Episode 34: On the Healing Power of Horses, Vision Boards & Equine Yoga with Pamela Jeffers (Equestrian Author Spotlight Podcast)
Episode 34: Welcome to the Equestrian Author Spotlight podcast! In each episode, you’ll hear inspirational stories from horse book authors including writing advice and marketing tips to help you write your own horse book. If you are an author, aspire to be an author, or simply love horse books then you are in the right place!
In this week's episode, you'll meet Pamela Jeffers. She's an author, equine therapist & co-founder of Natural Freedom Wellness Center. You'll learn ...
Watch Pamela Jeffers' Interview on YouTube!
Or listen to the audio only version.
About Pamela Jeffers of Natural Freedom Wellness Center
Pam Jeffers, the Co-Founder and Program Director for Natural Freedom Wellness Center, has more than 40 years of experience working with horses, including training, coaching, instructing, hosting clinics, and competing.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in therapeutic recreation and a Master of Science in recreation management from Ohio University. She is a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and an Equine Specialist for Mental Health and Learning, She also holds a certificate in Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.
She combined her educational background with her interest to explore the mind, body and spirit connection with the horse when she opened Natural Freedom Wellness Center in Albany, OH, in 2006.
She has co-authored a chapter in one of the first professional resource books for equine assisted counseling, “Harnessing the Power of Equine Assisted Counseling: Adding Animal Assisted Therapy to Your Practice”, and recently completed her own book, “Stand Up! A journey of finding strength leads to a unique model of practice in exploring relationship with Self, Horse, and Others.
Pamela Jeffers Podcast Interview Excerpt
Carly: Tell us about what led you to found the Natural Freedom Wellness Center and what do you do there.
Pamela: My first horse, Penny, led me to this work. When I was in 4-H one of our projects was participating in a therapeutic riding program and my club leader asked if I would be interested in getting Penny ready to work with wheelchairs and that kind of thing. Penny and I had a really solid bond. I did a lot with her and she was used to a variety of things, so we got her prepared for this new program. The program really resonated with me. I believe in healing power of horses.
While I was in high school we were involved in the therapeutic riding program and when I went on to college the experience stayed with me. I ended up doing my degree in Recreational Therapy, so Penny started my entire professional education and career.
At Natural Freedom Wellness Center, we provide equine facilitated learning and therapy programs for confidence-building, empowerment, and relaxation.
Carly: Tell us about your memoir.
Pamela: Many successful trainers have shared their life lessons and epiphanies as a result of years with horses. In Stand Up! I use my years of studying and applying the lessons of these great pioneers, along with my study of spiritual leaders to move through personal adversities and fears.
I share my personal story of discovering internal strength through the power within and improved self-awareness, which ultimately led to compassionate perseverance. Stand Up! is a story of finding strength in difficult times, learning to manage emotions, facing fears, and believing in hope and big dreams with the horses leading the way.
Ultimately, my healing journey combines scientific research discovered to solidify my own discoveries after beginning my Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) at Natural Freedom Wellness Center. Gradually, the life lessons with horses led to my C Within Model of Practice for exploring relationships with Self, Horse and Others.
Carly: How do you use the horses for healing and shifting of mindset?
Pamela: One of the stories that I tell in Stand Up! is a story is about a little Paint Horse in our herd named Cheyenne. I was using yoga to reboot myself and I would go out to the barn and use the different breathing styles with the horses. I would watch their nonverbal feedback and identify which breath they like or which one was relaxing.
One day my husband was having a really bad day and I led him out to the to the pasture. I made him walk to the flat behind our barn. The horses were out in the field. We sat down and I was rubbing my husband's temples trying to help him relax. His blood pressure was sky-high and they wanted to hospitalize him. While we were doing aromatherapy and massage, this little Paint Horse came over and put his muzzle on his head.
We were just breathing together and Cheyenne stayed with his muzzle on his head for 45 minutes. after that 45 minutes, he nonchalantly returned to grazing. My husband looked up with tears in his eyes and he said that he had never felt better in his life. He felt like a hundred pounds had lifted off of him. Cheyenne had helped take the burden off of him.
Carly: How do people get involved and take advantage of this beautiful experience that you're offering for healing with horses?
Pamela: We serve age 3 to 93 and modify our sessions according to the needs of the individual. It's very individual driven. If we were working with a three-year-old, we'd focus on taking 3 long deep breaths before we enter the barn, so we don't scare the horses, but an adult the process might be more focused on mindfulness, slow breaths by using the neck, and just slowing everything down.
We created a heart-to-heart rainbow which is an imagery experience. We use it to help abuse and neglect victims build relationships. We work on relationship skills and how to connect with another being. We start with the horse, and then hopefully we make that transition to others.
Carly: What message you do hope readers are left with when they finish reading your book?
Pamela: I would hope that they would see that there's hope and you can believe that there is a better tomorrow. Whatever anybody's going through today, we can we all have our power within to dig deep and one step at a time move past those hurdles. Use it as a gift instead of a negative because I think everybody has their own personal journey. We all have experiences that we wish we didn't have, but if we can use those in a positive way and learn from the lessons. That's what I'm hoping they will receive from this book and the healing power of the horse.
Carly: Tell us about how your horse yoga sessions.
Pamela: We put a barrier with cavalettis around the middle of the arena. The humans are inside there and the horses are on the outside of the barrier. We don't do yoga on horseback. We sync up with the horse's energy and use breath work while you're doing the yoga. It's a peaceful setting,. You're separated from the horses, but they are still there.
Connect with Pamela Jeffers
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About Your Host and Author Carly Kade
Carly Kade is an award-winning equestrian author and the host of the Equestrian Author Spotlight podcast. Creative writing makes her spurs jingle! She writes fiction about horses, horse shows, Western pleasure and a handsome cowboy or two. Her books are for people just like her — crazy about reading, horses and cute cowboys!
In the Reins, the first in Carly's series of novels inspired by the equestrian lifestyle, has been an Amazon best seller for more than 10 weeks, is an EQUUS Film Festival Literary Award Winner for Best Western Fiction and has earned two Feathered Quill Book Awards in the Romance and Adult Book featuring Animals categories. The In the Reins equestrian romance series is available now in Audiobook, Paperback and eBook on Amazon, Audible, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks and Kobo.
Books by Carly Kade
Carly Kade writes for anyone who loves horses, handsome cowboys and a great romance. Creative writing about horses makes her spurs jingle!