We are building a wellness center in the beautiful Ojai Valley. Contact us for more information or to find out how you can help.
- We believe that we have the power to influence our healing.
- We believe that horses, art, movement, and nature can inspire positive change in our lives.
- We believe that wellness is more than being free from illness, but a dynamic process of change and growth.
The mission of White Horse Wellness Center is to help cancer patients and survivors, children and adults with special needs, veterans, seniors and their families get wellness through horses, art, therapeutic movement, and nature.
The wellness center is a peaceful place to rest and rejuvenate away from a medical setting. A supportive atmosphere facilitates exploration, learning and creativity. A ranch setting provides respite in a natural, outdoor space that allows the profound healing that's possible through horses and riding.
We're committed to improving the lives of everyone involved in our organization: our clients, volunteers, donors, staff, and community. This includes the horses, because everybody's got to love what they're doing for it to be great. And we're dedicated to making something great for the community.
We are a training organization; our commitment to continuous improvement is what makes us different and makes donor dollars go farther. This isn't to say that we're skimping on anything; we're going to spend more resources up front on things like training volunteers so that they can be better horse handlers and keep the horses' training maintained so that we don't have to pay for a professional to fix problems caused by poor handling. Additionally, volunteers become better horsemen and horsewomen and experienced volunteers can train incoming volunteers. This creates a cycle where interested volunteers can move up in the organization as they push skill and knowledge down the ladder, saving the organization money, but also providing a training system for future paid staff.
Ultimately, the Wellness Center will evolve into a sustainable, full-service retreat center with overnight accommodations, massage treatments, healthy cooking classes, sustainable gardening, meditation, outdoor adventure programs, and more.
Wellness is a word that can be woefully underused in our standard medical model of treating cancer, or any other disease or disability. Founder Lisa Tomlin was fortunate to have received care at the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara where wellness is part of their standard treatment plan and an integral part of her successful recovery from cancer.
The placebo effect has long proven just how important our mindset and perception can be. There is scientific evidence supporting that what a person thinks has a lot to do with how well she responds to treatment or recovers from disease and injury. Happiness and peacefulness increase the likelihood of positive outcomes not just in cancer treatment or when dealing with a disability, but ultimately, in every facet of life.
But, staying positive in the midst of a cancer diagnosis and treatment is no easy task. Besides the worry and pain, information comes from all directions. Friends and family may be scared and not know what to do, and it can be hard to ask for help. Positive distractions are few and far between, and escape from the medical environment can seem impossible. Having opportunities to try something new, receive emotional support, and experience social interaction with other people going through similar circumstances can make all the difference. White Horse Wellness Center provides the difference to those who need it.
For founder Lisa Tomlin, "Horses played a significant role in my own recovery from cancer, and my passion is sharing that experience with others." More about Lisa.
Animals, specifically horses, have no judgement about us. They don't care if we don't have any hair or have lost our breasts or ovaries to disease.They want to connect with us, as we are, and part of our experience as humans is to connect with one another. When we experience non-judgemental connection with another, be it a fellow cancer warrior or a horse, it can't help but have a positive effect. And when we ride, we can experience freedom and power we didn't know was possible.
Horses have a unique ability to see us for who we are and provide instant feedback. As herd animals, they have a lot in common with people in terms of their desire to socialize and ability to communicate and work together to stay safe. Their size makes them powerful, but as prey animals they are extremely sensitive and can be very gentle. Their natural abilities and instincts can remind us to stay present and their large size can provide opportunities to find courage in ourselves and overcome fears. (Excerpted from Reins of H.O.P.E. website)
We are just providing a therapeutic horseback riding experience, an art lesson, or yoga instruction. We can't provide the intangible, but we can provide tangible experiences that influence the intangible for participants.