About Us

Equine Assisted Personal and Staff Development

Berkshire HorseWorks’ programs offer the tools to cope, heal, compete, challenge, communicate, lead, empathize and thrive in today’s competitive world. BHW brings the amazingly powerful EAGALA Model of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) to the community to help augment, in a new way, the wellness and vitality of one’s own heart, the heart and soul of others, and the heart of a vibrant workforce.

Hayley

Founded in late summer 2013 by Hayley Sumner, a NY/CA transplant and cancer survivor, Berkshire HorseWorks operates out of a bucolic 27 acre compound in Richmond, Ma., comprising the Berkshire Equestrian Center, hiking trails, outdoor paddocks, historic barns, state of the art jumping facilities, a quaint Inn, and a wellness center.

Highly effective, evidence-based, and experiential, EAP and EAL are offered seven days a week through individual sessions, workshops and retreats with EAGALA Certified professionals. The Model has a diverse application from helping in the healing process of the children, families and first responders affected by the Newtown tragedy, to assisting military personnel and vets with PTSD reintegrate into society, to cultivating empathy in Fortune 500 companies, motivating an organization’s sales force or even teaching anti-bullying techniques in schools.

Having owned a public relations firm for more than 20 years, Sumner recognized the importance of investing in and supporting her associates in their personal growth. “We would go on rafting trips to Costa Rica to help us all develop a sense of trust and teamwork. They became great leaders and listeners. Had I known about horses at that time I might have traded in the rafts for hooves. We can work on just about anything in the arena that one would do in boardroom trainings or on a therapist’s couch. Bringing it to life allows for hands on metaphorical learning that is very powerful for staff development, employee retention and overall wellness,” states Sumner, an EAGALA Certified Professional for 7 years.

This is not a riding or horsemanship program: all legs are on the ground, human and horse side by side, ready to learn. The emphasis is on non-mounted activities which incorporate horses and require individuals or groups to discover and apply certain skills. Participants learn about themselves and others by connecting with the horses and then observing and discussing the team dynamics, behaviors, and patterns that arise. What happens in the arena is often a metaphor for one’s life, family or group interaction.

“My hope when starting this business was to be able to help organizations and our community concurrently. If we can offer a new way for people to honestly examine themselves and their impact on team dynamics while facilitating change thru effective communication, increased problem solving and creative thinking, then that will lead to more productive and healthier relationships all around,” said Sumner, Founder and Executive Director of Berkshire HorseWorks.

We look forward to seeing you.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)

Berkshire HorseWorks and the EAGALA Model

Berkshire HorseWorks™ offers experiential workshops, corporate retreats, individualized 60 and 90 minute sessions and customized programs in the EAGALA Model of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL).

Young Girl Feeding a Horse

EAGALA, (the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) is a nonprofit professional organization with over 4,000 members and 8000 trained facilitators in 49 countries committed to setting the standard of professional excellence in how horses and people work together to improve the quality of life and mental health of individuals, families and groups worldwide.

Both Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) incorporate horses experientially for emotional growth. The EAGALA Model is a solution-focused collaboration between a licensed mental health professional, an equine specialist and horses working together with their clients. An adjunct or alternative to talk therapy, the EAGALA Model embodies a strict code of ethics.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)

60 or 90 minute sessions for individuals, couples, groups, families, customized short and long term programs commensurate with delineated treatment goals –

EAP at Berkshire Horseworks

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy is a powerful and effective therapeutic approach that has an incredible impact on individuals, at risk youth, couples, families, and groups, as well as on active duty military and veterans. EAP addresses a variety of mental health and behavioral challenges ranging from autism, boundary issues, PTSD, sexual abuse, trauma, addiction, ADHD, anger management, depression, eating disorders and anxiety to relationship problems, effective communication, resiliency and reintegration.

“Because of their size, acute sensitivity and history with humans, horses have a unique appeal worldwide, helping clients become more engaged in the therapeutic process,” said Lynn Thomas, EAGALA’s Executive Director and co-founder. “The EAGALA Model has a solution-focused, client-centered approach believing clients have the best solutions for themselves when given the opportunity to discover them. Coupled with the nonverbal nature and appeal of horses, the Model has expanded globally crossing cultures and languages and addressing issues indigenous to a respective population,” she added.

Young Girl Feeding a Horse

“Berkshire HorseWorks has quite literally been life changing for my son. The confidence and self worth he has acquired from these magnificent animals is truly remarkable. To be able to see this transformation before our eyes was a magical experience. Hayley, and Dom are earth angels, the kindness, and patience they’ve shown will leave an impression for a lifetime,” shared Gisela Kearns.

Horse therapy, according to a growing number of mental health professionals, can be significantly more productive than talk therapy. According to the RAND report (April 2008), nearly 20 percent of military service members who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan — 300,000 in all — report symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder or major depression, yet only slightly more than half have sought treatment. “Horses are the best therapists for many veterans, because most vets don’t want talk therapy,” says Julie Giove Sardonia, MA, LMFT, a therapist in California. “Healing happens in nature, especially for the military. Equine sessions, as opposed to traditional talk therapy, are more impactful and shorten treatment time. A soldier’s relationship with a horse can provide emotional insights and self-understanding,” she concluded.

Berkshire HorseWorks’ professional team is composed of Massachusetts licensed social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and equine specialists who work in tandem with referring clinicians to achieve the highest efficacy in treatment.

Programs take place on premises unless off-site sessions are requested. Additional fees may apply for transport.

Equine Assisted Learning (EAL)

Berkshire HorseWorks and the EAGALA Model

Horses Facilitating Change in Staff Development

EAGALA, (the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) is a nonprofit professional organization with over 4,000 members and 8000 trained facilitators in 49 countries committed to setting the standard of professional excellence in how horses and people work together to improve the quality of life and wellness of individuals, families and groups worldwide.

Sheriff's dive team in EAL session

Equine Assisted Learning (EAL)

60 minute sessions for individuals and couples; 90 minute sessions for couples, groups, families; half day, full day and extended customized workshops and retreats tailored for learning goals and staff development programs –

Personal Growth at Berkshire Horseworks

Berkshire HorseWorks™ located at the Berkshire Equestrian Center, offers the powerful evidence-based, experiential EAGALA Model of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) through individual sessions, workshops and retreats with EAGALA Certified professionals. The EAGALA Model is a solution-focused collaboration between a licensed mental health professional, an equine specialist and horses working together with their clients. A highly effective tool in staff development and team building, the EAGALA Model embodies a strict code of ethics.

Through customized programs, Berkshire HorseWorks helps facilitate team building and skills development for organizations of all kinds: corporations, boards of directors, social services personnel, management teams, school staff, health and wellness professionals, youth groups, law enforcement, and more.

Workshops use the interaction between people and horses as the basis for personal growth and exploring group dynamics.

“I volunteered for a team building session. I had no idea what to expect. After just 1.5 hrs I came away with a couple valuable results usable in everyday life. First and foremost, I don’t listen very well!! I hear fine but don’t focus on what is being said. Combining others perceptions and understanding of matters is powerful. Where I didn’t comprehend the initial instructions, others did. As a team, we were able to combine all of our strengths and proceed to solve the task and be more efficient. I highly recommend taking a session,” exuded Peter Sweet, Jr., owner of Seekonk Tree Farm and Sweetwater Landscapes.

Equine assisted learning programs

This is not a riding or horsemanship program: all legs are on the ground, human and horse side by side, ready to learn. The emphasis is on non-mounted activities which incorporate horses and require individuals or groups to discover and apply certain skills. Participants learn about themselves and others by connecting with the horses and then observing and discussing the team dynamics, behaviors, and patterns that arise. What happens in the arena is often a metaphor for one’s life, family or group interaction.

Rapid Results

Because Equine Assisted Learning is so effective, it is considered a rapid approach to building life skills including nonverbal communication, leadership, empathy, teamwork, assertiveness, creative thinking, problem-solving, taking responsibility, confidence, efficiency and continuity in management.

Positive Change

Because horses are innately sensitive and open, interaction with them serves as a mirror of our emotions and our behavior. Berkshire HorseWorks™ sessions help individuals, couples, and groups discover positive solutions to real-life challenges. Participants are empowered by the lessons learned in the arena and actually translate that energy, attitude, and behavior when they return to the workplace, the family or school. EAL is an investment in your team that more than pays for itself in terms of camaraderie, productivity and member wellness and retention.

Team Building and Leadership

Team building with equine assisted learning

Horse and human are brought together to address a range of challenges and learning goals. Led by EAGALA trained and certified professionals, the Berkshire HorseWorks approach is extremely effective in motivating a corporation’s sales force or cultivating anti-bullying techniques in schools. Sessions can be applied to a wide range of situations:

  • Defining how employees can work as a team toward a common goal such as increased productivity or landing a new client
  • Working with staff to adapt to a company’s new management style and initiatives
  • Helping struggling students deal with bullying at school or issues at home
  • Navigating cultural differences and cultivating empathy
  • Developing leadership skills during crises
  • Preparing for an IRS audit

Why Horses?

The intuitive animals are able to read and mirror the emotions and energy of the people around them, providing vast opportunities for metaphorical learning. Participants, gain awareness and are able to make positive changes in their lives through the horse/human interaction.

EAL session at Berkshire HorseWorks

Our Facility

Berkshire HorseWorks is located in a beautiful facility at the Berkshire Equestrian Center on Route 41 in Richmond, MA, near Routes 7 and 20. There is an historic Inn adjoining the property with a retreat center and ample room for extended workshops.

Programs take place on premises unless off-site sessions are requested. Additional fees may apply for transport.

EAGALA

EAGALA: Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association

About EAGALA

EAGALA, a nonprofit professional organization with over 4,000 members in 49 countries, is committed to setting the standard of professional excellence in how horses and people work together to improve the quality of life and mental health of individuals, families and groups worldwide. Colombia, Mexico, Japan, Brazil, Solvenia, and New Zealand are recent additions to the EAGALA Network.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) incorporate horses experientially for emotional growth. The EAGALA Model is a solution-focused collaboration between a licensed mental health professional, an equine specialist and horses working together with clients. An adjunct or alternative to talk therapy, the EAGALA Model embodies a strict code of ethics.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is a powerful and effective therapeutic approach that has an incredible impact on individuals, at risk youth, couples, families, and groups, as well as on military personnel and veterans. EAP addresses a variety of mental health and behavioral challenges including ADD, depression, eating disorders, PTSD, resiliency, substance abuse, anxiety, relationship problems and effective communication.

About EAGALA

Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) focuses on education, personal growth and developing specific life skills which impact team dynamics including effective communication, assertiveness, creative thinking, problem-solving, leadership, taking responsibility, teamwork, and confidence.

The focus is not riding or horsemanship. EAP and EAL involve setting up ground activities with horses that require individuals or groups to apply certain skills. Participants learn about themselves and others by participating in these activities with the horses, and then process (or discuss) the feelings, behaviors, and patterns that arise. Because of its intensity and effectiveness, it is considered a short-term, or “brief” approach.

Privacy Policy

This privacy notice discloses the privacy practices for BerkshireHorseWorks.com. This privacy notice applies solely to information collected by this web site. It will notify you of the following:

  • What personally identifiable information is collected from you through the web site, how it is used and with whom it may be shared.
  • What choices are available to you regarding the use of your data.
  • The security procedures in place to protect the misuse of your information.
  • How you can correct any inaccuracies in the information.

Information Collection, Use, and Sharing

We are the sole owners of the information collected on this site. We only collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone.

We will use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. We will not share your information with any third party outside of our organization, other than as necessary to fulfill your request.

Unless you ask us not to, we may contact you via email in the future to tell you about specials, new products or services, or changes to this privacy policy.

Your Access to and Control Over Information

You may opt out of any future contacts from us at any time. You can do the following at any time by contacting us via the email address or phone number at the bottom of this page:

  • See what data we have about you, if any.
  • Change/correct any data we have about you.
  • Have us delete any data we have about you.
  • Express any concern you have about our use of your data.

Security

We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and offline.

Wherever we collect sensitive information (such as credit card data), that information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way. You can verify this by looking for a closed lock icon at the bottom of your web browser, or looking for “https” at the beginning of the address of the web page.

While we use encryption to protect sensitive information transmitted online, we also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, billing or customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.

If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately at the address, email, or phone number below.

Contact Us

Berkshire HorseWorks, LLC
PO Box 214
Great Barrington, MA 01230
USA

Hayley@BerkshireHorseWorks.com
(310) 488 9777

Tap to Call 1+310-488-9777

Disclaimer

The information contained in BerkshireHorseWorks.com is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by BerkshireHorseWorks.com and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to BerkshireHorseWorks.com or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on BerkshireHorseWorks.com for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of BerkshireHorseWorks.com.

Through BerkshireHorseWorks.com you are able to link to other websites which are not under the control of BerkshireHorseWorks.com. We have no control over the nature, content or availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation nor endorse the views expressed within them.

Every effort is made to keep BerkshireHorseWorks.com up and running smoothly. However, BerkshireHorseWorks.com takes no responsibility for, and will not be liable for, BerkshireHorseWorks.com being temporarily unavailable due to technical issues beyond our control.

Terms of Use

PLEASE READ! BERKSHIREHORSEWORKS.COM REQUIRES CONSIDERATION FOR AND AS A CONDITION OF ALLOWING YOU ACCESS:

READING AND ACCEPTING THE TERMS OF USE AND READING AND ACCEPTING THE PROVISIONS OF THE PRIVACY POLICY OF BERKSHIREHORSEWORKS.COM ARE REQUIRED CONSIDERATIONS FOR BERKSHIREHORSEWORKS.COM GRANTING YOU THE RIGHT TO VISIT, READ OR INTERACT WITH IT.

ALL PERSONS ARE DENIED ACCESS TO THIS SITE UNLESS THEY READ AND ACCEPT THE TERMS OF USE AND THE PRIVACY POLICY.

BY VIEWING, VISITING, USING, OR INTERACTING WITH BERKSHIREHORSEWORKS.COM OR WITH ANY BANNER, POP-UP, OR ADVERTISING THAT APPEARS ON IT, YOU ARE AGREEING TO ALL THE PROVISIONS OF THIS TERMS OF USE POLICY AND THE PRIVACY POLICY OF BERKSHIREHORSEWORKS.COM.

ALL PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF 18 ARE DENIED ACCESS TO BERKSHIREHORSEWORKS.COM. IF YOU ARE UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE, IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR YOU TO VISIT, READ, OR INTERACT WITH BERKSHIREHORSEWORKS.COM OR ITS CONTENTS IN ANY MANNER. BERKSHIREHORSEWORKS.COM SPECIFICALLY DENIES ACCESS TO ANY INDIVIDUAL THAT IS COVERED BY THE CHILD ONLINE PRIVACY ACT (COPA) OF 1998.

BERKSHIREHORSEWORKS.COM RESERVES THE RIGHT TO DENY ACCESS TO ANY PERSON OR VIEWER FOR ANY REASON. UNDER THE TERMS OF THE PRIVACY POLICY, WHICH YOU ACCEPT AS A CONDITION FOR VIEWING. BERKSHIREHORSEWORKS.COM IS ALLOWED TO COLLECT AND STORE DATA AND INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXCLUSION AND FOR MANY OTHER USES.

THE TERMS OF USE AGREEMENT MAY CHANGE FROM TIME TO TIME. VISITORS HAVE AN AFFIRMATIVE DUTY, AS PART OF THE CONSIDERATION FOR PERMISSION TO VIEW BERKSHIREHORSEWORKS.COM, TO KEEP THEMSELVES INFORMED OF CHANGES.

PARTIES TO THE TERMS OF USE AGREEMENT

Visitors, viewers, users, subscribers, members, affiliates, or customers, collectively referred to herein as “Visitors,” are parties to this agreement. The website and its owners and/or operators are parties to this agreement, herein referred to as “Website.”

USE OF INFORMATION FROM THIS WEBSITE

Unless you have entered into an express written contract with this website to the contrary, visitors, viewers, subscribers, members, affiliates, or customers have no right to use this information in a commercial or public setting; they have no right to broadcast it, copy it, save it, print it, sell it, or publish any portions of the content of this website. By viewing the contents of this website you agree this condition of viewing and you acknowledge that any unauthorized use is unlawful and may subject you to civil or criminal penalties. Again, Visitor has no rights whatsoever to use the content of, or portions thereof, including its databases, invisible pages, linked pages, underlying code, or other intellectual property the site may contain, for any reason for any use whatsoever. Nothing. Visitor agrees to liquidated damages in the amount of U.S.$100,000 in addition to costs and actual damages for breach of this provision. Visitor warrants that he or she understands that accepting this provision is a condition of viewing and that viewing constitutes acceptance.

OWNERSHIP OF WEBSITE OR RIGHT TO USE, SELL, PUBLISH CONTENTS OF THIS WEBSITE

The website and its contents are owned or licensed by the website. Material contained on the website must be presumed to be proprietary and copyrighted. Visitors have no rights whatsoever in the site content. Use of website content for any reason is unlawful unless it is done with express contract or permission of the website.

HYPERLINKING TO SITE, CO-BRANDING, “FRAMING” AND REFERENCING SITE PROHIBITED

Unless expressly authorized by website, no one may hyperlink this site, or portions thereof, (including, but not limited to, logotypes, trademarks, branding or copyrighted material) to theirs for any reason. Further, you are not allowed to reference the url (website address) of this website in any commercial or non-commercial media without express permission, nor are you allowed to ‘frame’ the site. You specifically agree to cooperate with the Website to remove or de-activate any such activities and be liable for all damages. You hereby agree to liquidated damages of US $100,000.00 plus costs and actual damages for violating this provision.

DISCLAIMER FOR CONTENTS OF SITE

The website disclaims any responsibility for the accuracy of the content of this website. Visitors assume the all risk of viewing, reading, using, or relying upon this information. Unless you have otherwise formed an express contract to the contrary with the website, you have no right to rely on any information contained herein as accurate. The website makes no such warranty.

DISCLAIMER FOR HARM CAUSED TO YOUR COMPUTER OR SOFTWARE FROM INTERACTING WITH THIS WEBSITE OR ITS CONTENTS. VISITOR ASSUMES ALL RISK OF VIRUSES, WORMS, OR OTHER CORRUPTING FACTORS.

The website assumes no responsibility for damage to computers or software of the visitor or any person the visitor subsequently communicates with from corrupting code or data that is inadvertently passed to the visitor’s computer. Again, visitor views and interacts with this site, or banners or pop-ups or advertising displayed thereon, at his own risk.

DISCLAIMER FOR HARM CAUSED BY DOWNLOADS

Visitor downloads information from this site at this own risk. Website makes no warranty that downloads are free of corrupting computer codes, including, but not limited to, viruses and worms.

LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

By viewing, using, or interacting in any manner with this site, including banners, advertising, or pop-ups, downloads, and as a condition of the website to allow his lawful viewing, Visitor forever waives all right to claims of damage of any and all description based on any causal factor resulting in any possible harm, no matter how heinous or extensive, whether physical or emotional, foreseeable or unforeseeable, whether personal or business in nature.

INDEMNIFICATION

Visitor agrees that in the event he causes damage, which the Website is required to pay for, the Visitor, as a condition of viewing, promises to reimburse the Website for all.

SUBMISSIONS

Visitor agrees as a condition of viewing, that any communication between Visitor and Website is deemed a submission. All submissions, including portions thereof, graphics contained thereon, or any of the content of the submission, shall become the exclusive property of the Website and may be used, without further permission, for commercial use without additional consideration of any kind. Visitor agrees to only communicate that information to the Website, which it wishes to forever allow the Website to use in any manner as it sees fit. “Submissions” is also a provision of the Privacy Policy.

NOTICE

No additional notice of any kind for any reason is due Visitor and Visitor expressly warrants an understanding that the right to notice is waived as a condition for permission to view or interact with the website.

DISPUTES

As part of the consideration that the Website requires for viewing, using or interacting with this website, Visitor agrees to use binding arbitration for any claim, dispute, or controversy (“CLAIM”) of any kind (whether in contract, tort or otherwise) arising out of or relating to this purchase, this product, including solicitation issues, privacy issues, and terms of use issues.

Arbitration shall be conducted pursuant to the rules of the American Arbitration Association which are in effect on the date a dispute is submitted to the American Arbitration Association. Information about the American Arbitration Association, its rules, and its forms are available from the American Arbitration Association, 335 Madison Avenue, Floor 10, New York, New York, 10017-4605. Hearing will take place in the city or county of the Seller.

In no case shall the viewer, visitor, member, subscriber or customer have the right to go to court or have a jury trial. Viewer, visitor, member, subscriber or customer will not have the right to engage in pre-trial discovery except as provided in the rules; you will not have the right to participate as a representative or member of any class of claimants pertaining to any claim subject to arbitration; the arbitrator’s decision will be final and binding with limited rights of appeal.

The prevailing party shall be reimbursed by the other party for any and all costs associated with the dispute arbitration, including attorney fees, collection fees, investigation fees, travel expenses.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

If any matter concerning this purchase shall be brought before a court of law, pre- or post-arbitration, Viewer, visitor, member, subscriber or customer agrees to that the sole and proper jurisdiction to be the state and city declared in the contact information of the web owner unless otherwise here specified. In the event that litigation is in a federal court, the proper court shall be the closest federal court to the Seller’s address.

APPLICABLE LAW

Viewer, visitor, member, subscriber or customer agrees that the applicable law to be applied shall, in all cases, be that of the state of the site owner.