Services at Healing Hooves Include:


Individual and Family Counselling

Over the last twenty years Healing Hooves has helped hundreds of people of all ages claim back their lives and rebuild relationships, including:
  • Families struggling with role and relationship issues
  • Children, youth and women who have witnessed and/ or experienced violence and abuse
  • Children, youth and women who have been sexually abused or exploited
  • Individuals struggling with anxiety or depression
  • Individuals who are self harming or suicidal
  • Adolescents and women struggling with eating disorders
  • Individuals with low self esteem
  • Individuals wishing explore personal growth and development
  • Individuals and families wishing to heal from past trauma and relationship struggles
  • Children and youth struggling with aggression and at risk of perpetrating violence
  • Youth struggling with addictions
  • And many more.

Approaches Healing Hooves counsellors are trained in and able to offer clients include:

  • Equine Facilitated Wellness - EFW. Also know as Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy, Equine Facilitated Mental Health.
  • Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT)
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
  • EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy)
  • Attachment Therapies

Referral Process

To make a referral or enquire about individual or family counseling simply contact us by email at   We start off the intake process with some information gathering by e-mail and/ or phone followed by an in person appointment. Individuals can self refer unless sessions are to be funded through CFSA or FSCD (see below) in which case a referral is required from a case worker.


Healing Hooves is fully funded as an approved service provider with Calgary and Area Child and Family Services, and Central Alberta Child and Family Services.  Funding has also been available through FSCD (Family Support for Children with Disabilities), McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association, Mountain View FCSS, Olds Neighbourhood Place and private insurance plans.   If you are claiming reimbursement through your insurance plan we provide you with a receipt with the required information for these purposes.

Parent Consulting

When working with children and youth wherever possible we recommend that we also support and work with a caregiving adult.  Working from a strong foundation in attachment we believe that a secure attachment with a healthy adult is critically important in a child's life and we do all we can to empower, secure, strengthen and heal that relationship.

Sue has completed intensive training with Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D. and is a graduate of Neufeld’s Facilitator Program ( As such Sue is certified to facilitate Dr. Neufeld's parenting programs and works with parents from this paradigm. Dr. Neufeld is a highly respected clinical psychologist with over 40 years of experience with children and those responsible for them.  A foremost authority on child development, he is an international speaker, a bestselling author (Hold On To Your Kids), and a leading interpreter of the developmental paradigm.

Dr. Neufeld's approach has also been built into the Professional Training offered at Healing Hooves and the Therapeutic Children's Stories.

EMDR Trauma Therapy

Sue McIntosh is trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) a well researched approach which has been shown to be effective with people who have experienced trauma.

Personal Development Workshops

Come join us on a journey of personal discovery, development and growth with our team of two and four legged healers and guides.  So often a day - or perhaps just a moment - with a horse can provide breakthroughs, insight and healing where years of more traditional work has not.  We invite you to come experience the acceptance, rest, empathy and joy that so many others have told us they first felt in the presence of a horse.

Our Personal Development workshops focus on a wide range of themes tailored to the specific needs and goals of each group.  These may include: Finding emotional rest, celebrating and strengthening the mother/ daughter relationship and bond, boundaries and assertiveness, leadership, addressing burnout and meeting your own needs when you are the caretaker, anxiety and alarm, feeling safe, frustration, emotional expression, and understanding sensitivity.

We offer two specific personal growth workshops each year: Care for the Carer designed for individuals in caregiving roles either professionally or personally and our Mother Daughter Weekends led by a mother/ daughter team and designed to celebrate and explore that special, while at times challenging, relationship!  Both meet certification requirements with EFW Canada.  We are also happy to design a personal development workshop specifically for your group (minimum group size of six, maximum ten).

Contact us at for more details, to confirm availability and to request a registration form

Personal development is a requirement for certification with Equine Facilitated Wellness Canada (formerly NAEFW).  For more information on the other training opportunities at Healing Hooves please refer to our Workshops and Resources page.

Group Counselling

Healing Hooves works with clients in groups for clients aged 6 to adult. This provides a powerful group dynamic which enhances the learning and healing process. Group counseling sessions are offered from April to June or September to November and will typically meet weekly for two hour sessions for six to 10 weeks. Camps are usually a week long and non residential. Group Counselling and Summer Camps focus on:

  • Attachment and Developmental Needs
  • Resiliency
  • Healing from Family Violence and Abuse
  • Self Esteem
  • Eating Disorders
  • Boundaries and Empowerment

If you are interested in bringing a group to Healing Hooves simply contact us by email at

Equine Facilitated Professional Development ("EFPD")

EFPD is a hands-on approach to professional development which supports goals and initiatives in a non-threatening environment. Rather than just talking about topics or concerns, participants explore them experientially with specially trained horses. Carefully tailored EFPD exercises provide individuals and teams with motivation, insight and new approaches. The horses give participants immediate feedback on communication styles and problem solving approaches, revealing strengths and weaknesses as leaders and team members. They can show you what you need to change to achieve goals, improve performance and to gain the cooperation and respect of others.

Workshops typically comprise a variety of EFPD exercises which might include teams working together and communicating on a task with a horse, working through conflicting goals, or exploring issues of trust between team members. Other exercises might encourage lateral thinking or explore leadership styles. Each exercise is debriefed with participants by qualified facilitators.

Working with the horses is a fun and memorable experience - exploring professional development issues in an EFPD workshop allows you to build on existing strengths, explore challenges and find effective solutions - all within a non-threatening and fun environment.

Healing Hooves Corporate Experience

Prior to establishing Healing Hooves Sue McIntosh had over ten years of experience working for major Management Consulting firms - most recently as a senior manager with KPMG. Sue has extensive business, analytical, management and client service experience. Responsibilities included project management, group facilitation and interviews, in organizations facing and undergoing change. Projects focused upon change and risk management, human resources, corporate governance, fraud investigation and environmental management. Sue has worked with clients in the UK, Switzerland, USA, and throughout Canada, leading project teams in excess of twenty professionals. With Healing Hooves Sue has provided EFPD services to a wide variety of corporations including Oil and Gas and Non Profit organizations.

What Happens During an EFPD Workshop?

EFPD workshops are tailored to the specific needs and objectives of an organization, group or corporation. Most workshops comprise a number of EFPD exercises which might include teams working together and communicating on a task with a horse, working through conflicting goals, or exploring issues of trust between team members. Each exercise is debriefed with the team to identify strengths and learnings. Much of what happens with the horses and within teams during an EFPD exercise is a metaphor for other situations. In some cases the learning can be most powerful and non-threatening if the debrief is left in the metaphor, however in many cases the greatest value arises when we transfer what is learned with the horses to similar situations in the office or the boardroom. For example, if a team is struggling with communicating clearly within itself or with its customers these dynamics will likely show up clearly when that team is asked to move a horse through an obstacle horse without a rope. Identifying what the team needs to do differently with the horse can open the door to making similar changes back in the office. Similarly when an organization is facing major change, employees may be grappling with many difficult and challenging feelings and behaviours. A specifically designed EFPD exercise which challenges the team to work through changing parameters and uncertainties may help that team identify, explore and find appropriate ways to address those feelings and behaviours.

Key Benefits of EFPD

Groups participating in EFPD workshops have noted the following benefits:
  • Improved communication within teams, across organizations, with customers and business partners
  • Increased self awareness about communication or leadership styles, and impact on others
  • Greater team cohesion, understanding and mutual respect
  • Enhanced lateral thinking and problem solving ability
  • Individuals and teams provided with motivation, insight and new approaches
  • Immediate feedback on communication styles and problem solving approaches, revealing strengths and weaknesses as leaders and team members
  • Shows you what you need to change to achieve goals, improve performance and to gain the cooperation and respect of others
  • A non threatening and fun approach to address and explore real issues
EFPD serves to support corporate goals and team building initiatives in a fun environment, providing employees with motivation, insight and new approaches.