Unbridled Acres

Quarterly Newsletter * Spring 2016

Nature Provides a Life Lesson

Spring is on full force at Unbridled Acres! After a cold, gray winter the blue skies, new leaves, flowers and warm breezes beckon everyone to get outside and play. I love nature and the "always giving" life lessons there are for us if we take time to listen, watch and absorb them.

The horses are a mirror of us and our emotions. Whatever mood I'm in is readily reciprocated by them. Recently, we had to put down one our favorite four legged friends, Princess. She was old, tired and unable to process her food. As hard as the decision was...we knew it was the right thing to do. While she was put down, I was in the corral with the other horses. One by one they came up and stood around me, gently touching me as I mourned. We stood that way for some time. I comforted them by petting and touching. They comforted me without a word.

I hope I never forget that lesson. So often when friends and family are in pain we struggle trying to find the right words to "make people feel better." Maybe, we just need to circle around each other and provide comfort without a spoken word.

Dear Princess

You have been freed of all your earthly pain. You listened when I whispered words into your ears. And I know my words weren't the only words you heard. You listened to the people that needed to be heard the most. You helped me feel happy on days where the only thing I wanted was to disappear. Even though it may have only lasted an hour or so it made my life that much more worth it.

We didn't have much time together but I won't forget how gentle and loving you were. I wish I could have relieved some of the pain you had to endure like you did for me.

Thank you.

XOXO, Unbridled Acres Client, Age 15


Girl Scouts Visit Unbridled Acres

Girl Scout Cadette Troop 44110, under the direction of Molli and Chris, spent an afternoon working on team building, leadership and communication.

A Healthy You

Who Knew?

When I decided to take my first yoga class, I knew it would help me to stretch and reduce stress. I even knew that there were a slew of supposed health benefits, too. (Of course, it’s hard to believe that all of these things can be true until you experience it yourself.)

But after just a few months of practicing, I noticed benefits I never even realized were a possibility.

Here are the 5 benefits of yoga I found most surprising:

1. Compassion. Who would have thought that a physical practice could help me feel compassion and understanding for myself and those around me? I realized that we’re all just doing the best we can in life. There’s something very liberating about that mind-set that can melt away ill-will, competition, and petty disagreements like nothing else.

2. Mindful eating. I am not a health-food yogi. In fact, at one point in my life, my daily diet consisted of little more than chicken fingers, French fries, and soda. But after a just a few months of yoga, I found myself craving leafy greens. Yoga changed the way I ate because I started to pay more attention to how the food I took into my body affected me.

3. Strength! I was shocked when I realized how much strength it took to get through a yoga class. I was even more surprised by how quickly the strength-building poses that were once incredibly difficult for me got a little easier.

4. Confidence. It’s one thing for someone to tell you that you can do anything you set your mind to. It’s another thing to actually experience it for yourself. You also start to see a beauty in yourself that you never knew was there. For me, this translated into a boost of confidence that I really needed.

5. Better relationships. What do you get when you mix a little heightened awareness, a dash of compassion, a pinch of self-confidence, and a smidge of positivity? The ability to relate to people in a more meaningful way. And that means you get a stronger network of friends, confidants, and supporters. Of all the benefits I’ve reaped from my yoga practice, perhaps this is the most valuable of all.

Read entire article at http://www.yogajournal.com/uncategorized/5-surprising-benefits-of-yoga.


Effects of Equine Assisted Therapy on Children with Autism and Asperger's Syndrome

Both Asperger's and Autism are sub-categories of a larger disorder category called Pervasive Developmental Disorders. They have similar characteristics, which are milder in Asperger's, and include both verbal and non-verbal communication impairments, hyper-focus on one or two specific areas of interest, clumsiness, and repetitive patterns.

Equine assisted therapy seems to have the best results when compared to other animal therapy practices when working with these children. The rhythmic motion of riding a horse causes the kids to focus on the movement - which is slow, deliberate, and relaxing. The child indirectly learns how to focus better, which is aided by the calming effect of riding.

In addition to the movement experienced when riding the horse, tactile senses are stimulated. The horse's skin is fuzzy, the mane and tail are rough, and the nose is soft. Discovery of these sensations often helps draw a child out, stimulating development of his or her verbal communication and interest in other physical objects.

A child's ability to interact socially is often improved as well. The therapy sessions teach the child how to interact with the counselor and staff people. Group sessions allow the child to work and play with other children and counselors, learn how to handle relational conflict, and how to help others.

Counselors who have consistently included equine assisted therapy in their development programs for autistic children always have stories to tell of the dramatic improvements they see in the children. Not only are basic communication and motor skills improved, but many children experience improvements in their overall moods. Children who before experienced angry outbursts or who rarely smiled are suddenly calmer, and smile more readily and frequently. For more information: http://www.equine-therapy-programs.com/aspergers.html


We invite you to come out and play! Schedule a day for your family, work or for yourself to grow, learn and become more than you are today.

Let the horses help you, challenge you to overcome obstacles, or simply comfort you.

It's beautiful in the country. Come out and play!

Coming This Spring & Summer

Summer Retreat

Women's Triathlon Mind -- Body -- Spirit

We are excited to announce that our summer retreat will be held June 19, 2016. We will meet from 1 pm - 5pm, outside at Unbridled Acres.

Check our website for more information and registration. You won't want to miss this!

T.R.A.C. Academy

Junior High is hard. Wish you could provide your daughter an extra hand in navigating those years? Thru equine work, real life examples, group discussions and activities, we will confront the issues girls ages 11- 14 face. We will provide them the tools they need to become Tough, Real, Authentic and Confident young ladies!

Check our website for more information and registration.

This is a very popular program at Unbridled Acres!

Unbridled Acres * Sue Miller-Harsin, CMSW, LMHP

A licensed marriage and family therapist since 1983, Sue Miller-Harsin specializes in women’s issues, post abortion, addictions and spirituality. She is a popular speaker at retreats and conferences throughout the midwest. She has volunteered with Project Rachel for the past 25 years. In 2014, Sue began traveling to Beijing, China, to counsel those affected by abortion. She owns Unbridled Acres, located in Blair, Nebraska. The facility is used for equine therapy, marriage, individual and family counseling, retreats and corporate team building.