Beyond Words: The Healing Power of Horses

Dr. Alita Buzel, Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Friday evening, April 13thth through Wednesday evening, April 18th

Dr. Alita Buzel, author of “Beyond Words: The Healing Power of Horses” and Stacey Carter, PATH Certified Instructor and Specialist, author of the manual “Training with Compassion: The Heart Centered Approach”


Words often become barriers, instead of pathways, to healing, self-acceptance, and the intimate connections that we all long for in our lives. It is often in silence, in the quiet of self-contemplation, that inner knowledge arises. And we need that knowledge to acknowledge and achieve our deepest longings. Horses are masters at non-verbal communication, silently inviting trust by trusting, heart-felt sharing by unguardedness, and honest self-appraisal by reflecting our truths to ourselves. Horses invite us to see and accept who we are: loveable, flawed, and hopeful – each of us holding unrealized dreams in our hearts.

Ancient man knew that the magic of horses could transport us to our higher selves, but we are just beginning to rediscover the healing power emanating from these simple, majestic animals. From the power of the herd to protect their own, to the compassion and patience they bestow to those around them, to their ability to embrace the present moment, horses have always been there to guide us.

We all have the capacity for great joy, fulfillment, and love…yet many of us live on the peripheries of our lives, never realizing our potential, trading dreams for safety.  Come join us for a very special journey of exploration, self-discovery, and growth as we learn from and join the herd at the beautiful Rancho Las Cascadas.

Anybody interested in exploring the ways in which the relationship between horses and humans can deepen an understanding of themselves and the world around them will benefit from this workshop. The level of horse-experience is not important, though it would be good if you felt comfortable riding a horse at a walk….or willing to try it!  The workshop will address anyone actively dealing with emotional issues, interested in learning about equine psychotherapy for their own professional development, facing life changes and/or just interested in expanding your awareness.  Participants are welcome to meet with Dr. Buzel individually to discuss issues they would like to focus on during the workshop.

Horse people are welcome to work on enhancing their relationship with their horses via deepening their understanding of how their energy impacts their equine friend and vis versa. Learning how to recognize the emotions you bring with you to the barn and how to take responsibility for your own energy will go miles to improving your relationship with your horse.  Stacey Carter will work one on one with you and the horse to learn various tension/release techniques and other methods to facilitate trust and relaxation.  Mounted work will flow from the ground work you will learn with Stacey.

The workshop is appropriate for singles, couples, and families. Groups are also welcome, e.g. sometimes people from the same stable enjoy traveling and doing equine work together. All levels of equine experience, including beginners, will benefit from the program. The curriculum will vary according to the needs and desires of the participants.


All are invited to an evening meet and greet (both horses and humans) on Friday, the 13th. Wine and oats will be served!

You will have the mornings free to enjoy the Ranch and its various activities. At 1:00 pm each day we convene at the stables and work through late afternoon. The last activity of the day will be a relaxing mediation ride into the sunset. (Those people who do not wish to join us, can stay back and toast our departure!). Evening activities will include various activities such as prayer arrow art, Mexican Shamanic experiences, storytelling and journal writing.

A typical day:

  • Enjoy your morning! Go for an early, invigorating ride, take a yoga lesson, or bask in the Mexican sun.
  • Each session begins with a centering, mindfulness exercise before joining the herd for grooming and greeting, and reconnecting.
  • Various horse/human exercises will be incorporated while exploring issues such as: boundary maintenance, emotional congruity, nonverbal communication, attachment and connection issues, dealing with trauma and shame, and goal setting and obstacles.
  • We will dedicate time each day to work with the horses in mutual tension-release exercises and horse problem-solving, e.g. why does he do that!?
  • Last part of the day will be dedicated to play and joy….horses love this part!
  • Saddle up for our twilight meditation ride followed by wine and nibbles, the horses get carrots!
  • Evening activities will begin after dinner.



Perhaps you are dealing with life transitions, or find yourself stuck in an emotional quagmire. Perhaps you are feeling lonely and wondering why you are not achieving the connections and attachments you would love to have in your life. Perhaps events and issues from your past prevent you from moving on in your life. All these issues, and more, are lovingly and gently addressed via our work with horses.

Perhaps you are just curious about this new field and love horses.

Perhaps you are at a plateau in your riding abilities or dealing with a difficult, but loved, horse.

Perhaps you are just looking to have fun and fantasize riding through the natural beauty of real Mexico, galloping across rugged terrain, bumping into wild mustangs in the mountains.

Perhaps you would just like to relaxing by a beautiful pool, lunching next to waterfalls, working with the horses in the afternoon and enjoying gourmet dining at every meal.

All are welcome!

13 April 2018 to 18 April 2018|

Dr. Alita Buzel, Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Alita Buzel, Licensed Clinical Psychologist Dr. Alita Buzel, a licensed Clinical Psychologist with over thirty year’s psychotherapy experience, expanded her practice to include Equine Assisted Psychotherapy after having personally experienced the gentle healing power of horses. She trained with and adheres to Barbara Rector’s model, Adventures in Awareness (AIA), which is centered on compassion and respect for both horses and humans. Based on her training, workshop experiences, and the knowledge she acquired from her human and horse teachers, Alita was motivated to write her book, Beyond Words: The Healing Power of Horses (2016), as a guide to incorporating psychology into equine psychotherapy. She facilitates workshops and trainings across the United States as well as maintaining her private practice in Manhattan. Her equine work incorporates mindfulness, body work, gestalt, cognitive, and psychodynamic therapy. Additionally, Alita integrates her expertise in neuropsychology and the emerging field of neuroplasticity into her clinical work. Connection and safety are core components. She also weaves in play which she believes is as an integral part of growth and healing. Dr. Buzel works with various populations including individuals working through relationship issues, life transitions, addiction, trauma, attachment issues, and any obstacle that prevents people from living the lives they deserve and long for. She brings her wisdom, energy, and humor to all her encounters, both with humans and horses! Her goal is to enable people to see past their pain and history, to re-own the joy that should be part of every life, and to recognize and courageously pursue their aspirations and hopes. She truly perceives horses as nature’s dream catchers….

Stacey Carter, PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning.

Stacey has over 30 years of experience riding, competing, training and instructing. Her manual: “Training with Compassion: The Heart Centered Approach” describes the process of working with horses in a manner that is beneficial for horses and humans. Her techniques focus on the mindfulness, intention, and awareness that the person brings to the interaction. You will learn to recognize and release tension in yourself and your horse, to communicate clearly and effectively, and to develop a relationship based on mutual trust and respect. The groundwork she teaches also helps enhance the connection between horse and rider when doing mounted work and is easily transferable to any riding style. Stacey and Alita have run workshops together weaving the common threads of mindfulness, connection, and emotional congruity. The experience they offer is not only healing and transformative, but fun for both humans and horses. The program that will be presented during this workshop is suitable for people new to horses as well as experienced horse people seeking proven methods to create a strong connection and a soft, relaxed horse. Stacey and Alita have run workshops together weaving the common threads of mindfulness, connection, and emotional congruity. The experience they offer is not only healing and transformative, but fun for both humans and horses!