Equine assisted therapy, Horses used for therapy, Equine assisted counseling Equine assisted therapy, Horses used for therapy, Equine assisted counseling
Durango Equine Theerapy, Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy Equine assisted therapy, Horses used for therapy, Equine assisted counseling
Equine assisted therapy, Horses used for therapy, Equine assisted counseling


  A Unique Approach to Equine Assisted Therapy

There are many different kinds of equine therapy programs. Durango Equine Therapy Founder, Kate Feldman has been trained in the Gestalt model of equine-assisted psychotherapy. This approach is experiential and focuses on exploring relationship while actually being in relationship with the horse.

Kate encourages clients to get to know the horses in her herd, to befriend them, and build connection over time.

What’s important in Gestalt therapy with horses is that clients are experientially guided to go within: to make contact with themselves, body, mind, heart and spirit.

Healing and increased aliveness happen when people experience emotional and body awareness, going directly into connection with what is real inside themselves. What emerges is a deeper level of self-trust, openness, and the capacity to be fully functioning in the world.

Equine assisted therapy, Horses used for therapy, Equine assisted counseling

About Kate Feldman, MSW, LCSW
Founder, Durango Equine Therapy

"My approach to equine assisted therapy is experiential and focused on relationship. Growth and healing occur when we are able to be in contact (in relationship) with our moment-to-moment experience no matter what it is. Equine assisted counseling provides this opportunity because horses are experts at living in the moment."

“As horses are used for therapy more and more, my hope is that we human beings will find our way back to being more in touch with nature, our planet and our inter-relatedness with all creatures. I watch this unfold in my corral with every session, with every interaction, and over time, as the horses and people learn to trust and understand one another. I believe that it is through experiential relating to these remarkable beings that our hearts are broken open and our souls healed.”

Kate Feldman, Founder, Durango Equine Therapy

Kate Feldman, Founder of Durango Equine Therapy is a wise, compassionate therapist who specializes in individual and couples counseling, both in her office and in her corral using horses for therapy. Before receiving her Masters of Social Work from Smith College School for Social Work, Kate held various executive, as well as teaching positions at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.

In 1994 she and her husband Joel Feldman founded The Conscious Relationships Institute™. This educational institute provides:

  • Private couples marriage retreats,
  • Couples workshops, and
  • Counseling sessions for individuals, families, and couples.

Kate’s certification in Gestalt Equine Psychotherapy has provided depth, creativity and deepened awareness to her work. As a horsewoman and therapist, she integrates the healing power of human-horse relationship into each client’s journey toward full aliveness and health. Equine assisted counseling is not only a passion, but transformational for Kate, clients and horses alike.

Kate has extensive background as a workshop presenter, educator and trainer, leading programs for the last 30 years on relationships, personal growth, yoga, holistic health, leadership, and counseling.

These programs, which have several different titles, are offered at Kripalu Center, Omega Institute, Shambhala Mountain Center, and in the southwest United States.

Background and Training:

  • MSW, Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, MA.
  • LICSW – Licensed independent clinical social worker, Massachusetts
  • LCSW Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Colorado
  • Certification: Clinical Imago Therapist Training (couples and singles); Philadelphia Imago Relationship Institute
  • Certification: Gestalt Therapy, Levels I & II, Gestalt Institute of the Berkshires
  • Certification: Gestalt Equine Psychotherapy—The Gestalt Equine Institute of the Rockies, Golden, CO. Certified to use horses in equine assisted counseling as well as handle horses proficiently in a mental health setting.
  • Certification: EMDR levels I & II; EMDR Institute, Boston, MA
  • Relational Recovery Training, Terry Real, LICSW
  • The Option Process, The Option Institute, Sheffield, CT
  • Affairs – Janis A. Spring, PhD


Equine assisted therapy, Horses used for therapy, Equine assisted counseling

Facilitators and Guides of Accessing Presence: A Retreat for Helping Professionals

Accessing Presence, Durango Equine Therapy's program for helping professionals, is the brain-child of Kate Feldman, Founder, and her sister, Toni Herbine-Blank.

Kate and Toni are colleagues, best friends, therapists, and horse owners. Individually, and together, they experience soulful and deeply meaningful relationship with their horses—“they're a resource for helping us access our most spacious, loving Selves.”

Whether Kate and Toni are working with other therapists, medical professionals, body workers or coaches, they invite each person to create contact with their bodies, their breath, and their present moment experience. They focus, not so much on intellectual interpretations and understanding, as on making contact with one's relationship to one own self as well as to others.

Out of this process people become more aware of their behaviors, attitudes and ways of being. Awareness brings change, and reveals inner resources, as well as builds self-compassion and acceptance. This then, is what creates presence, the capacity for us to be fully present with ourselves as well as with the people we serve. It results in relaxation, clear thinking, and deepened satisfaction with our work.

Equine assisted therapy, Horses used for therapy, Equine assisted counseling

About Toni Herbine-Blank, MS RN C-SP

Toni Herbine-Blank MS RN C-SP, is a Clinical Specialist Psychotherapist and Senior Trainer for the Center for Self Leadership. She was trained in Family Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania where she earned both her RN and her advanced practice degree in Psychiatric Nursing.

Toni began training students in Internal Family Systems Therapy in 2004 and since then she has been instrumental in designing programs and writing curricula for the Level 1 and 2 IFS training programs.

Toni has been in private practice since 1996 specializing in the treatment of couples and individuals.

In 2009 after designing training for IFS therapists to apply the model to couples therapy, Toni offered the first Intimacy from the Inside Out Training Program in Boston Massachusetts. Since then the program has been received with great enthusiasm in several cities across the United States.

Toni's passion is in guiding couples therapists to become courageous, clear and Self-led. She has a reputation for being a respectful, empowering, compassionate, and fun trainer!