Category Archives for "In The News"

Berkshire HorseWorks Helps More Individuals as a Nonprofit

We are so excited that Berkshire HorseWorks has attained 501(C)3 status and that the Berkshire Record has shared the news!

Gaining wide recognition for our effective horse-based therapy, our nonprofit status allows us to offer our services to many more individuals in need, regardless of ability to pay. Berkshire HorseWorks works with at-risk youth, veterans, families, individuals, and couples with a broad range of challenges including anxiety, PTSD, bullying, and eating disorders.

See the entire article in the Berkshire Record by clicking here.


Horsin’ Around

Equine therapy helps change behaviors

We wanted to share this great article with our friends and supporters! In June, the Richmond Record published an excellent article about equine therapy and Berkshire HorseWorks. The article does a great job of explaining how Berkshire HorseWorks, using EAGALA certified facilitators, can use human / horse interaction to assist individuals and organizations. From helping teens with socialization, anger management, trust, respect and boundary issues; to veterans coping with PTSD, stress and anxiety; to corporate groups looking to improve communication and develop stronger teams, horse therapy has proven to be highly effective.  See the entire article below.


Team Building at Berkshire HorseWorks

Team Building Time

Team Building Time ~

Hi all. It’s team building time! Just about to kick off a community business partnership. Check out our hot-off-the-press brochure and the benefits of Equine Assisted Learning.

Berkshire HorseWorks Team Building Brochure

Berkshire HomeStyle Magazine

Berkshire HomeStyle Profiles Berkshire HorseWorks

Berkshire HorseWorks Featured in
Berkshire HomeStyle Magazine ~

In the August 2013 edition of Berkshire HomeStyle Magazine, a wonderful article was published profiling Berkshire HorseWorks and the EAGALA Model of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) we practice here. Please take a moment to click through to their online magazine and read the article.

Berkshire HomeStyle August 2013

Berkshire HorseWorks Opens For Business

Berkshire HorseWorks at Berkshire Equestrian Center

The article below was published in the Berkshire Eagle and is reprinted here with their permission. Thanks go out to writer Adam Poulisse and the Berkshire Eagle Editorial Staff.

Lorraine Brill pets horses at  Berkshire HorseWorks

Lorraine Brill pets horses on Thursday at a demonstration of equine-assisted therapy that has been implemented by Berkshire HorseWorks at the Berkshire Equestrian Center in Richmond. (Ben Garver / Berkshire Eagle Stafr)

Berkshire HorseWorks: Equines and human therapy

Adam Poulisse • Berkshire Eagle • June 24, 2013 – RICHMOND: Buddy, Herman and 007 know how to help people work through their issues, from addiction to coping with tragedy.

They are keenly aware of others’ feelings, and will never utter a judgment. Their presence alone can put a grin on your face – especially when they start nudging you or try to munch on your notebook.

By the way, Buddy, Herman and 007 are full- grown horses at Berkshire Equestrian Center on Perry’s Peak Road.

On Thursday, about 50 mental health specialists and horse experts gathered inside a shaded arena at the center to watch as the three horses led volunteers through a demonstration and open house of what can be expected in the upcoming Berkshire HorseWorks.

Hayley Sumner of Berkshire HorseWorks

Created just six weeks ago, Berkshire HorseWorks will implement the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) model to treat mental and behavioral challenges, including post-traumatic stress disorder, trauma, eating disorders and anxiety.

The EAGALA model uses equine-assisted psychotherapy and equine- assisted learning to help many different patients, from veterans returning from service, to children bullying others in schools. Hulahoops, pool noodles, traffic cones and buckets are just some of the props that can be used along with the horses. It was established in the Southwest in 1989.

Thursday’s demonstration was, held, in part, to catch the attention of mental health professionals in the Berkshires and to certify them in the EAGALA model to do work for Berkshire HorseWorks.

“The model is very solutionfocused,” said Hayley Sumner, the founder of Berkshire HorseWorks and who is certified in the EAGALA model. “If someone is doing an activity to work on an issue, then they are basically delving into their own being to find their solutions.”

Berkshire HorseWorks will operate out of Berkshire Equestrian Center.

“I see this kind of program as a way of really forwarding individuals and forwarding groups and providing insight,” said Carl Dunham, the owner of Berkshire Equestrian Center.

Unlike other horse therapy, the clients never saddle up and ride the horses. Instead, their two feet – and the horse’s four hooves – stay firmly planted on the ground.

“Horses are so intuitive they reflect your behavior,” Sumner said. “When you meet the horses on the ground, the horses can be themselves. When you put someone on their back, they’re going into a different world that is not their natural behavior.”

Animal therapy, mostly using dogs, has made recent headlines to help those affected by tragedies like the Boston Marathon bombings and the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. “[Horses] are flight animals, and in order to protect themselves they’re able to read people very well,” said Jimmy Downes, the owner of Relatively Stable, LLC out of Newtown, Conn. ” Clinically, the social worker gets to find out about their clients 10 times faster than in an office model. Anything they can do can become significant to the client’s session.”

Horses at Downes’ stable helped families and friends of some of the victims cope with their grief and emotions using the EAGALA model. Downes and Ellen Donaghey of Brewster, N.Y. are two of the four EAGALA models trained at Relatively Stable.

“We got to see the people have an opportunity to do something that was able to brighten their day,” Donaghey said. “They had an ability to be themselves and, for the first time, actually felt some release and happiness. It became a routine that they could be comfortable with.”

Downes and Donaghey led groups of volunteers in three demonstrations of the several Berkshire HorseWorks activities specialized to help a patient work through their trauma.

Dominick Sacco, a therapist at Monument Valley Middle School in Richmond, participated in one of the demonstrations: He was one of four linked together that had to act as one human body to get a horse over a small hurdle.

Sacco uses dog therapy with his students, but after Thursday, he hopes to use the EAGALA model in the future.

“I feel the horse is an incredible medium for treatment,” Sacco said. “We can’t bring a horse to a middle school, but we can bring a middle school to a horse.”

Adam Poulisse’s article is also available at

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