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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.

Alla Hirsch

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
BIO picture Tanya and Woody on Summer So
Woody and Tanya

Introducing Tanya McLachlan

Tanya and I have been co-facilitating since 2020.  It has been my pleasure to work with Tanya, to share my knowledge with her, and to learn from her. 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

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. 

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