Horses Healing Hearts Adds Equine Assisted Learning to Program Through EAGALA Certification

Dec 2, 2013 - 11:10 AM

Wellington, FL – December 2, 2013 - Horses Healing Hearts (HHH) is proud to announce their membership in the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning (EAGALA) Program. Since 1999, EAGALA has been the leading international nonprofit association for professionals using equine therapy to address mental health and human development needs. Following their model and training, founder of HHH Lizabeth Olszewski is now certified in the EAGALA model, opening up new doors and limitless possibilities for the expanding nonprofit organization.

Horses Healing Hearts, founded in September 2009 by Olszewski of Wellington, FL, helps ease the pain of kids growing up in a home affected by substance abuse. HHH provides these children with the opportunity to help heal emotionally by working with horses while having fun and learning positive life-coping skills, responsibility and confidence. After completing the EAGALA certification, HHH will now be able to start a revenue arm for their program, which will assist in funding their mission to help children through equine experiential learning.

The EAGALA Model is based on a team approach in which an Equine Specialist and Mental Health professional work through the horses to help the client. There is no horseback riding involved, only unmounted activities in which the horses sometimes serve as a metaphor and a mirror for the participants themselves or situations in their lives. Each client has the best solutions for themselves when given the opportunity to discover them. Because EAGALA is an experiential model, participants will have the chance to problem-solve, take risks, employ creativity and find the solutions that best work for them.

Founder Liz Olszewski shared, “Dr. Patricia O’Gorman, HHH Advisory Committee Chair, suggested that we start researching associations in which to be certified in order to increase our skill level and credibility. We chose EAGALA due to its worldwide presence and balanced, professional model for which it is known. Because it is a model with unmounted activities, we can use it interspersed with our HHH children’s program (which is mounted), but it will be the ‘backbone’ of the EAP/EAL services we offer in the mission-based program coming soon.”

The EAGALA certification opens up a new division for HHH, which will now have the ability to help adult clients from substance abuse treatment centers. HHH will utilize Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) to reach out to a variety of clients for fee-based services which will, in turn, help fund the HHH children’s program.

EAL can be used for individuals and groups and is often used to evaluate group dynamics via team building exercises with executive corporate teams. “I was very impressed to hear that in Mexico City, Annie Ricalde (EAGALA Latin America Coordinator) and Ana Maria de Jager (Medical Doctor and Equine Specialist) not only use EAL to help “at-risk” street kids but also have used the model to train executives from Wal-Mart, Chrysler, Shell, American Express, Danone, Revlon, SAMS, etc.” Olszewski said. “The fact that Fortune 500 companies are realizing the benefits of EAL with their team-building efforts speaks volumes.”

EAGALA is often called “a ropes course with horses” and is experiential in nature. The process acts as a powerful and effective therapeutic approach for people of all demographics. The possibilities with the EAGALA Model are endless, and with over 4,000 members in 49 countries, it is no wonder that the nonprofit organization has become so well known for its ability to help those suffering from addiction, depression and trauma.

Horses Healing Hearts is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to bettering the lives of children of alcoholics and substance abuse through equine experiential learning. To learn more about Horses Healing Hearts or how you can help with donations of money or time, log onto or e-mail Liz Olszewski at or call (561) 713-6133.

Category: Press Releases

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