feel your stress melt away! Create a connection and bond with yourself and your horse whether you choose to ride privately or join up with another. Limited to 2 participants.
Free Range Donkey Play: Have you ever wanted to hug a living teddy bear? How about a donkey? Join us for a romp around the paddock with our two miniature Sicilians. Free Range Donkey Play is perfect for people of all ages, as you will groom, feed, walk and explore with the donkeys. Young children and families welcome.
Art at the Ranch: Come experience how horses have inspired artists for centuries, from DaVinci to Remmington, through our Art on the Ranch workshop. Meet and mingle with a diverse herd of horses (and pony) allowing them to enliven your senses through up close and personal interactions. Afterwards, you can sit back with a glass of wine and create something meaningful. Open to artists of all mediums. Professional artists are available upon request to advise.
Rose at the Ranch: Are you looking for a fun night out or a way to relax after a stressful week? How about a date night with your significant other? Come join us for Rose at the Ranch, where wine, fun and horses are all part of the program. Set up a picnic on the deck overlooking the paddock or in the privacy of the woods, enjoying the natural beauty of your surroundings in a laid back atmosphere.
Pony Parties: Does your little-one love horses, cowboys and cowgirls? Picture hay bales, piñatas, and painted ponies. The birthday boy/girl will get to choose his/her favorite activities for their experiential party. All packages include up to 15 kids, staffing charges depend on size of group.


“I loved it…Every step was amazing… I can’t pick just one event. The energy and peace within was perfect. It was better than a day at Kripalu! – Linda Pebles (Mountain One Insurance Agency)

Berkshire HorseWorks provides the tools to cope, challenge, communicate, heal, lead, empathize and thrive in today’s competitive world. Sessions are by appointment only. Email or Call: 310-488-9777.

Berkshire HorseWorks
101 Patton Rd
Richmond, MA 01254
Phone: 413-698-3700

Berkshire HorseWorks™ (BHW) is a 501(C)3 nonprofit corporation which offers workshops in EAGALA Model Equine-Assisted Learning (EAL) to organizations of all kinds on its 7.5 acre property in Richmond, MA. With a focus on Equine-Assisted Team building for international corporations, school districts, and state agencies, BHW uses horses in ground-based activities to enhance personal development, cohesion, critical thinking skills, and group dynamics in the workplace. For the past seven years Berkshire HorseWorks has offered mental health services to at-risk youth, families, inmates, special needs individuals and veterans. From financial institutions including Bain Capital, and Mountain One, to hospitality groups such as Marriott, Equine Assisted Team building has proven highly efficacious for staff development. Founded in 2013 to provide Equine Assisted Psychotherapy to children, families and veterans suffering from mental health and behavioral challenges, the nonprofit stays true to its mission by directing corporate funds to help those at- risk in the community. Berkshire HorseWorks is part of the EAGALA Network of over 5000 certified practitioners in 50 countries.

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