Laura Forest LCSW, a seasoned psychotherapist and Victoria Petersen, a professional horse trainer and instructor, have combined their talents and 18 years of friendship to partner up and create exceptional equine facilitated workshops. We offer a variety of unique personal growth workshops and wellness retreats guided by magnificent horses and expert human facilitators.
We’ve created a unique learning environment that guides you along a journey of transformation and personal growth. Using equine guided learning exercises, traditional therapeutic approaches, sacred ritual, expressive arts, music and nature-based practices, we are able to help you maneuver through the challenges that may be blocking your path towards living the life you want.
Victoria Petersen has been training horses and providing horsemanship lessons, professionally in Central Oregon for over 20 years. Her profound connection with horses has been present since before she could walk and her passion for working with them has been a guiding force throughout her life.
After years of training and competing with some of the most renowned equine athletes and trainers in the world, Victoria’s accomplishments within the equine industry left her feeling largely unfulfilled. Her desire to create more holistic programs centered around her deep respect for horses which led her to develop a unique and highly innovative program called Dynamic Horsemanship, a fusion of classical and compassionate horsemanship principals, somatic experiencing and spiritual awareness. Horsemanship for the mind, body and soul.
Victoria has been described by her students as inspirational, compassionate, non-judgmental and deeply connected with both horses and humans.
Victoria runs all of her programs out of her beautiful Cascadian Stables ranch in Bend, Oregon.
Our workshops take place among the stunning backdrop of Bend, Oregon. With over 300 days of famous Central Oregon sunshine, fresh juniper breezes and breathtaking open spaces, Bend is the perfect setting for changing lives. There is magic in the air here.
Cascadian Stables, the setting for each workshop, is located just 5 miles north of Bend in the quaint community of Tumalo. During our time together, we’ll experience the compassion and wisdom of horses in beautiful indoor and outdoor arenas beneath the beautiful Cascade mountain range.
As a young girl riding her beloved horse through the wooded forests of New England, Laura Forest experienced early on the joy and wonder of the human-to-horse connection. She developed a deep love and respect for horses and a strong belief in their spiritual and healing qualities. As a result of her own personal awakenings in the presence of horses, Laura decided to share their magic with others. Combining decades of experience as a licensed psychotherapist and trained Equine mental health specialist, Laura is the perfect person to guide you down the path of discovery, connection and purpose.
For the past decade, Laura has trained throughout the country with the top pioneers in the field of equine experiential learning and has been offering personal growth workshops employing horses for the past 10 years. She is recognized by the professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship as an Equine Specialist.
As a licensed Clinical Social Worker, Laura has served as an adjunct professor and supervisor for multiple graduate social work programs, holds numerous certifications specializing in trauma and recovery and is certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy. In addition to her work with horses, she has been in private practice for over 30 years.
With a deep respect and appreciation for each person’s individual journey, Laura creates a safe, compassionate and sacred environment for unbridled discovery, deeper connection to self and others and spiritual renewal and replenishment.