How do you use horses to encourage wellness?

Author Gina McKnight talks to Missy Wryn about her triumph over tragedy and how she uses horses to support people with emotional and physical challenges.

Gina: Where are you in the world?

Missy: The magical foothills of Estacada, Oregon, USA, at the edge of the snowline where we get a (snow) dusting or two around Christmas and the New Year.

G: How do you use horses to encourage wellness?

M: My program expands from adjudicated youth to people who suffer from Fibromyalgia.  Whether horse owner or not, my program supports anyone who is drawn to be with horses.  It all starts on the ground building each person’s confidence while they become mindful of their thoughts, body language and healthy boundaries, both physically and emotionally.  My horses are specially trained – no matter a nervous or scared person, the horses at the Zen Barn support and nurture as well as challenge gently and positively the individual in their growth and healing process.

G: How do you acquire horses for your program?

M: Horses tend to “show up” as needed from rescues to boarders. I continue to work with and bond with the horses, creating harmony, gentleness and respectful horses.

G: What breed of horse do you prefer for your program?

M: No particular breed is better than another.  Each horse is very unique and brings their own gifts.  When you enter my barn a horse will choose you, not the other way around.  It’s a sense you have as you are drawn to a particular horse.

G: What is your greatest success story?

M: A 15 year old adjudicated girl who is facing very serious charges being tried as an adult under Oregon’s Measure 11, came to my barn by way of her mother.  This girl is beautiful, intelligent, a shining star, but was in the wrong place at the wrong time and breaks my heart to imagine losing her to an adult prison at 15 years old.  The mood was serious as I told her my story in 3rd person; as I wrapped up my story recounting my success, joy and living my dreams ending by saying “and you are looking at her”.  The mother sobbed as the girl’s face was serious yet a hint of relief crossed her lips as she barely smiled.  The success however was when she rode Paco and I witnessed this strong beautiful girl who puts up a facade of bravery and courage, a wash of childlike giddy and delight as she rode as “one” with Paco posting at a trot in perfect oneness.  In that moment she was a child, free from her worries, oblivious of her ever present ankle monitor that vibrates randomly checking on her coordinated location.  She was a ‘girl’ set FREE.

G: How quickly do individuals see results?

M: The first session people experience peace, calm, reduction of pain both physically and emotionally.  A common statement made by participants is “I’m in bliss”.

Visit Gina McKnight’s Blog for more info or visit her website at

Let me know how I can be of support to you in any way.  Visit or call 888-406-7689


About Gentle Horse Trainer Missy Wryn

Specializing in problem and dangerous horses Missy Wryn is an internationally recognized Gentle Horse Trainer and member of the Association of Professional Humane Educators. Missy's Training the Whole Horse® methods & techniques and the creation of her widely popular All-In-One Bitless Bridle have been featured in media such as Alaska Airlines Magazine, Equine Monthly, Natural Horse, NW Horse Source, Stable Management, The Horse Show with Rick Lamb, Horse Girl TV and more. For more information visit Missy Wryn’s website at or call toll free (888) 406-7689.
This entry was posted in Bitless Bridle Riding, Equine Support Center for Fibromyalgia, Fibromyalgia, Horse, Horse Rescue, Horse Sanctuary, Horse Scoop, Horse Training, horse whisperer, HorseMAREship, Humane Horse Training, Paths to the Divine and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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