Heal and Improve Mental Health at This Holistic Horse Farm in Tiverton
Veterans sacrifice a huge portion of their lives to serve our country and Silva Spirit Farms in Tiverton aims to give back to those veterans through a unique, therapeutic experience.
The farm offers an experiential approach to tackling tough emotions and mental barriers, and their nonprofit organization known as Medicine Horse brings people and horses together, proving that growth isn’t always confined to a therapist’s office.
Sometimes, the love of an animal and some gentle guidance can create a happier life.
The Woman Behind the Nonprofit
Carol Ann Silva was pursuing a holistic counseling degree at Salve Regina University when she discovered the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA). EAGALA is “the global standard” for psychotherapy and personal development incorporating horses.
“I have been living on this farm for over 40 years and I see the value of it and I thought to myself ... this puts my horse skills and my interest in behavioral health together,” she said. “The farm is so therapeutic, I thought it would be a good way to give back to society in some way.”
In 2020, Medicine Horse was born, and since then, Silva and her team have continued to help struggling individuals.
Medicine Horse utilizes the horses at Silva Spirit Farm for growth and learning. Participants learn about themselves and others by partaking in activities with horses and exploring thoughts, beliefs, behaviors and patterns.
The EAGALA team is equipped with an equine specialist, a mental health professional, and a few beautiful horses to aid people in finding peace.
Types of Sessions
Every year, Medicine Horse applies for grants and donations to successfully run the non-profit. In 2022, they decided to target the military population, as well as children and young adolescents.
For a person who falls under that category, a session with Medicine Horse is completely free.
For individuals outside of that category, paying out of pocket is an option.
Silva and her team of professionals host group sessions, and the response from the community has been incredibly rewarding.
“The word we hear the most is ‘calm.’ People have never felt so calm afterward,” Silva said.
For 2023, Silva is busy applying for grants that cater to veterans and their families.
If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, a typical therapy session doesn’t have to be the only answer. The power of animals is incredible and it's on full display at Silva Spirit Farm in Tiverton.