Member Profile

Stable Connections, Inc.

Stable Connections, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit charitable organization located in Guildhall, Vermont. Stable Connections is the only EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) certified facility in northern New Hampshire and Vermont, serving the needs of individuals with emotional, behavioral or physical disabilities in Coos and Grafton County of New Hampshire and Essex and Caledonia County of Vermont. 

Our mission is to provide opportunities for education, as well as emotional and physical growth through the use of equine assisted activities and therapies. Our focus as a business is on wellness - to provide quality mental health counseling, therapeutic horsemanship/riding and related educational opportunities for individuals of all ages including Veterans, schools and businesses. Stable Connections offers a truly unique program that can help the lives of many people with varied needs. 

Programs Offered:

  • Equine Assisted Psychotherapy:  EAP incorporates horses experientially for emotional growth and learning. It is a collaborative effort between a mental health professional, an equine specialist, and horses working with clients to address various individual treatment goals. This therapy can be used in conjunction with traditional talk therapy or as an alternative. These are ground based activities in the arena. EAP is primarily an individual client-based program but can be used for family and couples counseling as well. 
  • Equine Assisted Learning:  EAL incorporates horses experientially for growth and learning. It is a collaborative effort between a mental health professional, equine specialist and horses working with the clients or group to address learning goals. Specific ground based activities in the arena are used to help meet the learning goals for that session whether in a group or individual session. 
  • Therapeutic Horsemanship:  Is an equine-assisted activity for the purpose of contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of individuals with special needs.  Note: The Mental Health professional would not be involved in Therapeutic horsemanship programs as these are focused on physical therapies.

Specific Workshops: Our workshops use the interaction between people and horses as the basis for personal growth and exploring group dynamics. Participants are empowered by the lessons learned in the arena and actually translate that energy, attitude, and behavior when they return to their workplace, the family or school. Because horses are very sensitive and open, interaction with them serves as a mirror to our emotions and behavior.

  • “Horses Bridging Families”.  A workshop designed to address issues and provide solutions to becoming a healthier family unit. Divorce, change in custody, foster care or adoption, etc., may result in various emotions to arise, causing a breakdown of the family unit. Our workshop offers ways to develop healthy skills and boundaries instead of falling back into unhealthy patterns.
  • “Horses Healing Communities”. Developed in 2016 for schools looking to build a stronger school community. Goals of this workshop are to increase self-confidence, nurture empowerment through appropriate conflict resolution, team work, develop anger management skills and provide a safe and fun environment to strengthen positive relationships.
  • “Bully in the Barn”. Bully Prevention/Intervention workshop. Bullying is most often defined as a power of imbalance. Children become the victims of bulling due to feelings of helplessness or the perception by others that they are weaker or different.  Our program uses horse behavior in the herd to help students recognize the devastating effects of bullying. It is also designed to assist teachers in the classroom to meaningfully interact with students and problem solve appropriate responses when bullying occurs.          
  • “Pathfinders Workshop” for Veterans, is an innovative workshop that uses horses to heal. Different ground-based activities engage military personnel in their own healing process with solutions that meet them squarely on their own terms. Our goal is to offer year round six week workshops.
    • According to a recent VA report, at least twenty-two veterans a day die by their own hand in the United States.  The North Country of New Hampshire reports a higher suicide rate than other parts of the state, and approximately 5,500 veterans call Coos County and Grafton County their home.
    • Relationships built through this six-week workshop help military personnel connect with their emotions and support each other as they cope with difficult emotional challenges such as depression, alcoholism, anxiety, PTSD and family instability
  • Other programs that will be introduced for 2020: “Beautiful Warrior Within”- a weekend empowerment and mindfulness retreat for woman recovering from cancer 

     

Populations Served:

Stable Connections serves people from childhood through the elderly. We have a focus on at risk youth and Veterans with specific programs designed specifically for those groups. In our community there is a significant issue around children born addicted through the mother’s drug dependency – those clients are continuing to be a rising portion of our client base. 

  • ADHD                                                         29%
  • Cerebral Palsy                                              4%
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder                          19%
  • Social/Emotional                                         16%
  • PTSD                                                          32%

The Communities we support are rural, non-affluent and under-serviced in terms of psychological and physical therapies.  Remote communities such as ours have serious problems with respect to substance abuse, education and economic opportunities.  Support for this population is limited and is critical.

We believe that success is measured not only by the number of people we help, but also in the quality of help provided and the improvement made by each participant.  

Since 2009, over 500 individuals have been participated in programs at Stable Connections and in 2017 we established our "Mobile Equine Unit " to travel to Colebrook NH to offer programs for at risk youth. We also traveled to various nursing home offering equine assisted psychotherapy for the residents.

Karen Guile-Caron, CEO received her Military Designation through EAGALA which is an advanced accreditation. This certification helps our organziation understand the unique clinical issues commonly faced by members of our armed forces and their families. This offers Stable Connections the opportunity to better serve our Veterans and continues our mission.

To learn more about our programs, please visit us our website www.stableconnections.com or email us at karenguile@gmail.com.

Posted on: Monday, April 20, 2020

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