I am so pleased to be able to offer this unique experiential program to individuals and families looking for meaningful connection through the wisdom of the horse. My own family immigrated to Canada in 1952 fleeing the occupied Ukraine and the aftermath of the second world war. My childhood was certainly different than most of my peers at the time. It wasn't until after I began to work with children and their families that I understood that so much of the chaos in my family was a result of my parents PTSD and trauma suffered during their terror-filled migration from their home. After almost 40 years of working in the field of mental health, I am now able to devote my time entirely to Horses Are Magic. Equine experiential therapy was something I discovered while looking for a unique counselling experience for myself more than 10 years ago. I was amazed at how quickly and gently the horses directed me to my "real issues". It was a powerful and freeing experience.
I wasn't sure what to call my practice and so went to confer with my equine partners for help with our name. As I sat in silent communion with the herd, images and memories of how the horses had helped me and others flooded into my vision. Pictures and feelings...but no words. How could one put into words such incredible experiences? It's like trying to explain magic! The horses and I pondered the idea of magic and decided that it's one of our most beautiful concepts -- it's free and boundless, not governed by societal rules. Combined with horses who are one of the most beautiful animals ever created, something wonderful happens. People discover the true magic of themselves. And so, Horses Are Magic came to be.
Horses have been a constant source of support and friendship since I was a child. The idea of working with horses to help people was just the most exciting thing that I could imagine. I began building my practice in 2009 and became certified as a FEEL(Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning)® Practitioner in 2010 and in June of 2018 have Advanced FEEL Certification, having graduated from the advanced training, to further enhance the spiritual connection experienced by people and horses.
For the past 40 years I specialized in children's mental health. My work involved helping children and their families navigate the trials and triumphs of life. I have extensive training and expertise in understanding human behaviour and in crisis intervention. My passion is experiential learning and energy work as a means of discovering the unlimited potential and beauty of people and animals. Along with my work experience, I completed a Social Service Worker diploma from Georgian College.
The horses and I look forward to working with you, your family and friends. May your life path be enriched!
Cisco, Alla & Woody
Woody and Tanya
Introducing Tanya McLachlan
I am pleased to welcome Tanya to the equine learning community! Tanya is a new FEEL graduate. Tanya is offering individual, family and group sessions at Horses are Magic. She comes with a wealth of experience in the field of helping humans as you will see by her bio below.
Tanya was born and raised in Orillia, Ontario. A country girl, living with her parents and younger brother, Tanya’s home was surrounded by horse farms. At an early age, she seemed to be drawn by the majestic nature of the horses. An avid outdoors person, Tanya has always been involved with sports from figure skating and skiing to stand up paddle boarding and yoga.
While in high school, Tanya had an opportunity to participate in a French exchange student program to France and it was there that she was first bitten by the travel bug. Graduating from Guelph University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in hand, Tanya’s lust for travel and adventure led her to the Far East. Communicating with others came naturally and she had a unique ability to hold space for those that she met on her travels. Soon Tanya was teaching ESL in South Korea, China, Thailand and Mexico. Even whilst on foreign soil in some of the most populated regions of the world, the horses called to Tanya providing an opportunity to ride them in the center of China and on the beaches of Cuba. After returning home to Orillia from Mexico in 2006, Tanya decided to enroll in the Canadian Scholars Teacher’s Program at Daemen College located in Buffalo, New York to further pursue her teaching career. Since 2008, Tanya has been an Elementary school teacher with the Simcoe County District School Board of Education, evolving and adding to her qualifications through the years by doing a three part specialist in Special Education as well as Health and Physical Education. During her time expanding on her learning, she began questioning directions to take in her career and started to listen more to her heart as opposed to her head. A casual, quiet afternoon at the Chapters bookstore in Barrie, led her to follow her heart’s quest and she was drawn to the life changing book “Zen Mind, Zen Horse” written by Allan J. Hamilton, MD. Despite not yet having a horse of her own, she purchased this book trusting that it would all connect her to dreams that were yet to be awakened and it opened her mind and heart to the science and spirituality of working with horses.
Most notably in the last four years, Tanya taught and collaborated in an ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) classroom partnered with Mackenzie Health and Kinark support agencies. In addition to Tanya’s formal education training and qualifications, she stretched her comfort zone beyond the concrete walls and accepted a position as an Outdoor Education Facilitator in Huntsville, Ontario which involved teaching personal and team ‘coherence building techniques’ and helping individuals identify and grow core heart qualities and values necessary to meet goals such as confidence, courage, communication, cooperation and compassion.
In 2017, Tanya was reminded of her lure to horses once again when a student in her ASD class began sharing her love for the experiences she had with a horse. It was not long after, when Tanya started getting curious about how to help, heal and tune into a greater source of power and became a Certified Reiki Master in 2016 through Positive Pathways in Barrie, Ontario. With a newfound understanding of the subtleties of energy and how to feel, and apply it to situations with people and animals, only a few years later she would embark on a path connecting the energy of horse and human. In 2019, Tanya learned about Horse Spirit Connections and contacted them expressing her interest in wanting to discover the magic that transpires between horse and human. Today as Tanya embodies the teachings as a Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning FEEL® facilitator she incorporates her professional and private training, her love for nature, animals and intuitively facilitates an experience of self-discovery with the wise horse teacher that she was magnetically drawn to from an early age. T
Eagalie & Sue
Mylo & Alison
As a member of the FEEL Alumni, Horses Are Magic has a wide network of skilled professionals to call upon for assistance and resource in our work. Each of these persons brings with them their own special skills in making the horse/human connection. I would like to introduce to you two of the practitioners with who I have had the absolute pleasure of co-facilitating our workshops:
Sue Dixon - Partnering Horses with Humans
Sue is a certified Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning (FEEL) practitioner (and Advanced Training graduate) through Horse Spirit Connections and has a degree in Sociology through the University of Waterloo. Sue’s role with Partnering Horses with Humans is that of facilitator; Sue helps clients decipher the horse’s wisdom so that the client can find answers to some of life’s questions fostering self-knowledge and client’s owning their own learning and behaviour to take into their lives. Sue is based in Huntsville and Orillia.
Alison Sittek - Horse to Heart
Alison is a FEEL Practitioner and an Advanced FEEL Practitioner. Alison's program is Horse to Heart and services the Simcoe/York area. Alison is also a Reiki Practitioner practicing for the past 5 years. Currently based in the Tottenham area, she invites you to discover your authenticity through partnering with horses, and to share the beauty of the horse-human relationship through her business, Horse to Heart.
"I attended the Shame and Guilt workshop and it made me see things in a different way. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I would recommend this to anyone that has inner struggles that need to be released. The horses are very beautiful and loving." MH
Pathway to Self-Care:"Would recommend this workshop to anyone who needs to be reminded of the importance of self-care and needs to feel a powerful connection with the body & soul & horse. Very powerful." TL
Pathway to Self-Care: "This is a wonderful workshop! It gives you a chance to reflect, teaches you about yourself and you feel rejuvenated by spending time with the horses. Facilitators are seasoned and create a great atmosphere!" EG
Pathway to Self-Care: "The experience at Horses are Magic was indeed magical. Leave your expectations at the door and open your heart to the healing of the horse teacher." TMc
Pathway to Self-Care: "This day long workshop was a kind gift to myself with tools to use in the coming years." MH
"I would absolutely recommend horse therapy with Horses are Magic. The facilitating delivered an amazing program using many teaching styles to reach the strengths & needs of each participant. Theory, discussion, meditation, art, & a variety of interactions with the horses. Thank you. " SR