Libby Smith or “Dr. Libby” as many of her friends, students, and clients affectionately call her is a Christian, educator, counselor, business owner, and Equine-Assisted Therapeutic Practitioner. She holds several master’s degrees; one in “Addictions Counseling” from Grand Canyon University. In addition, she has earned an Ed.D and a Ph.D. She has been teaching at colleges and universities for over twenty-five years and has over twelve years of experience in the Behavioral Health and Substance Use Recovery arenas. She homes 18 rescue animals and has a heart for service for both humans and animals. Guided by her faith and passion Dr. Libby pursue mental and addiction to its core to help those suffering overcome their struggles in life.
Equine-Assisted Therapeutic Practices and Programs
I have been blessed with horses since I was ten and have worked as a therapist for the past 12 years. Placing horses with humans in an effort to help them gain insights, understanding, and mindfulness through the actions and behaviors of equines, seemed like a logical next step in my career. In 2010 I launched Wind Horse Wellness LLC and have enjoyed every moment of observing people work with equines. I have witnessed people heal much of their trauma; overcome obstacles; and, gain information that has helped them move away from suffering.
People often ask me what it means to work with horses in a therapeutic arena. Some ask, ‘How do horses provide therapy to people?’ Simplistically stated-horses help humans simply because they are who they are - prey animals at risk of being attacked by predators. Because they are prey animals, they have a very keen sense of harm and danger. This sense of predators provides insights and intuitive understanding that serves as a mirror to humans' emotional states.
In a nutshell, what do horses mean to humans and why are they an important therapeutic modality in the counseling world? Perhaps this quote might best answer this question.
“God once said,’ I need someone strong enough
to pull a cart; gentle enough to love a child; smart enough to
protect his master; and, passionate enough to love his family. Someone
with so much love they can lift the spirits of a broken heart. ‘
So God created the Horse.”