OUR TEAM - THE HOPE REINS STAFF
"Our mission is to change lives. We want to bring a renewed sense of hope and life to those who are suffering deeply due to Soldier’s Heart, to bring a sense of peace and rest to troubled hearts."
Alison Vandergragt, Program Director
Owner Alison Vandergragt, of Vanderbrook Farm & Natural Horsemanship Center in Killaloe, Ontario, has a passion for horses and families. After experiencing a personal loss, she found that working with her horse revealed much about herself, and that the principles of natural horsemanship went far beyond practical use. That realization was the impetus that led her to explore the equine assisted concept.
After more than 20 years working in community health - and with her ability to offer insight into mental health issues faced by our aging community members - Alison left her position with a determination and commitment to help others resolve the issues that could potentially be with them for a lifetime. Hope Reins and The War Horse Project was born.
Alison's passion is supported by her husband of 30-plus years and her eight children.
Katherine Schutt, Program Facilitator & Natural Horsemanship Instructor
Katherine spent over two years in British Columbia as an apprentice to one of Canada's finest horsemen. Developing a deep understanding and appreciation for how a horse thinks and survives in a predatory world, Katherine learned that behavioral issues with a horse labelled dangerous or untrainable had more to do with factors such as handling, environment, and lack of appropriate communication.
In helping people with their horse issues, she discovered it was more about helping people with their own issues. When communication and relationship issues exist in the arena, often they exist in other areas for the client.
Katherine brings these strengths to all our programs - even while working with children.
Marie Reaume, Program Facilitator & Barefoot Hoofcare Professional
Marie is the owner of a breeding herd of foundation stock registered Morgans, and promotes the barefoot trim & natural enviroment in caring for her herd. She has also studied natural horsemanship extensively attending clinics presented by leaders in the natural horsemanship movement.
When she is not managing the horses at Vanderbrook Farm, trimming her 200+ horse clients in Renfrew County, teaching her young horses natural horsemanship principles, or volunteering in youth ministry, you will find her facilitating "equine assisted" programs at both Pembroke and Killaloe facilities.
Wendy Lange-Faria, Psychotherapist
B.A. Religious Studies, B.Ed., M.Ed. Counselling. Member of the Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists of Ontario; Candidate of the Transitional Council for the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.
Wendy studied at the University of Calgary and the University of Ottawa specializing in counselling and psychotherapy in her masters’ studies. Her graduate work entailed in-depth analysis into emotionally focused therapy, working with the Ottawa Couple and Family Institute (OCFI) at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. Wendy’s passion and love for horses extended her practice into the area of equine assisted therapy. She co-facilitates the group therapy sessions for the War Horse project.
Wendy’s approach to therapy is integrative, based on a variety of treatment modalities including emotionally focused therapy, cognitive behavioral, existential and interpersonal therapies. She is on the Volunteer Resiliency team for the Canadian Red Cross to support personal disaster assistance responders who experience trauma situations while on call.
Wendy has received additional professional development in the area of equine assisted therapy, having trained in both Alberta and Ontario. Horses have been part of her life since childhood, owning her first pony at age 10 and going on to work on ranches and racetracks growing up. She continues with her professional development to constantly augment her skills with the latest research on psychotherapy.
Wendy offers both conventional office based therapy sessions and equine assisted therapy to groups and individuals.