The Equus Effect

When The Equus Effect approached Ring’s End requesting a partnership to construct a new Round Pen, Ring’s End and Benjamin Moore were honored to be involved. The Equus Effect is a 501(c)(3) that uses purposeful engagement with horses to help veterans and others in high-stress situations develop the emotional fitness skills they need to return to their families and communities with the ability to rebuild and restore healthy, authentic relationships. The Equus Effect Program is experiential learning with horses, real, ground-based horsemanship skills (no riding involved) plus psycho-education to teach people in uniform how to respond rather than react to people and situations at home and in their communities. The Equus Effect believes that working with horses in this way can enhance self-awareness, and reveal how we come across to others in order to bring out the very best in ourselves.

The New Round Pen

The setting of the facility in Sharon, Connecticut is an integral part of the safe and supportive environment The Equus Effect provides. “The aesthetic is very important, because walking onto the farm, that is the first intervention,” says Co-Founder David Sonatore. “That is the first place people get to experience a shift, a change.” They wanted a rustic look for their new Round Pen, so Ring’s End Director of Paint Operations and Marketing, Scott Herling reached out to Benjamin Moore to use Arborcoat Translucent Oil Finish in a natural stain to not only showcase the beauty of the wood, but to also make sure it lasts. The outside of the Round Pen, as well as the additional barns on the property, are finished in Benjamin Moore’s Arborcoat Deck & Siding Solid Stain in Barn Red. “When you’ve been in harm’s way for a long time, it’s really nice to feel that peace and that sort of organic connection to the earth,” says David.

Somatic Experiencing with Horses

David and Co-Founder Jane Strong both stress the importance of having a clean, peaceful, open space to offer their clients to settle their nervous systems. “If we show that we care for the facility and the horses, they are more inclined to feel respected and cared for themselves,” Jane explains. In the Round Pen, clients learn to connect and collaborate with the horses in ways that build confidence and competence. The Equus Effect believes that because horses are highly sensitive to others’ intentions and emotions, they are perfect for teaching non-verbal communication skills, and patience. The hope is that clients who attend their four-session curriculum will take these skills back into their lives and regain the ability to engage with others in ways that are calm, clear, and connected.

To learn more about The Equus Effect, please visit their website.