Unbridled Acres

Quarterly Newsletter * December 2016

2016 - The Year in Review

The Fall of 2016 will go down in our memory bank as one of the prettiest, calmest seasons we have had. It seemed to go on and on with no real weather change. Now that winter is upon us, try to remember how great it was and it will return. Nothing lasts forever.

Winter brings many changes to Unbridled Acres. We are shutting down for the season, as it is just too cold for the horses and for us to want to engage!! As the quietness of winter descends upon us, maybe there are parts of your life that you can shut down too. It is time for quiet and reflection and the peace of the Christmas season.

Unbridled Acres experienced a fantastic year. We hosted three Life Beyond Retreats for women suffering from PTSD due to sexual abuse from their childhood. Horses can often become one of a person's greatest teachers for self-discovery and personal development and remarkably, a source of healing one's emotional wounds. This program is designed to help participants challenge learned behaviors, correct false beliefs, and rediscover one's authentic self.

We had three Women's Retreats and introduced a new favorite UNBRIDLED YOGA with Julene Warren as our Yoga instructor. Experiencing yoga in a horse arena, surrounded by the beauty of horses and nature was amazing. We hope you consider coming next year!

We had the pleasure of experiencing over 250 hours of equine therapy with families, marriages, children and adults. It is truly a honor for us to do this work. I have been a therapist for almost 35 years, watching the transformative work horses provide amazes me every time. I tell people frequently, one hour of equine therapy is akin to 10 hours in the traditional office setting. You see, horses never lie...they mirror us and our emotions. They help people become more aware of their true feelings. They help us gain a more authentic sense of ourselves.

A horse will know instantly if a client is angry, bored, or afraid, regardless of any attempt to behave differently. When asked to interact with a horse, people may try to present a false self to gain acknowledgment from the horse. With the horse, this is immediately rendered ineffective and the client is force to face and deal with his or her own unhealthy coping strategies. Horses never lie. The therapeutic effects of horses on humans is gaining more and more credibility in our country. We encourage you to consider it for yourself or referring someone you care about.

There is so much to learn from simply observing horses and how they live. This time of year, they are quiet, conserving their energy to fight off the elements, yet continue to be hyper-vigilant to the possibility of danger. They pay attention to the needs of their bodies and listen. I encourage you to do the same this Christmas season...pay attention to your bodies needs and listen....change will happen.

Unbridled Acres 2016 Christmas Thank You

Our Clients Say the Most Amazing Things!

I had the most wonderful, eye opening opportunity to see first hand what EAP can do for us as people, us as mothers, us as friends, but most importantly, what it does for our own souls. Tough to find words that are adequate to what I experienced at Unbridled Acres . I came in feeling defeated, discouraged, beat down. Like I had failed. Lost. I had no hope.

While working with the horses, I began to experience this quiet, unspoken, unshakable peace within me. Not ever knowing what true peace felt like, it was an odd feeling for me, but is now a feeling that I seek and look for in my daily routines. I remember what the horses taught me, I remember the beauty, I remember the new outlook it gave me, when I truly thought I was broken beyond repair. I remember the confidence it gave me, I remember the feeling of teamwork. Hope. They gave me hope.

Quiet in words, but loud to my soul. So unforgettable.


Stress, Depression and the Holidays

Stress and depression can ruin your holidays and hurt your health. Being realistic, planning ahead and seeking support can help ward off stress and depression.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The holiday season often brings unwelcome guests — stress and depression. And it's no wonder. The holidays present a dizzying array of demands — parties, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining, to name just a few.

But with some practical tips, you can minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays. You may even end up enjoying the holidays more than you thought you would.

  1. Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can't be with loved ones, realize that it's normal to feel sadness and grief. It's OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can't force yourself to be happy just because it's the holiday season.
  2. Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.
  3. Be realistic. The holidays don't have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can't come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos.
  4. Don't abandon healthy habits. Don't let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt.

    Try these suggestions:

    • Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don't go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks.
    • Get plenty of sleep.
    • Incorporate regular physical activity into each day.
  5. Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.

    Some options may include:

    • Taking a walk at night and stargazing.
    • Listening to soothing music.
    • Getting a massage.
    • Reading a book.

Reserve Time for Your Group in 2017

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.