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Horses are considered a staple of therapy. They are widely used for physical and emotional healing and physical exercise. They have been used in the medical field for centuries to help patients with their rehabilitation process. In recent years, horses have found themselves in an entirely new field – the field of mental health and therapy.
In this episode with Betty Jensen, we will explore how horses help people with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. We will also talk about how these animals can be beneficial during therapy sessions and outside of them.
Betty is the founder of Jensen Life Coaching, LLC. Before founding Jensen Life Coaching, LCC, she worked as a State-certified Chemical Dependency Professional in Washington State since 2003. Also, she founded and managed a non-profit state-certified faith-based drug and alcohol out-patient unit and foster agency for six years. She also was a Super-Case Manager for Access to Recovery (ATR), helping Chemically-dependent clients access health services. Betty has a master’s degree in Ecopsychology, a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, and a Washington State certified counselor.
In This Episode, You Will Learn About:
[00:10] Our, today’s guest, Betty Jensen, and what she does in her space
[02:34] Things you can accomplish by having a horse in your life
[06:11] A life story on why horses are suitable for healing
[07:44] How Betty got into rescuing horses and why
[08:54] What is a client assisted learning
[10:45] How to be a horse’s best friend
[15:13] Kinds of people she helps in coaching and with the help of horses
[16:28] Why she has taken a break from the horses for almost a year now
[18:20] How she takes care of horses despite her inactive involvement
[20:36] Betty’s ways of passing her knowledge about horses to other people
[23:12] Her takeaway tips on how to triumph over your adversities
[25:13] Episode’s valuable nuggets from Betty
Connect with Betty Jensen
CONNECT WITH ME
Have you ever thought of what it feels like to be around animals? What about horses? They have such an amazing healing power to them. Today. We are joined by Betty Jensen, the creator of nature connect at coaching. And we are talking about how she is helping others and herself rediscover the wonders of nature and nature connected learning so that you can live your life full of hope.
Peace trust and joy. This is an absolutely beautiful episode and I am so excited for you to dig in. You’re listening to feed your business with love with Jen dragon neck. You are about to experience a tsunami of self love in your life. And. Because we have too much magic inside to just be a ripple, let go of society’s standards.
And those gurus who leave you burned out, put aside any imposter syndrome feelings and ask yourself, what is it you really want? Because success starts from within rediscovering yourself, builds confidence in your message and who you are. Your tribe will follow. Let’s unleash the magic inside by being our true, authentic self.
Starting podcasting for your soul. In 3, 2, 1, I am working on getting my nonprofit back up and going. I have a new board. We rescue horses and the Nizam as part of therapy. It is an exciting program. I like working with adolescents with their parents or children and their parents. It’s amazing. What happens?
We get horses into the mix. Oh, yeah, horses are by far the, probably the best healing tool or healing healer. I should say. I’m not going to say they’re at school, but the healing that I’ve ever been through to, it’s amazing to watch stuff come out of people’s mouths and they look at you. Did I really say that when we’re talking about the horses, it is so much fun.
There’s no writing. I get to sit back and watch and observe and ask questions. And the horse has do most of the work, the horses and the people I have found that you get a lot more done. When you add horses and you do a talk therapy 100%. Can you tell us a little bit more about that? What you actually can accomplish with a horse?
Cause I’m sure a lot of my listeners haven’t gotten to experience the magic. People talk about the horses and they put their feelings on the horses, but they wouldn’t talk about themselves, but you haven’t described the horse and they’re describing themselves, which is really hard for people to do one of the activities.
I had some, a group home that and came out of echo Glen, which is a juvenile prison and they over the guard and had him do a rice. Brush your horse. The easiest horse that I had at the time to catch and to Levon will not let this young man blusher, she just ran from him. He’d get close and he would push her and run fast.
You kept at him. I asked him what happened and he stopped. And she kicked at me and I stopped him again. Does that happen in real life? He said, yeah. Why? Because I push them until they do. And the guard looked at me and said, dammit, I’ve been trying to tell him about for months. And in 10 minutes he learned a lesson and that happens a lot.
The horse knows what they need and better than I do. And between the three of us, we can get down to some pretty core issue. I didn’t. I saw that young man one more time. Then the judge decided that it was too dangerous for these boys to be around horses. Awesome program. Yeah. They would come out and do two hours of work on the farm and then our therapy when then for both.
Yeah. That’s sad that it got taken away. Yes. And all the staff was really sad because I saw amazing improvements in these young men. And just a little bit of time learning the lessons that they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to learn, or we take them a lot longer to learn. Yeah, the boys loved it too.
I have a donkey out here and there’s some, there’s really strict rules about language and they were able to talk about an ass and not get in trouble and they just love that. So there was a lot of work dealt with Mike, the donkey. How fun. I’m all, I’m all about horses. Like just give me a horse. Let me any feelings that I have.
I feel like they just melted away, but I love how you’re saying that they show you back. What is happening in your life? One of my cousins when he had just gotten back from Iraq, he quit talking to anybody and everybody, I brought them into coming out to the house was homemade ice cream. He got his bowl of ice cream and then went back out to the horses and one of my rotten horses.
And he was a pill walked over to the fence and put his hands. Over the fence, input this young man clothes into them and held a really tight until he put his arms around him. And, um, I didn’t ask what happened, but I could see a shoulder shaking and the horse is pulling in really tight and held him. And after about 15 minutes, they both walked away and it changed his life.
He was able to start talking to people again, and it just. I was shocked at what happened. Yeah. Empathy, pleased and blessed. Another awesome story. A friend of mine was also a coach. Her last meeting for them was to come out to my farm and play with the horses and they spent three days out here. We’re both made money at it, which was nice.
One of the young ladies had a horrible temper problem. She used her anger as a weapon against her family and friends. She was out in the arena with Mike, my dog. And I pushed her pretty hard. And she came running at because their fists clenched and the doc donkey came running at her with his teeth bared.
And when she saw him, she just dropped to the ground and the finger position and the COVID. For the young lady was able to get up, took her out and they had a long chat about her anger. Now it was used. I have no fear when I’m out in the arena with Mike, he protects me. I never seen him do that before, but she learned a very valuable lesson about anger and chasing somebody.
And from what I’ve been told, that was a lesson that benefited her in the rest of her life. That’s awesome. So what got you into creating? Cause you have your own horse rescue, correct? Cause you’re rescuing horses and then basically they’re helping you rescue these other, I’m going to call them other souls that are walking through this planet.
Cause that’s what I feel like they’re doing
a friend of mine got me involved in the horse, rescue a farrier for my one horse. I had rescued, he said. I’ve got a horse for you. So I brought out another horse they’ll walk with that had been abused. He also was part of the SWAT team. So they went out and when he saw a, his torsos, if he thought it would work at the farm, he brought him to.
So I got several horses that way. And Mike, they were going to kill Mike. He’s not part of the horse herd. And Mike was hurting their really fancy show horses and it was biting them to make a move when they were in danger and putting scars on them. So I got Mike, another friend of mine introduced me to echo and assisted learning because he wanted to do it himself.
But you need somebody to go with him. So I went to a training with him. He paid my way and here I am 10 years later, still doing equine assisted learning and loving it. That’s awesome. What is equine assisted learning? And it’s a style that I do with the learning. Uh, more than one agency that teach equine-assisted learning and equine assisted therapy in gala is one of them.
And now I don’t know what the acronym stands for, but then there’s OK. Corral. And it’s a method of working with horses and people, all of it’s on the ground. So a lot of just horsemanship and learning to just be with them, that kind of stuff. That’s not horsemanship and play games. And we talk about it.
So one of the activities that I have people do is go put globally at the horse most like you and bring them back to me. And after they run around for a while, I have all and ropes on a fence behind me and I get stopped. Is there anything that you will work to bring that horse to me. And when they start running for the halter on ropes, wait a minute, how can we get use them in the first place?
If you knew that it would work, do you do that? You roll life, there’s tutorials that you know, work, but because you don’t know how to use them, you don’t. And then when they, and I usually have rope halters they asked me how to use it. I don’t know, figure it out. So I’ve seen some pretty interesting ways of putting on a holster, as long as it doesn’t hurt the horse.
I don’t care. And they get the horse to me because it’s about trying. It’s not about doing it perfectly. And as long as they’re willing to try, I’m willing to let them to keep trying to figure it out. That’s awesome. I just love how you’re using horses to help people basically out of their shell. Yes. With the horses.
They don’t care if you want to be part of the herd or not, but you have to give up some things to be part of their herd. You have to give up your anger. You have to give up a little bit of your fear. Because they can smell your emotions as well as feel, but feel them. And if you’re real angry, they don’t want to be around you.
And I have enough room in my therapy away for the horses to run away. If they don’t want to be around somebody, they don’t have to be. And I’ve watched people chase them because the horse is not rolling to allow them to be either part of the herd. To let them lead them. Because if you can’t make a decision, the horses don’t want you around them and they don’t want to follow you.
That’s how you get hurt versus have a very regimented family system and hierarchy. If you’re not willing to leave. None of the rest of the horse is willing to follow you. That’s part of the lead mayor. She has to be willing to lead and qualified to lead. They have to believe in her. So when I’m out in the pasture, I’m the lead bearer.
I always make their feet move, respect the boundaries. They have to respect me too. So let’s say for me and the people. Yeah, and it’s fun. That’s the best part. That’s the most important, it’s fun. Another activity that I have, people do a group of people that has to be at least three and they hold hands.
And the one that center is the brain and the hands can’t do anything unless the brain tells them what to do. And a project has a saddle, a horse. And no, I don’t tell them how to saddle a horse. When they asked me I just shrugged my shoulders. Oh, I could see how complicated that could be to try to get everybody acting in a way to actually get the saddle on such a down some of the other than the brain talks as a start all over again.
Wow. Yeah. One of the activities, this is really good for. Besides corporations, that communication it’s really good for people who have a family member. It was a TBI traumatic brain injury because what your brain says and directing your hands is different and they get to see how difficult it is for your loved one, with a brain injury, trying to complete a task.
Especially if the person in the middle will doesn’t know what they’re doing. Wow. That’s crazy. I love it. And you can’t use words that they would know. So I couldn’t tell you to grab the horn, but the horn, the hands don’t have any eyes. They can’t think. Oh, wow. So you have to be very district descriptive and learn how to use your words very well.
Wow. A lot of applications, just about every activity. Every activity has many applications, depending on what the people that are in the rate of need and want at the time. That’s so you can cater it to anybody who walks in, I’ve run to the cross hospice and a school counselor. I had 5% of the discipline problems in the third grade of a local school.
Then when their parents and the counselors out for three hours, so four Fridays in a row during a summer break, and they came out. That was awesome. The lessons that were learned and the benefit it was to everybody. So yeah, I can work with any group. That’s cool. I noticed in like, when I was looking through some of your websites and what you had signed up with, you also work with people that are in some sort of a recovery to correct.
Oh, this doesn’t work with that too. And I’ve done some with the horses, but for that it’s talk recovery talk because you have your own coaching. Practice in addition to the Equian therapy or the education? Yes, I do. And I like to focus on the recovery coaching, but I can coach other things too. I am a certified drug and alcohol counselor in Washington state.
And I have been since 2003, I started in the field in 1997. I am a certified counselor, which is a mental health counselor since 2010, I cannot diagnose, but I can treat some, a certain level of mental health. So I have a lot of skills to bring by coaching instead of counseling. Yeah. You get to walk beside people instead of telling them what to do.
Yes. I love that. So do you bring some of your, you bring other than just allowing the horses to do it, do you bring some of those and combine the two together, the equine and your coaching? And I’ve been doing a lot more of that when it warms up. It’s too darn close to be outside right now
that, and I had a stroke in last April. I’m just beginning to get around really well. So I have a few minutes. Months or weeks and therapy before I get out safely with the horses. Bet. That’s going to feel so good. I miss being out with them. Have you been able to get out with them at all? No, not since last April.
Oh my goodness. That’s gotta be so hard. It is hard, but I look where I came to in April. When I woke up from surgery, I was totally paralyzed on my left side. And now I’m able to walk fairly well. My left arm is working a lot better. My left hand is wagging behind, then determined to get to where I can be totally mobile and totally functioning again.
That is, that’s so amazing. And I love that. You’re like just anxious to get back out to the horses. I am in the past couple of months or three months, I picked up two more certificates. I am a recovery coach now a certified recovery coach besides having all my, my knowledge from before. And I’m solution-focused brief therapy, I’m a level one counselor.
So I love learning new skills. How awesome is that you’re taking this time to learn new things. All the, since you can’t go out and do what you actually want to be doing, or that is like your true passion and fire. So are your animals on the same property that you live at? So at least you can peek out the window and see them.
Yes. And if my put, my daughter does let him outside, I can see him through my window. They come out and play. I there’s just something magical about watching them play too. There is, most of them are older, but that’s okay. When I’m able to get up and get around and be out there. I will let friends know that I’m open to be coped rescuing.
Again, I’d like to get two or three more, but I have to be able to work with them first. ’cause that’s a big job is to take a horse out of a rescued situation. I worked for a horse rescue for a while, and that Bree gaming trust sometimes can be a lot of time. And a lot of patients. Yes. Not just the trust.
Sometimes it’s putting weight back on. I haven’t took before and after pictures, but I’m going to start doing that. I’ve had some where you could see, or four inches of a backbone, the hips and the ribs, and fill them out in the pasture, gave him a little extra grain and got him fat and back up to where you couldn’t tell what they were or what they looked like before.
That’s another one, the activities that I had people doing. I described the horses and the donkey. When I first got them giving a piece of paper, go put the name by which one goes to which description. And I liked that more, a lot for counselors, preconceived notions, no one has ever got the right horse with the description because it’s so different by the time that they’re ready to help with therapy.
And we’ll do that as people too. We have this preconceived ideas about people or their actions, many times we’re wrong. And then it’s really hard to change our minds afterwards and take a look at what the reality is. So that was a real wake up call for some of my counselors or on teachers. So you’re teaching others to do the same thing also on top of coaching and having these groups come out.
Not yet, but I will be that, that is my plan. I have a book about half wrote, and as soon as I get that finished, then I’ll be teaching my style to others based on the book. Yeah, I’m excited about that. Yeah, I would be too. And you’re half done. That’s I think the first half is the hardest. I’m like that’s, as far as I’ve gotten is my first half.
So all my thoughts, but I’m so excited that you’re bringing this to other people because it’s, it is such an amazing therapy and it’s such an amazing, I hate to keep saying the word tool, because I don’t like to think of horses as a tool, but just an addition to the healing journey. Resource. Yes. I liked that work much better with the 5 0 1 C3.
I can do community service hours out here to write them off. And I have, we’ll have to wait for the state to get rid of the mask mandate because right now the people that transport aren’t able to, but when we get to where they can, I’ll start having community service hours being done out here too. Oh, cool.
I have one through the juvenile court and gain court doing community service out here. I bet gang court is super interesting. It is the judge and the probation officers just love me the thought of these gang kids to the pitch frog, shoveling shit. So just love the idea that. But what they don’t know, which is okay.
I make sure they have plenty to drink. I see them when they’re out here. If they’re here very long, teach him some about the horses. Yeah. Those chores that they have to do first, but then we go out and they brush and pet the horses are able to interact with the horses. So it isn’t all just about work.
Most of the kids love to come back. The others that. Didn’t want to work in south. They could just goofs off. They didn’t want to come back because I won’t sign off on their hours. Yeah. So I’m looking forward to that again, I’m excited that all that’s coming back and you’ve made this huge rebound that you know, is going to allow you to get back out there and do all these things that you’re super passionate about.
That’s one of the things with having the stroke, you wrong, you to stay focused on something positive and have a goal. And so far I’ve done pretty good, and it really helps just stay focused on something positive and keep learning, which is really helped me to keep learning. When I first woke up, I couldn’t talk.
And that was the scariest part of having a stroke. I couldn’t talk and it took a long time to get that back. So for those that I’m having a lot of problems just don’t give up, keep working forward and sometimes you need help and it’s okay to ask for help. A valuable lesson that I’ve learned the hard way.
Well, I see that’s such, that’s a great comeback story though. I couldn’t even imagine not being able to move or talk like how that felt and to be able to say, yeah, as soon I’m going back out to work with my horses and to teach others like that just shows like the inner fire and power that you’re bringing out.
And others can do it too. Sometimes you need somebody to say, you can do it. I trust you. And I’ve had some of that too. I’ve also got horror stories about being in the hospital and rehab, but that’s okay. That’s not the format today, today. I’m with my daughter and my grandkids on my farm. And it’s awesome.
Life is good. Amazing. And I’m moving forward and I’m going to keep moving forward. Oh, I love that. So I’d like to leave listeners with my favorite question, which is if someone were to walk away with just like one little nugget from what you’ve just this beautiful message that you’ve shared with us, what would you want them to walk away with Betty cares and she will support you to believe in you.
And you can do anything that you want to do with some determination, as long as you have a realistic goal.