Testimonials

One-to-one Equine Assisted Learning, April 2021

“I absolutely loved every minute of  the equine therapy sessions. It really opened me up to how much the world has to offer and taught me not to dwell on the past or ponder on the future. 

Thanks to your help and the help of your beautiful horses, I am continuously grateful for the present moment and I see beauty in all of the small parts of my day. 

I no longer live to the expectations of others but live in a way that feeds my soul. I never would have been able to open myself up in this way if it wasn’t for your help so for that, I am eternally grateful. Thank you for teaching me that I have the power to heal myself and I do not need to wait to be healed. Thank you Mary, Tara and horses! I look forward to reconnecting should I come to another crossroads in the future."

  

— E, age 20

Galway

One-to-One Equine Assisted Learning, April 2021

“My 17-year-old daughter  was really struggling with anxiety for many years. We tried different therapies over the years but none seemed to stick. Psychotherapy had helped  her a little.

 

She was not doing OK and sadly we could see that. She had decided to get healthy and lose weight, as her body image was always an issue. However what seemed like healthy life choices of meal planning and workouts soon became clear that this was being driven by anxiety and it had taken hold and made every decision for my daughter torture, she questioned everything she ate and then felt guilty about what she did eat. Even at school, she thought of nothing else and even watched food videos nonstop and looked to me for constant reassurance that she looked ok.

 

After three sessions I definitely could see a difference . She was more relaxed and contained in herself. She was more open to allowing herself a treat without crying for most of the evening. I noticed that she was not looking in the mirror and asking me if her face had got fat in the way she had been obsessing about. I know we have more work to do but to see results so quickly makes me excited to see where it will lead.

 

She never feels anxious about her session because she knows it will never be too much and she loves her time with Mary, the horses, and the surroundings. I wish we had found equine-assisted learning therapy years ago but am grateful to have it now.”

 

— M & J

Newport, Co. Mayo

"Courageous Heart" retreat, January 2020

“If you need a tune-up, a tune in or an audit on following your purpose and personal mission in life attend the Courageous Heart retreat with Mary Berkery and Dusty Staub. 

 

From the start, Mary and Dusty expertly nurture and gently facilitate attendees individually and on a group level. Their unique approach draws on diverse perspectives and wisdom. Mary’s experience in the field of equine therapy is phenomenal. Her love and understanding of the power of and connection between the horse and the human are powerful to experience. 

 

Courageous Heart retreat lifts the spirit, clarifies the mind, and nurtures the soul.”

— Monica Leech

Co. Waterford

One-to-one Equine Assisted Learning, 2020

“ I live  in high stress. Being with the horses I expericend calm in a way I normally cannot. It gave me time to think and get clear on important decisions 

 

— Raffaele

Manager, GI Group Corporation

Italy

One-to-one Equine Assisted Learning, 2020

“So much has been thrown at our youth this year. We teach them to be strong, take control of their lives, their future. Then a pandemic arrives which  changes all the goalposts. That's what happened in our house this year when our 18-year-old daughter suddenly faced battles where she had no idea of the rules and regulations. Adding in the uncertainties and you had a young woman cross and angry at the world and at herself for having no power to control it.  How can a session with Mary and her four legged magicians change that? I don’t know, but they did. 

What returned home after only one session was a person back in charge, fear was abated, calmness returned, and a return of the person she is. Many thanks." 

— R.

Co. Mayo

Half-day learning retreat, January 2019

"The sessions with Mary and her horses were more impactful than I had expected. I have always loved horses, though I’ve never ridden. As I had never done anything like this before, I

didn't really have any expectations around what might be gained, and was very pleasantly surprised at the experience. I gained a lot of insights in a very short period of time — much more so, I think, than if I had spent the same amount of time doing standard coaching. It was also a relaxing and soothing experience, and, unexpectedly, a lot of fun."

— Máire G, Ireland

Public speaker and speech writer

Mother and daughter one-to-one sessions, 2019

"Prior to meeting Mary our daughter was extremely anxious, she wasn't great at handling her emotions, extremely clingy, didn't like any kind of change and didn't want to take part in any group activities.

She was also afraid of dogs. She didn't want to go to the first session with the horses. However, within 10 minutes of meeting Mary she felt at ease and decided to meet the horses. She identified with the smaller horse and managed to rub and feed the horses. Our daughter couldn't wait to go back for the second session. In between, we could see her confidence growing. She was starting to find her feet.

On the second session, she became even more comfortable with all of the horses. Mary explained to me that I needed to give our child the time and space to figure things out for herself. It was after the second session that we saw even more results for our daughter as I was giving her space she so badly needed. She was also putting into practice how to deal with her emotions when she became overloaded. She appeared to be playing even more in the schoolyard with her peers and able to handle situations that previously would have had her upset for hours. She processed these events much better. She started doing more for herself unaided at home.

On the third session, our daughter took a dog on the lead and then a horse! This session was really amazing to see her break through her fear of the dogs as she initially didn't want to get out of the car. She also lead the small horse around the field. After that session, she started taking part in group PE and football training sessions at school. She realised she could do it.

On the 4th session, I think I learned a lot about myself. The horses taught me that I needed to stand up for myself and also to show my authority in a way that was clear and I would be heard. I put this straight into practice. Our little girl showed such resilience as we crossed fields together! Our daughter is much stronger now in herself. She isn't as clingy as she was previously. She is much more resilient and more able to adapt to change. She is happier in herself going into school and taking part in group activities. We are very thankful to Mary and her horses for all of the work so far. We have come such a long way in the 4 sessions. I would highly recommend sessions with Mary and her horses for any child or parent struggling with anxiety or any kind of life traumas."

— C.G.

Westport, Co. Mayo

"Angels in Our Landscape" 6-day residential retreat, May 2019

"Mary Berkery and Barbara Alexander interacted as co-facilitators for the six day “Angels in our Landscape" retreat.

The material presented, including Celtic history and magic, releasing burdens, acknowledging support, and identifying personal challenges, helped me find ways to open new doors and access ways to digest my own growth, so as to learn and to  transform. 

From this experience I take home with me much to incorporate into my regular life. With gratitude."

— Jane Pipkin

North Carolina, USA

Half-day couple Equine Assisted Learning retreat

"We worked as a couple and got down to our core issue. I felt empowered, energized and confident afterwards. In a luxurious environment Mary was professional with clear boundaries, yet warm and emphatic. An extraordinary experience with horses and with Mary as facilitator, that still works on me. Thank you!"

— G. Peterseil, Ireland & Germany

Architect, MRIAI

"Angels in Our Landscape" 6-day residential retreat, May 2019

"“Angels in our Landscape” was a magical retreat I attended in Ireland hosted by Mary Berkery (Ireland) and Barbara Alexander (Asheville, NC). They wove Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning with the heart and history of Ireland and its mystical spiritual side. Our leaders provided their unique styles and came together in their hearts, love of horses, and attention to each participant and her path, to provide a deep and heartfelt experience.

This retreat was held on a wonderful property with amazing views. The food was delicious and thoughtful and the horses were excellent teachers. I highly recommend this retreat."

— Kim Kupfever

Columbus, North Carolina

USA