Brooke Shakspeare MSW,

Accredited Mental Health Social Worker

Equine Facilitated Wellness Canada Candidate

 

A mental health professional and an already accomplished horsewoman with a life-long relationship with equines, Brooke is deeply committed to using her therapeutic acumen and equine expertise to further develop the field of childhood trauma and equine facilitated psychotherapy.  Compassionate, empathetic, driven and broad-minded, Brooke offers those she meets an open, authentic, relational presence – essential for working with people from all walks of life. Brooke's area of passion is in working with children and youth with complex trauma, diverse neurological conditions, and adult mental health. EFW allows for Brooke to bring together her love of and passion for horses with her skills as a psychotherapist and mental health clinician. 

The Herd

"Eden Lassi" as a working horse farm has around 50 horses who call it home. Each horse is an individual, with many different breeds, ages, levels of training and talents. We recognise our horses as sentient beings, whom we are always learning from and partnering with on this journey. The horses are very much encouraged to be horses, spending their time in their herds in large paddocks. We also have stabling facilities, but believe that horses are best doing their thing out in the wide open spaces. 

We are mindful to care for our horses in our EFW work, as we acknowledge that each horse brings something different to the EFW work and also is impacted differently by the sessions they partner in. As with all relationships they evolve and change, and we are flexible and responsive to the horses we partner with, and try to support their curiosity and willingness to be a part of the work. We also are sensitive to the horses for whom this work may not be suitable or right for depending on where they are at. We hope to allow for relationships to arise between horses and humans organically and authentically, and for the horses to be able to express themselves and their own choice in the process. 

As we have so many horses, we focus on a smaller herd for this work specifically, but also spend time with bigger herds out in the paddocks at times. The opportunity to observe and notice horses in the paddock can offer a sense of space and freedom that we often crave in our day to day lives.