Unbridled Spirit 7

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Undercover Horses!
How do horses mysteriously break through the most guarded heart? Does anyone know?

Horses invite connection. They are curious and each of the nine horses at Windy Acres Farm seems to know exactly who to invite into their hearts when a new group arrives for Unbridled Spirit’s programs.

In its third year of operation the nonprofit, Unbridled Spirit 7, operates in rural Bellingham, WA. They proudly partner with six schools, three from Bellingham School District, plus Lummi Nation School, Explorations Academy, and Whatcom Intergenerational High School. Unbridled Spirit also engages families and individuals of all ages, empowering them to find new ways of managing anxiety, addictions or other personal challenges. One grandmother of a transgender teen says the teen does a lot of reflection and gets a lot of clarity while working with his horse partners, Black and Gracie.

Unbridled Spirit’s vision is to make their programs accessible to ALL, but especially those whom have been directly or inadvertently marginalized by society. To do this they solicit private donations and grants to support programs as many individuals and schools do not have adequate funding for mental wellness. After submitting a grant request in 2022 to the Department of Commerce, the farm participants are thanking the people of the State of Washington for the covered round pen that will be installed this spring. This will provide a more comfortable space for both humans and horses in all seasons. They thank Equine Concepts and Stremler Gravel for nonprofit discounts!

Their program team consists of Molly McKenna-lead facilitator, Sonja Wingard-nurse and energy practitioner and Lorna Shepardson-mental health counselor. Sonja and Lorna have over 20 years of experience facilitating therapeutic equine experiential learning and have presented at national conferences. Program facilitators include Sue Swank, Karabo Breeding and Hope Musselwight as well as a great team of volunteer mentors. Staff are certified with Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International, Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (Eagala) and/or Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) with additional training from Arenas for Change (ARCH), Linda Kohanov, Barbara Rector and Frank Bell. They collaborate with Whatcom Prevention Coalition, Whatcom Coalition of Environmental Educators and with Lydia Place for family services.

Unbridled Spirit welcomes volunteers to help with work parties, animal care and mentoring youth. They are also in need of social media and grant writing support. Check out their website, www.unbridledspirit7.org to volunteer or support scholarships and follow them on Facebook for inspiring stories from the barnyard.

Email: [email protected]
721 Van Wyck Road • Bellingham, WA • 98226

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