Episode 35: On Communications, Self Care & Horses Supporting Mental Health with LaTicia Jeffers (Equestrian Author Spotlight Podcast)
Episode 35: 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 LaTicia Jeffers Communications Director of Natural Freedom Wellness Center. You'll learn ...
Watch LaTicia Jeffers' Interview on YouTube!
Or listen to the audio only version.
About LaTicia Jeffers
LaTicia Jeffers is a graduate of Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication with a Bachelor’s in Communication Studies. Her related areas of studies include Deaf Studies and Interpreting, and a Marketing Minor.
She is a PATH International Certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL) with 15+ years of equine experience. LaTicia sits on the Ohio Paint Horse Club Board of Directors, and is Co-Marketing Chair. She also sits on the Athens County Youth MOVE Steering Committee and is the member representative for Meigs County Intersystems Committee for Natural Freedom Wellness Center.
LaTicia has held a position at Natural Freedom Wellness Center since 2010. She started out as an Equine Specialist /Specialized Case Manager and upon returning to school accepting the position of Communication Director.
LaTicia has 10 years of experience working with at-risk youth, adults, and individuals with various abilities. Currently, she sees a limited number of participants as an Equine Specialist/Specialized Case Manager. As the Communication Director of Natural Freedom Wellness Center LaTicia’s focus is to better communicate with the community as well as other organizations about Natural Freedom Wellness Center.
LaTicia holds a passion for creative ways to collaborate with various organizations in order to best serve the Southeastern Ohio region. This included the most recent collaboration with Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Center for Suicide Prevention and Research bring to life Natural Freedom’s Youth Suicide Prevention Conference. Which was held at Natural Freedom in their newly built covered arena. With 200 individuals and 20 local organizations represented along 25 businesses contributed to helping making this event free for the community.
LaTicia holds a love for the arts and is big on photography and unique marketing materials. She has had to find unique ways to market Natural Freedom as their organization maintains true honoring each individuals journey by not utilizing photos with clients.
She has designed the cover for Pam Jeffers’ award-winning book Stand UP! as well as contributed to the design and coordinated to bring Stepping Up Kindness Nikki’s Story to life.
She is currently working with Co-Owners Pam and Robert Jeffers to begin a vlog series with Natural Freedom Wellness Center for continuing education within the Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies field.
LaTicia Jeffers Podcast Interview Excerpt
Carly: I always love to start the interviews off talking with guests about how their love affair with horses began, so tell us a little bit about your first horse.
LaTicia: I actually was born into it. I grew up on a horse and dairy farm. My parents actually purchased the horse that I grew up with with their wedding
money, before they even had a couch! They bought him as a little weanling. My mom told my dad that their child will show that horse and grow up with the horse. That's exactly what happened.
Carly: You are in the business of public relations and marketing. You help promote Natural Freedom Wellness Center. Can you tell us a little bit about your your role and how you got involved?
LaTicia: I'm the Communication Director at Natural Freedom Wellness Center and I'm the daughter of the co-owners. When I was working with Natural Freedom as an Equine Specialist, I realized how lacking we were in communication to the community about what Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies were, what we were doing, and how much rich knowledge we had to offer the community, so I went back to college and completed my degree in Communication Studies from Ohio University with a related area study in Deaf Studies in Interpreting, and a Marketing Minor.
Carly: You're also a PATH International Certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. You have 15 years of equine experience. Tell us a about a story that really moved you while working with a horse and client.
LaTicia: I have a lot of them actually. Back in 2009, we were working closely with three counselors and two social workers that were specialized in post-adoption practices. At the time we were working with an adoptive parent and child who at the time was a reluctant teen. When they began here, they didn't really want to be here. You see that a lot in this industry.
The most impactful part of that was being able to see that connection build with one of our horses and seeing the horse actually getting to the point that he actually wrapped around and hugs that individual. Just seeing those real tears flow and actually being able to be a part of that breakthrough is why I do this work.
Carly: I imagine emotionally it's probably hard for you to do this work. What do you do to recharge and make sure you're taking care of your own mental health when you work at in these situations?
LaTicia: When I first started doing the therapy, I didn't fully know the importance of self-care, but through that process I've definitely taken the time to learn how to better take care of myself. I'm definitely a proponent for taking off the work clothing as soon as you get in the door and letting everything go. I take very hot showers or hot baths and visualize everything just letting go and releasing.
We use a lot of aromatherapy oils at Natural Freedom Wellness Center. If everybody's had a rough day, we'll put on lavender oil or if we need more pep we will use peppermint oil.
We are very fortunate in our organization to have a team atmosphere and be able to debrief with each other and let go with one another before we go home, so we aren't carrying that heaviness.
Carly: Given your communications and marketing background, what advice would you give others authors of horse books on how to market their books. If you could give them any pointers what would you recommend?
LaTicia: The number one thing is to remember that you are your brand. You are that book or book series. Make sure you're putting out there what you want that brand to be. You already have the knowledge. You have this. It is your story. Believe in yourself. Take that breath and just go with the flow.
Meet Pamela Jeffers
I recently interviewed LaTicia Jeffers' mom, Pamela Jeffers, and she gave us a lot of background on the Natural Freedom Wellness Center. Listeners can tune into Episode 34: On the Healing Power of Horses, Vision Boards & Equine Yoga with Pamela Jeffers by clicking here.
Connect with LaTicia Jeffers
LaTicia is the digital marketer/manager for for the following SM accounts:
Website for Natural Freedom: naturalfreedomohio.com
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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!