Country Heart Farm was originally created as a personal safe-haven for our family after our son was born profoundly premature 16 weeks early with significant developmental delays. The name Country Heart Farm was affectionately given to our family home years later by our sons and their friends.
Through the years the original Country Heart Farm was more than just a family home and personal safe haven, it was a sanctuary for many children and animals with physical, emotional and cognitive delays. It was then as it is today…a non-judgmental zone where people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities are welcomed to connect with our animals and grow.
In 2016, through the sharing of first-hand accounts of social, emotional, cognitive and academic growth directly related to their connections with our horses, dogs and various other critters, the above children inspired the evolution of Country Heart Farm from an affectionate name into a nationally recognized 501c3 non-profit therapeutic sanctuary. Our team includes professionally licensed, trauma informed, EAGALA certified humans as well as rescued and rehabilitated horses, pigs, goats, dogs and cats.
Today, Country Heart Farm 501c3 offers an 80 acre retreat from everyday life for children, adult and animals of all ages, stages, backgrounds and abilities with a history of social, emotional, psychological or any other form of life trauma can find peace, happiness and healing. We currently offer comprehensive therapeutic programs; equine assisted psychotherapy (EAP), equine assisted therapy (EAT) and equine assisted learning (EAL) based upon the EAGALA framework and model. We chose the EAGALA Model because it is client-centered, solution oriented and evidence-driven as well as based in the science that humans learn best by doing. The model prescribes a direct hands-on approach where clients are given the space to project and analyze their situations, make connections and find their own solutions under the supervision of a licensed and certified professional. Since the solutions are personally experienced in conjunction with the intellectual understanding, they tend to be deeper, more profound and longer lasting.
Answers to Some Common Questions
Why Horses? Because they are Large, powerful, intelligent prey animals with distinct personalities that have evolved to be extremely sensitive to their environment in order to avoid predators. They instinctively analyze and react to our body language and other nonverbal cues providing us with valuable feedback and insights for other areas of our lives. It's hard to ignore a horse with their size and presence. We can't just control a powerful horse. Approaching horses helps us reflect on how we approach our relationships, and how we can face other big or overwhelming things in our lives. Horses are social animals with defined roles within a herd. They have distinct personalities, attitudes, and moods. They could be stubborn or they could be playful. In other words, horses are a lot like us.
How can EAP/EAL help? Interpretation of a horse’s movements, behaviors or reactions as a metaphor are used to identify and change negative patterns of thinking, provide insight for observation and facilitate personal growth and healing. Horses offer instant and accurate feedback they shed light on the client’s thoughts and feelings before the client and/or therapy team are conscious of them.
Many of our visitors have experienced trauma, which makes it very difficult to trust others and feel safe. Horses and the other four-legged team members at Country Heart Farm offer a pure, nonjudgmental relationship with a connection to another living being without the risk of rejection or criticism. EAP can serve as a first step in helping individuals break through these barriers and become more comfortable with learning to trust again. Findings from self-report questionnaires revealed reductions in psychological distress and less psychological symptoms. Participants reported being more independent and self-supported, better able to live fully in the present and less troubled with regrets, resentment and guilt (Klontz, 2007).
Additional General Info
Country Heart Farm also offers various recreational based wellness programs and fundraising activities that incorporate the great outdoors and our animals.
People of all ages, stages and abilities are welcomed at Country Heart Farm. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. Country Heart Farm does not and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, expressions, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation. or military status in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, provision of services, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors.
We offer volunteer opportunities for the individual or group as well as senior class projects and community service. All our volunteers are required to complete background clearances through the PA State Police and Child Line for the protection of our visitors and residents.
Country Heart Farm and the comprehensive programs we offer are supported through private as well as community donations and grants. Funding for therapy services at Country heart Farm via the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) may be available to Pennsylvania residents who meet the victim's compensation assistance program criteria https://pcv.pccd.pa.gov/.../Pages/Victims-Compensation .
As a 501c3 nonprofit charitable organization all donations are tax deductible. Country Heart Farm accepts In-Kind donations of goods and services, sponsorships, memorial donations, and monetary contributions via credit/debit card, money order, check, cash, Pay Pal, or Guide Star. Our resident therapy animals and fosters also have a wish list page on this website.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about our various programs or to request a consultation for a customized program for your group or organization. Individual client referrals for EAP/EAL can be made by going to either the EAP or EAL tabs and clicking on the MAKE A REFERRAL tab.
"Animals assisting humans to learn, remain in a state of wellness and heal from life's wounds is a way of life at Country Heart Farm."