Margaret grew up surrounded by horses in the lush countryside of Potomac, MD where she followed the hunter-jumper circuit. She developed a passion for fast horses and high jumpers. Her show career was short but her passion for horses remained unbounded. Margaret pursued an academic career at the University of Texas and Oklahoma University, obtaining a Master’s Degree in Psychology with a major in animal behavior and minor in sport psychology. For her post-graduate work, Margaret served as a naturalist at a wildlife sanctuary, teaching children about nature and wildlife. The outdoors provided the classroom for discovery and appreciating nature with lessons learned from being in connection with nature. Early in 1998, Margaret was introduced to the world of therapeutic riding for the disabled. Here she discovered that horses partnered with humans in a very different manner and connected on a very different level than she had experienced in the show ring. As a volunteer and later as an advocate for the organization, Equest Therapeutic Riding Center in Dallas, TX, Margaret began to experience the magic of the horse-human connection. In particular, Margaret participated in the Special Olympics program at Equest where she discovered her own heartfelt compassion and connection to the special horses that served as guides to the athletes, who not only achieved their personal bests in equestrian events, they excelled in developing confidence, commitment, and passion in their young lives. As a volunteer “coach”, Margaret found her passion: encouraging and supporting the young riders as they trained and competed in the local Special Olympics trials. Witnessing how these equine experiences impacted the lives of riders and their families provided the inspiration for her life’s work: a commitment to create opportunities for others to experience the power of the horse-human connection. Margaret adopted Thunder, a retired therapeutic riding horse from Equest, to join her on her new journey of discovery with horses. In 2004, Margaret moved to Colorado and continued to volunteer her time and talents with non-profits such as Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center and Medicine Horse Program. It was at the Medicine Horse Program in Boulder that Margaret witnessed the power of healing with horses. Through an award winning program called Healing With Horses, offered in conjunction with Hospice of Boulder County, Margaret again experienced the compassion of horses. It was this program, formed to provide grief support for youngsters who had recently lost a parent or sibling, that led her to seek formal training in the equine-assisted mental health industry. After attending an EAP (equine-assisted psychotherapy) workshop, Margaret enrolled in the Equine Gestalt Coaching Certification program with Melisa Pearce and graduated in 2011. She founded her equine coaching business Authenticity With Horses in 2012. Margaret believes in the individual uniqueness of being human and that we all have unique gifts to share with the world. She recognizes that we are not always clear about who we are and what our gifts are; and until we realize them, accept and embrace them, until we are living a life with purpose, we can find our lives lacking meaning and fulfillment. Authenticity With Horses provides an opportunity for individuals to partner with horses who guide them through an experiential learning exercise to discover their strengths, their passions and reach for their fullest potential. The goal of these exercises and experience is to support this learning and practice of life skills which can foster personal authenticity in all aspects of one’s life. Margaret’s background in sport psychology, combined with years of experience working with Special Olympians, brings a true supportive and motivational spirit to the experience. Building trust and courage from within, clients are empowered to confidently stand their ground, speak their truth and walk in authenticity. “Once we accept fully and completely exactly who and what we are, we have then given up the struggle to ‘be someone else.’ — Fritz Perls, (1893-1970) Margaret currently lives with her human and animal herd in the mountain community of Evergreen, CO, just 45 minutes west of Denver.
• Grief Support
• Life Transitions
• Reinvention of Self
• Leadership Discovery
Elk Ridge Ranch is located just 45 minutes from Denver; less than 5 miles from Evergreen Lake; and 1 mile west of Alderfer-Three Sisters Park.
Types of Experiences Available:
• Group sessions