Horse as a Path to Being and Becoming

HORSE invites students to cultivate an empowered human experience - mind, body and spirit - with Horse as their guide. Students will work closely with one horse throughout the trimester to explore how living in the moment – “Being” – brings peace, connection and harmony. When we learn how to incorporate the horse’s daily way of life into our own lives, we gain new perspectives by which to live. These perspectives are imbued with authenticity, awareness, acceptance, unconditional support and forgiveness. 

As students step into their Being, they release fear, insecurity and the notions of mistakes, making way for self-discovery and growth – “Becoming”.  Becoming teaches us to perceive our lives as a process open to exploration and learning; a way of being in the world that recognizes the inherent and constant state of flow in which all parts of the universe are evolving dynamically and inseparably.

HORSE is comprised of four multidimensional areas of study – Equine, Scholastic, Creative & Movement, Reflective – that facilitate the processes of Being and Becoming. Coursework is inspired by the program’s guiding principles and is cumulative in the sense that it cultivates skills that can expand over a lifetime.  

Guiding Principles

Harmony with Horses as Healing

Oneness through Open-Hearted Observation

Relationships with Reverence and Release

Symbolism and Spirit in Self-Study

Expression as Empowerment to cultivate Equanimity

Course INFO


HORSE is an experiential based learning course that is offered in an 8-week session format.


  50hrs Instructed Classes

Student commitment for each trimester is (1) weekday class & (1) Saturday class per week.

Up to 40hrs Open Barn

Extra time at the barn to practice HORSE skills, study or do homework or hangout with barn friends.  Instructor supervised. Optional 

Current Offerings

Winter 2019 - Enrollment Closed

February 5 - April 20, 2019 

Spring 2019 - Enrollment Closed

April 23 - June 15, 2019

Spring 2020 - Enrollment Opens1/15/2020


How we arrived at HORSE...

HORSE is co-led by Jordanna Anawalt and Ann Boyd. Both have professional experiences that center around teaching observation, expression and authenticity. HORSE is a collaboration of Jordanna and Ann's individual expertise and shared passion for horses, art and community. 

Jordanna's Path to HORSE

"Since I can remember, I’ve loved horses. They have been a part of my family’s history on both sides from my great grandparents up to my parents. As a child, I did not have the opportunity to engage with horses, so it was my parent’s stories of their backyard ponies that filled my dreams. 

It was 11 years ago, on a quiet country road in the California foothills when fate intervened, and I crossed paths with a young buckskin horse. She was living alone in an abandoned field and our daily over-the-fence visits became a consistent highlight in my life. I named my new friend Honey and had an inherent knowing that we were going to share a life together. I didn’t know how I was going to manifest this reality…we didn’t live on horse property, the horse wasn’t for sale, and I’d never owned or been seriously engaged with horses...ever. None of those obstacles could subdue the voice in ­­­my heart – ‘she’s the one’- and I exhausted every option until Honey joined our family. That day was the first time I’d ever felt that I had a safe, non-judgmental confidant to share my shadows of clinical depression and family turmoil with. Over the next six years, our path together would be filled with major life lessons. 

When we moved to Bend, Oregon, safety was a serious concern. Honey’s experience with physical abuse and abandonment (orphaned at 2 weeks old) collided with my fear and inexperience. I had a part-time ranch hand job in Tumalo and was referred to Lisa Murphy, a horsewhisperer, for help. Life Lessons (Horsemanship) with Lisa mark the beginning of a journey that I had no idea I needed to go on. A journey of learning to grieve, accept, forgive, trust, share and love. 

Both Honey and my life stories had parallels of loneliness, anger and intense self-preservation. We both needed inner-healing and peace. Through horse lessons, this space of healing was created. She demanded absolute vulnerability, authenticity, and transparency which caused me to explore, accept and release my shadows. It was in the lessons with Honey that I first connected to my truth, to a re-knowing of being whole, and to a belief that horses are a unique conduit for human growth and expression. Facilitating the incredible gift of healing by horses is my heart’s work and am inspired by the process of each of my students.”

Ann's Path to HORSE

“When I was a girl, I always wanted a pony.  Fervently.  At age fourteen we bought a former race horse and I spent as much time as possible for the next four years at the barn.  Though this was a beautiful experience in many ways, it was a connection built upon achievement.  


As a young adult, life took me away from horses. My formal education is in biology although my first job was as a dancer with Mordine and Company in Chicago. I went on to choreograph, direct and create original adaptations of novels for the stage and work as faculty in the theatre department at Columbia College Chicago.  

In moving to Bend to be close to family and fulfill my childhood dream of a backyard horse, I didn’t know whether I would continue to make theatre.  Yet in this time of stepping away from creating and teaching theatre, I have come to better understand and even more deeply appreciate all that creative and theatrical experiences offer.  The practices of observation, creative play, ensemble, collaboration and reflection are life skills that the arts organically teach us to embody.  

In meeting Jordanna, I have found a partner in developing new ways of engaging the arts as a means for self-discovery that is expanded through the powerful partnership with horses. I am so excited to share my love of the creative, collaborative and ensemble practices with the Mind Body Barn’s students.  Together we will discover the many ways that the expansion of our creative freedom, expression and self-understanding supports our partnership with horses.”