The only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them.
Ebenezer Equine, LLC was formed as a resource to the individuals of the Billings, Montana community as well as the existing equine programs in the area.
Honoring the stepping stones and experience obtained with these knowledgeable individuals led to creating accessibility and relationship opportunities to expand the possibilities that would make a difference in people’s lives.
With a commitment to relationship, Ebenezer Equine seeks to be a "stone of help" in maintaining well-being and growth of the unique needs and circumstances of the community and industry.
Certifications & Credentialing Associations:
Our team is licensed with the State of Montana Professional Licensing Board of Behavioral Health.
The team is certified in the Eagala model as well as through PATH International. Both associations offer high standards of practice and follow a code of ethics ensuring quality and accountable delivery of services.
The Eagala Model is a team approach that includes a licensed, credentialed Mental Health Professional, a qualified Equine Specialist, and horses working together with the client in an arena at all times. The Eagala Model is so effective because it embraces the science that humans learn best by doing. The model prescribes a hands-on approach where clients are given the space to project and analyze their situations, make connections, and find their own solutions. Since the solutions are personally experienced in conjunction with intellectual understanding, they tend to be deeper, more profound, and longer lasting.
When inside the arena, all the work is done on the ground with the horses front and center, deliberately unhindered and never ridden, and allowed to interact with the client as they wish. This creates the space for the client, with the support of the professional facilitators, to reflect, project, and make deep connections. . Decidedly action-oriented, the Eagala Model helps clients understand and recognize patterns, build on their personal strengths, and translate emotional insights into life-changing actions.
The experiential nature of working with horses through the Eagala Model engages individuals in their own healing process, with solutions that meet them squarely on their own terms. Horses have a special ability to help people work through emotional barriers, serving as metaphors and powerful stand-ins for the people, issues, and challenges in the client’s life. The Eagala Model leads to powerful emotional breakthroughs and life-changing insights for the client, strengthening resilience and coping skills. Through the efforts of facilitators certified with Eagala, participants can more quickly and completely understand and integrate new perspectives and behaviors into their lives. This is especially true and valuable for people who suffer the effects of trauma. With the Eagala Model therapy, clients challenge themselves in activities with horses that remove much of the perceived stigma associated with traditional talk therapy treatment methods (www.eagala.org).
The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) is a global authority, resource and advocate for equine-assisted activities and therapies and the equines in this work that inspire and enrich the human spirit.
What is PATH Intl.?
PATH Intl. was founded in 1969 as the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) to promote safe and effective therapeutic horseback riding throughout the United States and Canada. Today, PATH Intl. has 873 member centers and nearly 8,000 individual members in countries all over the world, who help and support almost 69,000 men, women and children--including more than 6,700 veterans--with special needs each year through a variety of equine-assisted activities and therapies programs.
Though PATH Intl. began with a focus on horseback riding as a form of physical and mental therapy, the organization and its dedicated members have since developed a multitude of different equine-related activities for therapeutic purposes, collectively known as equine-assisted activities and therapies (or EAAT). Besides horseback riding, EAAT also includes therapeutic carriage driving; interactive vaulting, which is similar to gymnastics on horseback; equine-facilitated learning and mental health, which partner with the horse in cognitive and behavioral therapy, usually with the participation of a licensed therapist; ground work and stable management; and PATH Intl. Equine Services for Heroes®, which uses a variety of EAAT disciplines specifically to help war veterans and military personnel.
PATH Intl. Certified Instructors use these equine-assisted activities and therapies to help tens of thousands of individuals each year with physical, mental and behavioral challenges gain strength and independence through the power of the horse. EAAT helps people from all backgrounds and all walks of life in a variety of ways, including increasing strength and flexibility, improving motor skills, promoting speech and cognitive reasoning, and building relationships and social skills. The individuals served by PATH Intl. members may face any number of challenges, including paralysis, multiple sclerosis, autism, Down syndrome, substance abuse, traumatic brain injury or amputation – but all benefit from the power of the horse (https://www.pathintl.org/what-is).
Ebenezer Equine is proud to be a founding member of the Arenas for Change (ARCH) community of excellence.
As a founding member of Arenas for Change (ARCH), Ebenezer Equine is actively engaged with worldwide industry thought leaders and colleagues dedicated to continuous personal and professional development and innovation, providing the best services we can for our clients.
Rochelle Smith, MS, LCPC, LAC, CAMS-II, CDVS-II, CTRI, ESMHL
Military & Corporate Services trained.
With past experiences in a variety of western arenas, Rochelle has enjoyed experiences in boarding and training horses, rodeo and show competition, recreational and trail riding, instructing able-bodied and persons with special needs in basic riding, working with at-risk youth as well as mentoring students in the Rocky Mountain College Equestrian Program. She is certified through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (Eagala) as well as through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International as a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL) and Mentor. She focuses on creating a fun, educational, and safe learning environment for her clients.
Rochelle is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Addictions Counselor and holds a Masters Degree in Psychology. She has specialized training and is credentialed in Anger Management and Domestic Violence services. Rochelle considers herself a lifelong student and continues to further her education in Equine Studies, Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT), and Psychology.
Bob Bakko, D. Min, LCPC, CCMHC
•VA Contractor, Tri Care, TriWest Authorization
•Eagala Certified- Equine Assisted Psychotherapist •Practicing since 1975
•Clinically Certified Domestic Violence Counselor
•Expert Witness for the Courts
Sarah Hereim, Equine Specialist
Sarah is a ranch wife and horse woman of 29 years. Sarah has a passion for helping others change and transform their lives. She had only known the traditional role that horses played on her family ranch until she was introduced to the innovative approach of horses healing humans.
Sarah has, and continues to study under Licensed Clinical Counselor Chris Tremain. She is certified in Chris’s, Mind, Body & Spirit Workshop, Reiki and attends yearly Transpersonal Experiential Therapy training.
Sarah became certified in the Touched by a Horse™ Equine Gestalt Coaching Certification Program. TBAH considers the horse as an integral partner in the coaching process. It was during this certification program that she knew her life’s path was to partner with horses and be a catalyst for change.
Sarah is a certified NAMI support group leader and co-facilitated a local support group for several years. She completed the NAMI Family-to-Family program and is certified to teach the program. NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, dedicating to build better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
Sarah and her husband Kent owned and operated a guest ranch in the Crazy Mountains. They offered horseback riding vacations and women’s retreats that specialized in working with Women, suffering from Emotional Shock and Trauma in the Body.
Sarah and her husband Kent reside on their working cattle ranch in Judith Gap, Montana. She also enjoys breeding and raising American Miniature Horses.
Sarah is over-joyed to continue her career as an Equine Specialist working with Rochelle, Bob and the horses at Ebenezer Equine!
There are several reasons we choose to incorporate horses in this work, but primarily it is due to their nature as a social and prey animal. As a result of this nature, they have an extraordinary ability to read our nonverbal communication - picking up on messages we are sending which we are not always conscious we are doing. With this, they start responding to us in familiar ways reminding us of other people and things in our life. It is through this they become metaphors (symbols) providing us the opportunity to work on ourselves in relation to those aspects of our lives.
Horses do not know our past, education, gender, race or other labels we may apply to ourselves and each other. They are in the moment and can be a part of this relationship without the biases we humans put on each other. This provides even more value in the insight they can provide us about ourselves.