Who We Are...
Bella Terra Stables is a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening connections between humans, horses, and the natural environment. Founded in 2020 by Amber Power and Ilse Eisele, Bella Terra Stables is located on 26-acres nestled in the urban neighborhoods of Murrysville, Pennsylvania. This semi-rural location offers a peaceful haven of safety and beauty in close proximity to the faster-paced urban lifestyle of Pittsburgh.
With their main focus being to provide Equine-assisted Psychotherapy for children and families, Bella Terra Stables offers a unique therapeutic experience in nature with horses rather than within the four walls of a therapist's office. Equine-assisted psychotherapy is a form of therapy that is a collaborative effort involving horses, a licensed therapist, and a horse professional working with clients to address their specific treatment goals. Uses a distinctive, experiential framework, it is designed to allow clients the latitude to discover, learn, and grow through the relationship they develop with the horses. Horses are always the focal point of each session because of their non-judgmental interactions with clients, their strong desire to connect and form relationships (herd instinct), and their ability to understand what we are going through based on the energy brought into the arena (natural prey instincts translating into emotional intelligence). The horse's interactions with the client, and their reactions to the emotional energy the client brings with them, provide a platform for discussion, self-reflection, and growth. The equine-assisted psychotherapy treatment team is certified in Eagala, Arenas for Change, and O.K. Corral Series, and recently completed EA-EMDR (Equilateral) training.
Bella Terra Stables also facilitates Equine-assisted Learning, using horses in group training and group recreational learning. Equine-assisted learning is an educational approach that involves interactions between groups of individuals and horses to promote personal growth, skill development, and emotional well-being. It encompasses various horsemanship skils such as grooming, leading, and caring for horses, as well as engaging in activities with the horses that are specially designed to enhance and establish life skills. The unique qualities of horses, such as their sensitivity to human emotions and nonverbal cues, make them effective partners in facilitating learning for individuals of all ages. This approach can be particularly beneficial for enhancing communication, problem-solving, and social skills. By engaging with horses, participants in group Equine-assisted Learning unearth hidden strengths, conquer perceived barriers to change, and ignite new perspectives that enhance self-awareness and foster better relationships. Equine-assisted Learning is the fuel driving our THRIVE Programs, Stories in the Stable and Reading Round-Up, corporate/business training, and our wellness-based workshops and retreats.
NEW MOVES FOR OLD HORSES
In addition to serving humans, Bella Terra Stables also provides purposeful retirement for unwanted or dispensable horses owing to age, injury, or other health conditions. Spaces and ongoing care are provided to a limited number of horses to retire, recuperate, and repurpose as members of the equine-assisted learning team. As therapy session co-facilitators, these horses are given a purpose (that does not involve being ridden) as co-facilitators who drive and guide the therapy sessions and provide experiential and emotional support.
Along with assisting humans with discovering their inner strengths and giving new purpose to older or compromised horses, Bella Terra Stables is committed to preserving and revitalizing the natural environment - specifically the 26-acre farm it is housed on. Environmental programming will strive to educate and inform visitors to the Western Pennsylvania region of the rich heritage of this historic enclave, simultaneously restoring the ecosystem that supports the co-existence of humans, horses, land, and wildlife.