Sara Babb is the founder and executive director of emPOWER Equine Assisted Services. emPOWER provides equine assisted psychotherapy and equine assisted learning using the Eagala model. In this model of therapy and learning, there is no riding or horsemanship. The horses are free to be themselves to help clients’ stories unfold! Each session has a mental health practitioner and an equine specialist in addition to the horses. Find out more about this hard working Stable Secretary user in this month’s Stable Secretary Success Story!
Where are you from?
Chesterfield, VA outside Richmond, VA
Can you please tell us about your current equine establishment?
I currently have a very small program with 3 horses and one barn cat. While we are small, the work our horses do is hugely impactful!
What are some of your goals for that establishment moving forward?
We are currently still in the growing phase at our new location. In the next several months, we will return to continuing to grow relationships in our community— and of course resume therapy sessions! We work with a lot of youth that have experienced trauma but are starting to place a great deal of focus on working with parents that have perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
How did you become involved with horses?
I’ve been obsessed with horses since I could walk but only was lucky enough to start working with them after graduating from undergraduate. I was working with a domestic and sexual violence program and found a program doing horse work with those who had experienced trauma. I immediately knew that I had to find a way to meld horses with my passion for helping people. I completed my training with Eagala in 2014 and our nonprofit opened its doors in May 2017! In 2012, when I started graduate school for my Master’s in Social Work, I started free leasing a 25 year old cranky old man who has since become my heart horse and is an important part of our program!
Five fun facts about you?
1. Although we do not share the horses’ names during sessions (naming the horses may influence a client’s story and perception of the horse), all three of the horses we have has a related name… completely by accident!
2. I eat apples and peanut butter every day (including while I type this) and the horses love to steal my apples.
3. I am completely and utterly amazed by the work horses do in our sessions and get goose bumps every time I think about it.
4. I have been snorkeling in Alaska.
5. I am the networking coordinator for the Virginia Eagala Network and I love helping others learn, grow, and connect with other Eagala practitioners across the state!
How did you hear about Stable Secretary?
Our partner Cedar Row Farm started using Stable Secretary to help keep track of their 6 equine, also doing Eagala work. We needed a system to help our barn helpers stay in the loop and Stable Secretary fit the bill!
What do you like the most about Stable Secretary?
I like how I can personalize the app as much or as little as I want. They’ve been great at helping me figure out how to make the feautures work for my program, including multiple phone calls to troubleshoot!
How do you think other farms could benefit from using Stable Secretary?
I think everyone always benefits from good communication! This app is fantastic for helping everyone stay up to date on need to know information.
To learn more about Sara and emPOWER, please visit https://www.empowerequine.org.
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