Purpose Statement: Healing Reins exists to support individuals seeking mental and emotional health through Equine-Assisted Therapy. Using the dynamics of the human-horse relationship, our program offers best-practice mental health treatment. This unique solution focused model promotes essential life skills -- including mindfulness, trust, communication, self- control and confidence.
The Healing Reins treatment philosophy is built upon mutual respect and offered in a spirit of hope. RESTORATION is a beautiful gift!
Healing Reins is a wholly owned entity of Dogwood Ranch, a 501(c)3 Non-Profit.   
Healing Reins provides Trauma Focused Equine Assisted Counseling for those who are facing personal and relational challenges. Our unique twelve week equine therapy program includes a combination of on-the-ground and horseback activities. We partner with highly experienced, licensed therapists and certified equine specialists in order to provide the highest quality of care to our clients. Our programs address a broad range of mental health issues with families and individuals. We also have curriculum tailored to foster children and our honored military veterans and their families.
Please contact us for rates. Scholarships available.
      For information about scheduling & scholarships:
417.880.8622 or  Email Us

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Meet the team...

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Dana Lopez

Dana’s love of horses started early on in life and has continued throughout her adult years.  In 2014, she became certified as an Equine Specialist with OK Corral Series and learned just how powerful the human horse connection truly is, from a therapeutic stand point.  She loves serving in her capacity of Healing Reins Director, helping to coordinate wholeness and restoration for the clients that the program serves.

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Marcia Brewer
Clinical Director

Marcia Brewer is a Licensed Professional Counselor working in Missouri for over 20 years.  She moved her practice almost exclusively to Equine Assisted Counseling after seeing the profound therapeutic benefit for trauma survivors who will not or cannot talk about their experiences.  Marcia is a contracted EAGALA Certified Mental Health Provider with the Lone Survivor Foundation.  Veterans attending LSF retreats participate in Equine activities to address stress, injuries and relationship issues. Marcia and her colleagues are enthusiastic participants in ongoing training and professional collaboration relating to trauma-focused Equine treatment.

See what others have to say about Healing Reins!

"I'm writing to tell you how much my foster daughter had enjoyed her 12 week equine therapy program. She is 15 years old and has severe Reactive Attachment Disorder along with more diagnosis than any child should have. She also has Bi-polar, Schizophrenia, PTSD, ADHD, ODD, Conduct Disorder, Kleptomania, Disassociate Disorder and Enuresis. She has been in active therapy since she was a toddler.  She hates traditional therapy and does not respond well.  It makes my heart so happy to see her excited every week for equine therapy.

She does a fantastic job translating what she has learned each session into her real life.  For instance she has learned that TRUST is the first step that must be learned between herself and her horse. She has learned to halter her horse, groom him, feed him, lead him and eventually she was ready to ride him.  

When I asked her how she could compare trust to her own life, I could see a light turn on and she began realizing that she wasn't allowing us as her parents to take care of her.  She has never been able to let go and trust anyone to take care of her.  Our daughter had 17 foster placements before the age of 5. We have had her ever since.  Her behaviors were so severe that the foster parents kept giving her back.

Another great lesson along with trust is CONTROL. Once at therapy after a huge rainstorm, she haltered her horse but he would not walk through a small stream of water. She was in mud up to her ankles. She pulled and pushed and yelled, but no luck, he would not move.  Her horse was in control.  Ms. Kathy and Ms. Marcia helped her horse walk through the stream while she led him where ever she wanted to go. After deciding what activities that she wanted her horse to do, she realized that she was controlling a 1200 lb animal.

It is so very interesting to me how her horse can sense her behaviors.  As soon as she would walk up to him, he would pace nervously around her.  He would snort at her and run wild in the round pen. These lessons are HUGE for her.  It will always be a work in progress during her lifetime.  We are so fortunate to have been able to participate in your equine therapy.  If your scholarship had not been available to us, we would not have been able to have the experience."

Kathy Noret
Equine Specialist

Kathy’s passion and love of horses started the moment she stepped into the world of Dogwood Ranch. Experiencing first-hand the amazing power of horses, she knew she wanted to share it with others. In 2009 Kathy started training in Horsemanship which deeply rooted her love of horses and training others. After learning about equine therapy and equine learning she got certified through OK Corral Series as an Equine Specialist. Kathy has also obtained her EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) certification and is currently completing her EAGALA Military certification.  Kathy hopes to assist others in working through life’s challenging issues in an alternative setting and allowing the human/horse connection to bring healing and wholeness to others.
"We have been doing equine assisted therapy for about 2 months with my 12 year old foster daughter. She comes from a background of abuse/neglect/sexual trauma starting at a very young age and continuing for many years before being removed from her environment. She was not talking about her trauma but was acting it out in her behaviors in the home and in social settings. She was using many behaviors to avoid her real issues and the pain. In equine therapy there were a series of activities she was requested to do. She could not engage in any of these activities. It soon became apparent that she was acting out her trauma in her interaction with the horses. As she began acting out this trauma in equine, she began talking about her trauma with appropriate adults. She stopped avoiding the pain, but started working hard to confront and deal with it. As she continued acting out her trauma with the horses, she began connecting how her feelings/behaviors with others are connected to her feelings about earlier traumatic events in her life. My daughter has gone from not wanting to discuss past trauma or present problems to being able to talk about the past and willingness to problem solve in the present. She has gone from not being able to tell the truth at all to being able to be truthful a large percent of the time. She has gone from not being able to process correctly and logically most of time to having more mental stability. Working with the horses has given my daughter a safe environment to act out her trauma and given her a safe environment to start to heal!!"
"I had no idea the effect that equine assisted therapy would have on me! I had spent the last 3 years in intensive personal counseling and thought that I had dealt with a great deal of my past trauma, experiences and pain, but something about having the process and method of the sessions, coupled with the horse's presence unlocked a deeper part of my heart that I did not know was possible. 
Dana and her team were so professional in the way they expertly handled the horse's behavior and simultaneously fostered a safe environment for my heart to open up in and "feel" at a very deep level. Her team assisted in helping me observe and learn about the horse's behavior and helped me relate that in a very applicable way back to my own life.  This hands on environment allowed me to kinesthetically learn about how to connect to the world around me and helped me come to some powerful personal conclusions that I would not have otherwise. 
For those who are "stuck" in the traditional counseling method and not seeing any progress or for those, like me, who have already had a lot of counseling, I would highly recommend equine assisted therapy as a powerful method to see deep and lasting change at a heart level."

Erika Metroka
Equine Specialist

Erika grew up in Montana with an amazing family, enjoying the outdoors and horses.  When trying to decide whether to pursue horses or ministry, God used a series of events to show her that is wasn’t either/or but both.  Since that time, she has spent the majority of her adult career reaching out to kids with love and encouragement through the use of horses.  When God led her to Dogwood Ranch in the fall of 2018 she immediately felt a connection with all the Healing Reins staff that shared her heart and love for kids and horses.  Erika is a licensed Equine Specialist with OK Corral. 

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