Where it all began
The Wind Horse Center For Equine Assisted Healing was established by Elizabeth Mitchell, LCSW in 2019. Prior to forming The Wind Horse Center, Elizabeth ran a for profit equine assisted therapy program for seven years. In 2018 she began the task of changing her business to a a non-profit organization with the goal of offering more services to those in need. Elizabeth has over 20 years’ experience being a mental health therapist. As the worked with people in a traditional office setting, she felt there might be other ways to reach people that didn’t involve traditional office therapy. In 2013 she became certified by EAGALA as an Equine Assisted Mental Health Therapist.
Are you wondering where the name of The Wind Horse Center originated?
The name of our organization came from a Choctaw Legend called The Tale of the Wind Horse. It is a story of something being taken from us, as trauma, depression, grief often does, and being made whole through a horse’s love and the healing journey.
At a time when day and night were still deciding who comes first, there lived a horse that will never been seen again. The horse was not one that would become as the dying buffalo, for this horse had no enemies. He was the last of his kind.
The reason this horse wouldn’t be seen again was because of love.
The Wind Horse was the fastest and gentlest of all the Indian ponies. He felt no fear, there was no one who would harm him. If a wounded Indian need a ride, Wind Horse was there to care and carry the Indian.
One day, as Wind Horse was feeling being free, he heard a cry for help. He ran to the edge of the forest and saw a child. He was crippled and very young and struggled every day to his life to walk. All his life he’d lived alone, for with his bad leg no one wanted him. Wind Horse leaned down so the boy could climb on his back.
The boy, who had no name, could not believe this beautiful Horse would come to him as a friend. As he rode Wind Horse, he could feel the freedom the Wind Horse felt. It was as if he were whole again.
The Wind Horse knew the boy’s leg couldn’t be fixed or healed and decided to take him to the Indian Hunting Grounds. There everything was made whole and there was no fear or need. Wind Horse felt sad that such a young boy should have to go the Grounds but he knew it was best.
As they traveled the boy began to talk about his hopes for the future. He would run, find friends and a family that loved him. As Wind Horse listened, he began to feel the love for the boy.
“Yes,” Wind Horse thought, “this is my last ride. I have found one that needs the feelings I can give. I will spend the rest of my time with one who can give feelings that I need.”
Wind Horse nuzzled the boy’s head. He slowed and as the boy began to recognize this was his final home. The boy was afraid. But as he dismounted, he realized all fear, hurt and hunger were gone. Wind Horse made no move to leave and the boy knew that the horse had also made his last journey.
Wind Horse remained by the boy’s side. He had never brought his riders to the Hunting Grounds and he was not familiar with the place. He had a new world to explore and a friend to explore it with. As the Wind Horse and the boy walked into their new world the Indian people felt a great sadness. He prayed to the Great Spirit to send a reminder to the Indian people of his friendship. And with the Wind Horse’s prayer the horse was given to the Indian People as a friend.