"Nature always wears the colors of the spirit"
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
How it all began...
Although Nature Heals achieved its status as a nonprofit in October 2016, it was conceived decades ago by 3 young sisters as they roamed on a 100-acre farm in Virginia, riding their ponies there and beyond. They dreamt of the time when they would have their own farm and would be able to share their happy times of freely riding, playing in ponds, and hunting for berries with others.
At the same time, riding horses and caring for gardens became their respite from their own childhood and young adult crises with bullying, low self esteem, isolation and not fitting in with friends. The environment helped to ground them and modulate their anxieties and life stressors, while training and riding horses empowered them and gave them a sense of accomplishment and freedom.
Unfortunately, the happy story had periods of trauma and despair interwoven as most family stories do. Onlookers would have perceptions of a perfect family, but like in many families, the reality was different as they struggled with the outcome of alcoholism, divorce, eating disorder, substance abuse and abusive relationships. Time passed, crises were met and grown through as they received love, support, counseling, as well as plenty of time in Nature.
College degrees and Masters diplomas were obtained and solid relationships built. And then the Dream was resurrected when as women, they realized the value of all they had gone through, and the sustenance they received from being in Nature. So they came together and established a riding facility, which trains horses and teaches children, not just about riding skills and horsemanship, but about life. The core philosophy is that nature and horses mirror the ups and downs of life, the relatedness of individuals to each other, and that the way we cope with daily disappointments can strengthen us as individuals.
They also realized that most cannot afford this type of relationship with Nature and Horses, so Nature's Heals was birthed to give back to those that are not so fortunate. They each bring to the organization differing skill sets: Brittany with 2 Masters degrees in psychology, Ellie with a degree in interior architecture and graphics, and Liese with a Masters in Public anthropology and a past history of working with nonprofits.
At this time, the nonprofit is growing with a strong board, a passionate group of volunteers, and a huge heart. We have developed and are running several programs to assist varying groups in our community who are in need of intervention. In addition to being excited for the wonderful referrals and testimonials from clients, we also have received grants from the Longmont Community Foundation, as well as national support from Milk Specialties Products and the Princeton Area Community Foundation. As a nonprofit in its second year, we are thrilled with our progress and invite others to participate in our growth from the these beginning steps onwards.