From as far back as I can remember, my unexplainable passion for animals and especially horses has always remained a part of my life.
Growing up as a child in the suburbs made my ability to experience horses in real life a challenge. Why was it that I would feel such excitement and my heart pound, when my father would finally give in and drive me out to the country to see the horses again? Why would the hair on the back of my neck stand up when watching that herd gallop across the movie screen? From riding the mechanical horse in the grocery store and dreaming he was real, to naming my bike Black Beauty and watching old westerns are just a few vivid memories. In fact, I had trouble drawing an apple but the detail of a horse with its flowing mane and tail came naturally off the end of my pencil.
As I grew older and became independant at an early age, my yearning for horses became more realistic but never seemed to fade. I found myself making whatever time I could to be around them. Riding lessons, borrowing and leasing horses, and hanging out with like-minded people was satisfying, but I still struggled with my ability to keep it consistent. My life's path was simply not bringing me as close to the horse world as I would have liked and I seemed to just accept that.
As my interest continued and my curiosity grew, I would find myself researching and exploring how and why it was so possible to become engulfed with such an incredible feeling when being in the presence of a horse. I quickly found out I wasn't alone with this opinion and that, in some form or another, Equine Therapeutic Practices had been around for a very long time. Horses seemed to have the ability to just take me over in the most positive way - all of my worries would fade, there was only the 'now' when I was with them. I could arrive at the barn with a head full of chatter and a list of have to's, and in no time at all I would settle into myself, feeling calm, connected and refreshed.
I've had no regrets, as my life in the business world and service industry was very fulfilling and successful, and gave me a huge amount of experience working with all kinds of people. Raising a family and marrying my best friend has been a gift from above!
I eventually did buy my own horse, boarded her close to home and felt I had everything I needed. My little girl dreams of owning my own horse had finally become a reality.
Many of us know the impact that a serious health condition effecting a child can have, whether it's physical, mental or emotional. Caring for and giving my total self was all that mattered when what felt like at the time, out of nowhere, a life threatening and very serious mental illness took place in our family. Life's true priorities became very clear and with this test also came a major turning point and life altering change in all of our lives.
Retreating to the barn or back field, spending hours in slience with the horses became a pattern and the medicine I needed. Answers and clarity would come from the calming sense of simply listening to the horses munch on their hay while I self-regulated to their breath. The horses’ natural and honest ability to reflect back what was going on inside of me provided me with valuable information - good, bad or ugly. Trying not to take it personally, I was able to sift through and harness these feelings, finding some resolve in what I needed to do next to become the best support I could be as a caregiver. After my visits to the barn I always felt ready to go, in fact raring to go, feeling rejuinated all over again. Just like the horse's uncanny magic I felt I had experienced in the past.
I suppose I have always been overwhelmingly taken more with the horse from the inside, rather than the out - always facinated with their behavior and the way they think. Perhaps my yearning to be around them and that unexplainable passion was destiny after all. I've had the incredible honour of witnessing over and over again the remarkable benefits and healing power horses have given to a multitude of clients, including myself.
I am forever grateful for every day of my life's path and the steps that have led me here. Sierrah Acres - where I can live in the midst of my life long passion and share this gift of 'horses helping people' with others.
My name is Cindy Hoyda and I'm a Certified Equine Assisted Personal Development (EAPD) Coach and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) Facilitator.
I have a lifetime of experience in the people person industry.
I have a lifetime of experience in varying capacities involving horses.
I am an Equine Specialist, originally trained and certified under EAL Canada (formerly Higher Trails - Alberta). My training and education has developed and continues to do so in the Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) field.
I have experience and training in Emotion Focused Family Therapy (EFFT), am a Mental Health and Eating Disorders advocate with continuous training and education in this field.