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Nov 7 - Dec 31, 2019

The Village Project


To help our communities reach a greater state of well-being by delivering community defined, culturally congruent best practice services.

The Big Idea

The Village Project now provides mental health services for Monterey County, and their current goal is to continue a program implementing “Eagala”—an experiential approach where horses are incorporated into a person’s therapy sessions. The focus is on the ground in the horse pasture, where the horses are reins-free—deliberately unhindered, never ridden and allowed to interact with clients as they wish. With the support of professional facilitators, this creates a space for the client to reflect and make deep connections, regaining control of their lives. Horse interaction teaches relationship-building and trust in a free environment where nature provides an opportunity for a deep connection with oneself. The Eagala model honors the ethical considerations of the horse, and human well-being.

I’ve loved horses through all my life now. One day I’m going to have one. If I’m having a hard day and then I’m going to the ranch and I see my horse, Dakota, I won’t even think about that anymore.

- Zachariah Alexander, 9 years old