Country Heart Farm was originally created as a personal safe-haven for our family after our son was born profoundly premature with significant developmental delays. The name was affectionately given to our family home by our son's friends in middle school. It was his connection with our animals and the profound positive effects they had upon his as well as many of his friend's growth and development that inspired us to bring Country Heart Farm to life as 501c3 non-profit therapeutic animal sanctuary. Several of our sons' childhood friends have shared that our animals were their audience when they practiced reading or needed a friend to tell secrets to and not be laughed at. Not to mention the wonderful adventures they had with us exploring the great outdoors of North Eastern Pennsylvania.
Today Country Heart Farm offers a retreat from everyday life where children, adults, and animals who have a history trauma find peace, happiness, and healing. We currently offer animal and Equine Assisted Therapy visits (AAT & EAP) and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) experiences 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 hands-on approach where clients are given the space to project and analyze their situations, make connections, and find their own solutions. Since the solutions are personally experienced in conjunction with intellectual understanding, they tend to be deeper, more profound, and longer lasting (Eagala, 2018).
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 is used to identify and change negative patterns of thinking, provide insight for observation and personal growth. Horses offer instant and accurate feedback they shed light on the client’s thoughts and feelings before the client and/or therapist are conscious of them.
Many of our visitors have experienced trauma, which makes it very difficult to trust others and feel safe. They offer a pure, nonjudgmental relationship allowing 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).
Country Heart Farm also offers various recreational based wellness programs and fundraising activities that incorporate the great outdoors and our animals. Several activities are offered on and/or off site. 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 shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, 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 also 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 does not directly bill visitors for our services. We rely solely on private as well as community donations and grants. As a 501c3 nonprofit charitable organization all donations are tax deductible.
Email email@example.com 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 the "Visit Referral Request Form" tab.
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.
"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."
***All donations/contributions to the farm are tax deductible.
Visits are by appointment only. Weekend visits available
Mailing Address: 311 Hanna Street Sugarloaf, Pa. 18249
Physical Address: Is provided upon scheduling & confirmation of a visit for the protection of our visitors.