Bailee is a local therapist who talks with us about using Equine Assisted Therapy to help with anxiety. We joke about how horses are HIPAA compliant, and I share my story of overcoming my fear of horses.   

  • Bailee’s story about how she became an Equine Assisted Therapist without being a “horse person.” 
  • What is Equine Assisted Therapy?
  • Different models of Equine Assisted Therapy.
  • How does equine therapy help with anxiety and other mental issues?
  • Human-animal emotional connection. God says take care of the animals.
  • Horses read and respond to human emotions like anxiety.
  • Stories about how equine therapy helps people with anxiety

Resources and Links:

Unbridled Changes Website
Bailee Teter
Book: Hope Rising-Stories from the Ranch of Rescued Dreams

Support the show 

More Podcast Episodes

Transcript of Episode 24

Hope for Anxiety and OCD episode 24. Today on the show, Bailee Teter comes on to discuss Equine Assisted Therapy. You even get to hear a little story about how I overcame my own horse phobia that I had developed from a bad horseback riding experience as an adolescent. Without further ado, here is our interview.

Carrie: : Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

Bailee: I’m originally from Texas and moved to Nashville in 2014. I came here to go to Lipscomb to complete my master’s in clinical counseling and ended up meeting my husband here, and so I stayed. We really love where we are and our church community has been such a blessing to us. So we really love it. 

Carrie: That’s awesome. 

Bailee: Fun fact, aside from equine counseling or equine-assisted counseling, I also direct a Christian dance program. So when people ask me what my job is I’m like, “I work with horses and I teach dance classes.”

Carrie:  Those were two pretty unique interests. 

Bailee: Yeah. They’re not anything I would have ever planned for myself. If somebody would have told me like in 2016, in the future, you’ll be directing a dance program and doing equine-assisted counseling, I would have been really stressed out about how to make it happen and really confused because I’ve danced my whole life but I did not grow up with horses. And so before I started working as an equine assisted counselor, I didn’t really have much background with horses. So that’s been a really cool story in and of itself. 

Carrie: Tell us how you got on that track because when people go to graduate school for counseling. Obviously, there’s a lot of different places that they can take that. And so how did you get into the equine-assisted route?

Bailee: Well, I didn’t go to school for equine. I actually have a really big heart for using creativity to help people heal and help people grow. Someday, a long-term dream of mine is to have my own organization that helps people connect to God through creative outlets. And through that comes healing. And so in the counseling program, I did my specialization in play therapy.

We did toys and sand tray and creative arts and music and all of these things were my electives in the counseling program. After school, I worked for a community mental health organization for a year and a half. I was really burned out. It was hard for me to be in an office. It was hard for me to be sitting still.

I felt really isolated. I didn’t feel like I had a lot of support just where I was. I was contracted into a school. And so I was at the school, but not part of the school. I learned a lot. I worked with a lot of different ages of kids and teens, and a lot of different things about case management too, but it was not the place for me.

I am not an office person, which you can see that now by the jobs that I have. So I had contact with a professor from Lipscomb and he knew for probably about six months that I was just really unhappy and I was searching and I was praying a lot like, “Lord, what are my options? Where do I go from here?”

I don’t even know if I like counseling. I just did this degree and now I’m confused and really burned out. And after about six months, one day, he was just like, “You know what? You need to go meet my friend. She’s interested in art and she does something with horses.” I was like, “okay.” So I went out to Unbridle Changes is where we are in Goodlettsville.

And I observed two sessions, two days of sessions. And she, at the end, Don, who’s the other therapist out there was like, “well, if your professor trusts you. I’m really good friends with him. I trust you. You want to join us?” That was that.

Carrie: That’s amazing networking right there. I love it when that works out.

Bailee: Yeah. And I feel like I’m not a good networker. So that was all God. 

Carrie: Yeah. I know for me, like when I’ve been in certain environments, whether it’s counseling or other things. Maybe you’re not this intuitive, but was there a feeling or a sense like when you went to Unbridled Changes, you’re like “Oh almost like I can breathe. This is where my soul is meant to be.”

Bailee: Yeah. Definitely. Every time I drive over the hill, when you get there, we’re at the end of a hill, we’re not long off of long hollow pike, but every time I drive over that hill and you just see, we think there’s about 50 acres of fields and horses. it’s just like I’m here. It’s a peaceful place. All of the staff members are believers. And so there’s just this connection. We all have that fundamental similarity. Even though we’ll see clients that are not necessarily Christian and we respect where they’re coming from and their stories, but just having that as the core. There’s peace for sure on the property and the horses add a big part to that for sure.

Carrie: That’s awesome. So tell us for, those who don’t know, which is probably a lot of our listeners haven’t had interactions with equine-assisted therapy. What does that look like? 

Bailee: Part of the story where I got involved too. I did not have to be a horse person to do this type of therapy. There’s different models. I am trained in EAGALA, which is Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association. There are a few different models. I think one is called Path where they do therapeutic riding or the people ride the horses. And there’s some just different versions out there, but through EAGALA you have an equine specialist and you have a mental health person. And I am the mental health certified person. I did my training with another girl who is an equine specialist.  And to do that she had to have over 6,000 hours of working with horses and the horse background and all. Knowing their personalities and their behavior. We worked together and all of our sessions and clients keep their feet on the ground.

And very rarely do we teach them any kind of horsemanship. Sometimes in our program or for me, we’ll step outside of the EAGALA model and teach us a little bit of horsemanship so the kids or the adults will feel a bit more comfortable. But usually, we keep our feet on the ground and let the horses have free rein to interact with the clients, whoever they want to.

There’s actually some research that has come out, I think probably in the last 10 years. The most recent article I saw was 2017. There’s some preliminary research about something called coupling where horse heart rates and human heart rates will start to mirror each other when they’re in close proximity.

And so there was one research that had three different scenarios in this situation where the horse’s heart rate was closest to the human was when the horse had free reign in this situation. They weren’t being restrained. They weren’t behind the bar. They had free rein and they could choose to come and interact with the person.

So that’s kind of how a lot of our situations go. We’ll bring a horse into the arena. We’ll have a client create something out of props or toys. Kind of a very common one early on, it shows me what it feels like to be you. So they’ll build something out of toys or props or different things. And then we’ll kind of watch the horse.

And a lot of times that horse will approach like as they’re building and show curiosity and show like their sensitivity to what’s going on with the person. The reason horses are so effective is because they’re naturally prey animals in the wild. So like a dog, if it gets scared or if it gets hurt, it’ll fight back.

A horse usually won’t. It’ll run. They are so sensitive to their environment. They’re so sensitive to whatever is going on that when they look at a human they expect the human to kind of be quote unquote, “the predator.” And so they’re sensitive to what’s going on with people. And so if you come in showing a lot of anxiety, you’re carrying a lot of anxiety.

Even if another person could look at you and not tell, the horse can tell, and the horse will respond to you differently whether you’ve got anxiety, depression, trauma, they can pick up on some of those things. 

Carrie: That creeps me out a little bit. So if you go in there and you’re anxious, the horse runs from you, or is the horse kind of like a little more empathetic than that?

Bailee: I would say it depends on the horse. It wouldn’t necessarily run. Usually what we’ve noticed is it will kind of put its head up or it’ll be on alert a little bit. But in coordination with the counseling, we’ll say, “can you go help that horse be calm?” And so as the person is trying to help the horse calm down, they essentially calm themselves down as well.

And just that connection with the horse to the human. It’s like an externalization of whatever’s going on inside your heart. The horse will kind of act on it. Some of them are just really empathetic and can tell, especially the ones we’ve used a long time for therapy though, they’ll be gentle. 

Carrie: I’m sure there’s a selection process that goes into which horses would be good therapeutic leave versus not that’s already been done by the organization.

Bailee: Yes. EAGALA’s model is that any kind of horse could be used for therapy. The horses that we use most of them are all-natural Tennessee walking horses because the farm is also like a breeding farm. We have 25 to 30 horses, but also the equine specialist, that’s kind of their job to be able to know horse personality. Which ones are sensitive to the weather. Which ones are sensitive to kids versus adults. We choose which one we think would work best. 

Carrie: Do people usually work with the same horse over time, or do they work with different horses? Kind of, depending on what their needs are?

Bailee: That depends on the person too, and the situation. I have one client, she is really, really connected with a specific horse. Every time she comes, she at least has a little bit of time to spend with that horse. She just feels really comforted by this horse, really safe with this horse. So even if we have her doing something, and it didn’t feel do we have her doing something in the arena, she’ll always at least get a few minutes with this one particular horse.

And a few weeks ago she came and that horse, I actually got a little nervous cause the horse was just like laying on the ground. And I was like, “oh no, was the horse okay?” But it was just kind of a calm day. And usually if you approach a horse that’s laying down, it’ll get up.  Kind of that prey instinct as well.

But this woman was having kind of a rough week. She was feeling overwhelmed. She was feeling like there was a lot going on, but she’s so connected to this horse. She walked over there. The horse looked at her and then laid its head back down. And so she crouched down next to the horse and it was heading it and stroking it. And when she came back she was like, “oh, I feel so much better. I feel so much calmer here.”

Carrie: Wow. That’s awesome. I think what’s interesting too because I’ve looked into other kinds of therapy that use animals like animal-assisted therapy with dogs or things of that nature. And sometimes people talk to their animals and I have cats and I talk to my cat.

Sometimes I like to think we have little conversations. But there’s something about this sense of being in the presence of an animal. And now that I’m doing more telehealth therapy, there’s something about people having their animals in session too. [00:13:08] That’s really powerful. That certain level of comfort or draw that they can get from that. And I wonder if that’s a part of this equation too. A lot of times people who have challenges in their relationships, they feel like they can connect to animals more easily than the other people around them.

Bailee: Yeah. I can definitely see that. Because animals don’t judge us and they hold secrets very well. We’ve told clients multiple times if you feel like you can’t tell us something, you can go tell the horse cause they keep secrets really well. I definitely think there’s something to that relationship between human and animals. I mean, God created it that way. Even in the beginning, he said, take care of the animals. There’s a special connection there. 

Carrie: Your horses are fully HIPAA compliant. 

Baillee: Yes, definitely. They don’t tell the secrets. They keep them. 

Carrie: What are some of the issues that you see people coming in with? Obviously this is a show focused on anxiety and OCD, so feel free to speak to that, but I’m sure there are a variety of issues that people seek equine-assisted therapy for.

Bailee: Anxiety is a big one for sure. Just the nature of being outside in creation without the constant barrage of information and technology and in a new environment. I think the environment in itself helps reduce anxiety and then along with the horses. So we do get quite a bit of anxiety, trauma, depression.

I’ve been there for about two years. In the past two years, we’ve had kids that come with sensory issues that are also just looking for ways to cope with a lot of that and getting to touch the horses and feel the ground and smell the smells. That is just really beneficial for them.

Relationship things, family conflict, adjustment, a big variety, anything you would see a regular therapist for equine would work for as well. 

Carrie: I’ve always thought for myself that I should, at some point or another, pursue equine therapy because I don’t have a positive relationship with horses.

And I thought maybe I should try to improve my horse relationships at some level. I was scared. Absolutely somewhat terrified of horses for many years. Not that I had to be around them. It didn’t cause problems in my life enough to go to therapy over it, but I had a traumatic horseback riding experience when I was 16 years old and basically was just kind of thrown on a horse.

And it was like, “Hey, pull the reins this way to go right, pull this way to go left, pull back and say whoa if you need to stop.” And that was pretty much my horse instruction. There was no, let’s walk around the corral a little bit or anything of that nature. And the horse took off just running because there was a break in between us and the next trail horse.

And they were kind of trained to fill in the gaps. So that’s what the horse was doing. Just filling in the gap. And I was so nervous. I was of course very anxious and screaming because that was the only thing I was taught. And I’m bouncing on the horse and I get off of there and I was like, “I don’t like this. I’m never riding a horse again. This was an awful experience, blah, blah, blah.” And so I wish tried to push myself a little bit to do things because I feel like I’m always asking my clients to be brave and to try new things and to step outside of their comfort zone.  

About a couple of years ago, I was taking a day off and I decided to go to Land Between the Lakes. Have you ever been to Land Between the Lakes? It is a big area to fall. So for those who don’t know is this just this big like park area on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee. And they have all kinds of things. They have a place where you can drive through and see buffalo. And that was super cool. And they have a planetarium and tons of hiking trails.

I saw that they had this little sign that said horseback riding, and I had absolutely no plans to go horseback riding, but I thought, here’s your opportunity to get over your fear horses. And you should just go in here. Don’t give yourself time to talk out of it. Just get over there and, and talk to the people.

So I explained to them, I said, “Look, this was my experience. I had a very traumatic horse experience but I’d like to go horseback riding.” And they said, “This horse is so old. It will not run. It’s not even going to down upon you.” It just walks through the woods. It’s very relaxing. And I was the only person, I guess because it was a weekday and I was the only person on the trail ride with the trail guide. And so I worked through. I made friends with the horse before I got on and I worked through my fear of horses. So now I guess I don’t need to go.

I’ve always had a curiosity or an interest in it. And I think a lot of people don’t really realize that this is an opportunity for them. I would say, especially if someone has been through a lot of talk therapy where they have a hard time maybe articulating or opening up about things. Do you feel like pursuing these more creative approaches to therapy like a good avenue or a good route to try?

Bailee: Yeah, absolutely. I remember in grad school, I don’t even remember exactly which project it was. It was in research class and as a dancer, I’ve always been interested in the way that creativity impacts our brains and our emotional wellbeing. And I feel like we are more like God when we are creating than any other time. And so I did some research on just research articles and looking up things. And there were some studies, I think they came out of somewhere in Europe that said our brains connection when we are doing experiential therapy is so different than when we do talk therapy. Especially because we have learned how to build up barriers and convince ourselves how to answer and respond to things in very structured and safe ways when we use our words. But when we use art, when we use toys, when you do sand tray, when we’re moving, even being active, like with the horses, experientially, our bodies are processing things. Our minds are processing things that bypass the language part of our brain.

And so I definitely think that any kind of experiential therapy is helpful when people kind of get to a stuck place in therapy, or if they just want to try something different. I think that equine therapy is really helpful in combination with talk therapy. I kind of do a mix of both in my sessions, and I know that we’ve had therapists bring their clients out to the farm to do one or two off sessions with us just to gather more information or to gain more awareness for the client.

Carrie: That’s an interesting route too. I hadn’t really thought of that. So, if someone is looking for equine-assisted therapy, what do they need to look for? What kind of training would you recommend that they searched for?

Bailee: I think I mentioned earlier, I know of at least two different types of equine-assisted therapy. One is EAGALA, which is what I’m trained in. The other one is Path. They’re both therapeutic. Path is therapeutic riding, so you get on the horse. You’re engaging the horse a little bit, probably what you did when you went to land between the lakes, building that bond, that relationship with the horse.

There’s a really cool book that I read a couple of years ago. I think it’s called Hope Rising. And it’s just stories about kids somewhere in the Northwest who came out of a traumatic situation and they were paired with a horse who came out of a traumatic situation. And they learned and they became friends with each other and they grew and it was horsemanship.

So that was a very unique thing in that situation. There’s a lot of benefit to therapeutic horsemanship I think, like learning how to walk a horse, how to ride a horse, how to train a horse. But what I do is not horsemanship. Like I said earlier, we let the horses just be free and interact on their own accord.

So I think you would want to determine what you’re looking for in equine-assisted therapy. Primarily, if you’re looking for counseling, you want to make sure that you have a credentialed counselor. Somebody that knows what they’re doing and what they’re talking about. I would say somebody that aligns with your beliefs.

If you want a Christian therapist, you can find Christian equine therapists. You can find people that are marriage specific. There’s a variety around Nashville. There’s really quite a few. But then make sure that the people that you’re working with are also credentialed or trained with a specific program because you wouldn’t want to just show up to somebody’s house and they brush their horse and they call it therapy.

And it’s not really therapy. So you want to just check their background, their resources. And I would say too, making sure that the horses are treated ethically. Because if you’ve got a location, that’s got one or two horses and they’re seeing 20 clients a week, that’s not going to be good for the horse’s wellbeing.

They get burned out too. They give a lot in a session. We have quite a few that they have been so involved deeply in sessions that when we are finished with them, we have to tell the other therapists. “This horse needs a break. They’re done for the day.” So having like a variety of horses or just a plan in place for the horses get burned out. That’s part of the equine specialist job is to look out for the wellbeing of the horses. 

Carrie: That’s awesome. That’s really neat. It’s cool that they have that emotional connection and they get worn out as well. And then they need a rest. 

Bailee: They sure do. We’ve had some really, really cool sessions of just the horses feeling so much of what’s going on inside these people. I’m thinking of one specific incident.

We had a kid whose family was going through a lot of changes, a lot of chaos. There was some addiction involved and the kid kept telling me, “I’m fine. I’m fine.” And we were just like, “There’s no way you’re fine” like to that language, setting up that barrier. And we brought in the specific course, and typically we don’t tell clients the horse’s names because we don’t want them to have preconceived notions, we let them pick names themselves.

But I’ll tell you the horse’s name to make this story easier to understand. We brought in John Henry. It’s because if you have a best friend it’s named something and then we tell you that that horse has your best friend’s name it might change the way you view the horse.

And we want them to be as blank of a canvas as they can be, at least in the beginning, so that we can put our own expectations and our own projections onto the horse and deal with it that way. We’ve had people call a horse, that horse has called math. That one is English. That one is social studies. It worked out that way because they’re struggling in one of those subjects.

So there’s so many different ways that you can do it. This specific incident, this kid kept telling us he was fine and his mom was like, “I’m just not sure he’s fine like there’s so much going on.” And we brought John Henry into the arena and something happened, but John Henry started running circles. Running in circles, he started bucking, throwing his head around, just huffing and puffing and snorting. And this is a big horse, when he stands up on his hind legs he is tall. After he kind of calmed down and we looked at that kid and then we said, “well, what do you think about that?”And he was like, he had his arms crossed and he kind of had his brow frown and he was like, “Nothing. I don’t feel anything.”

And we’re like, but you reacted like your body reacted. We can see that you reacted and so that was a place where we were able to start getting some of those. We specifically noticed this happened, or he reacted this way even though his words didn’t want to tell us something was going on in his heart. And eventually it came to that. The way that horse was acting, represented how he felt inside.

Carrie:  Wow. That’s so neat. That’s really cool. Yeah. It’s almost like the horse gave him a language that he didn’t have, 

Bailee: Yeah. That’s definitely a big part of it, for sure. 

Carrie: Are there any other stories or things that you wanted to share about how you’ve seen equine-assisted therapy be helpful for people with anxiety?

Bailee: I had a couple that kind of came to mind when I thought of this question. Another John Henry story is he’s a really good therapy horse. He’s actually had some traumatic experiences, so he is very in tune with people. I think they say that horses will either go to the extreme where they’re really not interested in people, not interested in anything, or they will become really gentle and really sensitive. He’s a really sensitive horse.

So one of my very first sessions was actually with the kid who was experiencing a lot of anxiety and irritability, but he was non-verbal. And so his parents brought him. They were just hoping that something more hands-on and something more natural would be helpful for him. And so my equine specialist at the time, she gets John Henry because we know he’s a pretty good horse, like with kids. And she had him on a rope because she was a little nervous about how the kid would respond. So usually we let them go free, but she kind of had him. She was sort of controlling the situation and we were trying to get the kid, “Hey, come pet the horse.”

The horse can see that like no response from him at all. He completely ignored us, sat down on the ground, and started building piles of dirt. And we were like, “okay, this is not going how we expected it to go.” And John Henry is pulling at the rope and acting kind of irritable, kind of crazy.

There was like a few cats around and they were just like meowing like there was just a lot of chaos in the situation. And I told my equine specialist, I said, how about just let him off the rope and see what happens. She was like, well, are you sure? I’m like, yeah, let’s just let them off. And so she let him off and he made a beeline for the kid kind of quick.

And then he slowed down until he got to a really gentle last step right up behind the kid and put his mouth down to the kid’s head. And when he touched a kid on the head the little kid turned around and looked right at John Henry. And that was the first interaction of anything in his environment

we had seen him do besides the dirt. So for the rest of the session, that kid would play in the dirt a little bit and then turn around and look at the horse. And if he moved, John Henry would move and he would stay right there with him. And at one point the kid became really fascinated with this horse, his feet, which most horse professionals be like, “Don’t get near the feet. Don’t get near the feet.”

So my equine specialist got a little nervous, but then she noticed that horse wasn’t moving a single muscle. He was so aware that this kid was by his feet. He was so aware of what was going on with the kid that he was totally still. Just after that, the kids started opening up more, started interacting with us more. We got more eye contact. His parents said he realized he was less anxious at home. So that was a really sweet one just because it’s kind of unique in that he wasn’t verbal. He couldn’t do talk therapy.

And so using the horses and using the environment was really cool. And then I had another.. These are a little shorter. That first one was a little long. So I know, remember one, this client, she was in her mid twenties. She came from a really chaotic home environment, had a lot of trauma, anxiety, and depression including some suicidal ideation and she had tried talk therapy. She really didn’t connect with her therapist. It was not a good situation. So she came out to see us. And so we invited her to spend a few minutes outside with the horses.

Just a lot of times we’ll say, go make friends with the horses or go, just figure out what it means to be still with horses. Depending on what the people bring we’ll give them a prompt and send them out into the field with horses. And this time we just said, “What does it mean for you for your heart to be at rest? “What does it mean for that anxiety to come down and that depression to release?” And she stayed out there for, I don’t know, 10 to 15 minutes. She came back and her face looked completely different. And she had spent a lot of time with a specific horse. And I was like, “so what did you learn?” She was like, “Well, you know, I realized I don’t have to work so hard. I don’t have to fight all the time. These horses, I enjoy their company just because they’re here and they enjoy mine just because I’m here. I have value because I exist.” And that was just like such a light bulb moment for her and just totally shifted her perspective of herself and of her value in the world.

And then another one was a woman who is about 40 and she had walked through a season with miscarriage and just had a lot going on grief, anxiety in relation to like what would happen in the future. Just a lot of baggage that comes with that as well. And so we gave her the prompt to just go see where she feels like she can actually connect, which horse she feels connected to. And she ended up really spending a lot of time with one of my favorites and her name is Gypsy. The woman came back and she was telling us about why she felt like she connected with Gypsy. And she just felt so much calmer when she was with her like the horse could really understand her. And she spent some time talking to the horse. We don’t know what she said but you know, Gypsy HIPAA compliant, she keeps her secrets that she was just out there for a while. And she was telling us all these things and telling us about her season of the miscarriage.

And I was actually able to share in that moment that Gypsy had also had a miscarriage. And it’s that, like the client, she just started crying and she was like, “I just knew. I knew there was something she understands me.” So after that, each time she came back, she would just feel really connected to Gypsy and did a lot of work with that horse.

Carrie:  That’s so cool. Towards the end of every podcast, I like to ask the guests to share a story of hope, which is a time that you received hope from God or another person. 

Bailee: We could talk about this all day. 

Carrie: It’s a good topic. 

Bailee: It really is. And especially for the time that we’re in right now, we feel like hope is elusive to some people.

For me, I feel like it has been such an anchor. And I hope it’s definitely in the Lord, but in the dance program, I teach, I get to write a spiritual curriculum each year. And I felt like this year, the Lord put on my heart the theme to be the promises of God and just took that scripture from Hebrews 6 where God makes a promise to Abraham and he’s like, “I will bless you and I’ll give you many descendants.”

And it says that God had nothing bigger to swear by. So he made an oath on his own name and it says, when God makes a promise, he cannot break it. He cannot lie. And because of that, it gives us strength because we can trust that he is who he says he is. That hope is an anchor for our soul. I picture that as like putting my heart on something that’s stable rather than on like the world around me. I felt like that was so important for me in this past year because it’s the story of everything in 2020. Everything has shown to be shakable. The world has been completely shaken. Everything has been ripped out from underneath us.

Things have changed. People have died. There’s so much I want my students to know. I want my students to know that God is so firm. And that’s where I’ve really found my hope. When he says he will bring all things under his rule and he will renew heaven and earth.

He’s not joking. He’s not playing games. His word is secured. I’ve seen God do many things, transform lives, speak identity, serve on a prayer team at my church too, and just seeing him work in that. As I was thinking about this, I thought of just this cool concept. I had my first garden this past year.

And it was a total experiment. I was like, I don’t know if this is going to work. I don’t think I have enough sunshine, but here we go. And it was abundant. I had so many cucumbers that I didn’t even eat them. It was amazing. And so I’m planning for my next year. And last week I was doing some garden prep. So, do you know what one of the best fertilizers for a garden is? 

Carrie: Is it horse manure?

Bailee: It is. It is because they eat so well. All the grass. So last a couple of weekends ago, I got it from a place in town in Nashville, and I went over and got buckets full of manure. Buckets full of manure to transport in my car.

I don’t have a truck. And I came and I was like spreading it out all over my garden and just in preparation for this next season. And then it was just, God was just teaching me more through this. I work with horses all the time and we get the good parts of them. We see the way that they interact, we see their hearts, we see their compassion, but the manure is kind of gross. The poop is gross. The clients don’t like to walk around like, “Oh, it’s horse poop.” And I’m like, “well, it’s part of having a horse.” There’s some gross parts. And then planting my garden, what I wanted was those gross parts because that’s what eventually will break down and out of that becomes beautiful things.

And so just like the Lord takes our broken stuff and he brings redemption and beauty out of broken things is just the way the garden works. Come this fall or come this spring and summer out of that horsemen, there will be grown seeds of nourishment and beauty and that’s just been really hopeful for me.

If nothing, I feel like God is a God of redemption. He brings beauty out of brokenness. So just thinking like using horseman manure to bring beauty and a garden, that’s just given me some hope recently. 

Carrie: I love that. That’s really what the show’s all about is giving people hope and seeing that God can take the hard parts of our story and the painful things and make something beautiful out of it. Thank you for coming on and sharing all that. This has been Inspirational but also so informative. There were so many just different little nuggets that you got to share with us. 

Bailee: Thank you for having me. It’s so fun to get to talk about it. I love what I do, and I know a lot of people don’t really understand it. So it’s fun to get to explain a little bit more in detail. 

Carrie: Awesome. 


I love having these types of interviews on the show because we’re all about increasing hope here. And if you’ve found that one particular type of counseling didn’t work for you, or you feel like I don’t know that I could do the whole talking thing, or that’s not a good fit for my child, this might be something to look into as an option. 

We have some exciting interviews coming up on the podcast, as well as a very special mother’s day edition. Next week, I will be discussing a giveaway in honor of our 25th episode. So make sure that you stay tuned for that as well. I’m also asking you to save the date of May 15th. We are going to have our very first webinar on reducing shame. So what I’m hoping to do through these webinars is have a little bit more of a time for me to present some information, as well as have follow-up questions and answers. Or if you have questions about shame that you would like me to address during the webinar, I certainly can do that.

Please feel free to send those questions through our website contact form And we will see you on the webinar at 10:00 AM central time on May 15th. As always, thank you so much for listening. 

Hope for Anxiety and OCD is a production of By The Well Counseling in Smyrna, Tennessee. Our original music is by Brandon Mangrum and audio editing completed by Benjamin Bynam. Until next time it may be comforted by God’s great love for you.