EAL Helping Children
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Our Mission Statement

Equine Escape is a 501(c)3 charitable organization located in Goodrich, MI. We provide Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) to 'at risk' youth, first responders, as well as veterans and their families. Participants are partnered with horses by certified facilitators where they learn through observation and experience. Our mission is to help our clients not only where they are now, but to also build a 'toolbox' they can carry with them as they face future obstacles in their life. Our mentor program helps past participants give back to their communities by mentoring new clients entering the program. Our veteran and first responder program is 100% free and supported through donations and sponsors.  

Meet The Founder

Rachel's love for horses and her desire to help others through tough times is what drove her to start Equine Escape.  When she found herselves hanging out with the horses, grooming them, interacting with them and even mucking stalls, she realized how therapeutic it can truly be.  Rachael is a certified EAL/EAP facilitator and has attended and completed seminars in the OK Corral Series instructed by EAGALA founder, Greg Kertsen.  For more information on EAL and EAP please visit the OK Corral series website at 

Barbara and rachael grooming Maybelene one of our therapy horses

Owner/Founder/Certified EAL/EAP Facilitator

Rachael Gilmour L.V.T, M.B.A.

Rachael has over 30 years of experience in working with horses.  She is an experienced rider, trainer and coach. In 1992 she graduated from the Horse Management and Science program at Michigan State University. She continued her education receiving a B.S. of Animal Science, an M.B.A. in leadership studies and a veterinary technology degree. She was the former director of the Veterinary Technology program at Baker College.  She coached the Goodrich Equestrian team and is a volunteer facilitator at Equine Escape. Rachael received her certification from EAGALA founder Greg Kertsen of the O.K. Corral Series in December of 2016.

Our outdoor arena

"At its finest, a horse and rider are joined not by tack, but by trust...Each is totally reliant upon the other. Each is the selfless guardian of each other's very well-being." -Author Unknown

Hours of Operation

Mon - Fri: 10am - 8pm
Saturday: 10am - 6pm
Sunday: Closed

Your donations are what make it possible for us to provide help for those who are in need.  Please click the link below to help our cause by donating.  It is tax deductible!  Thank you!

Thank You!
Click on our Donorbox below to make a recurring or one time donation to help keep Equine Escape up and running!

Please consider donating through Donorbox.  Contributions can be made in memory of loved ones who have passed or even a beloved pet which may have crossed the rainbow bridge.  All donors who make in memoriam  will receive a personalized sympathy card from all of us here at Equine Escape.  Donations can be recurring or one time donations.  If there is a certain animal or expenditure you wish to contribute to please specify and we will have a page with photos showing the result of the contribution.  It can be for farrier care for the horses' feet, veterinary care for vaccines, dental care, massage or even chiropractic care.  Yes, even our horses need chiropractic care.  You'll see updates showing where your contributions are going so you can rest assured that it is being used for what you intended.  You can sponsor a particular horse(see the "Meet our Equine Friends" page for photos and bios of our horses, ponies, mini donkeys and mini mules.  Even with revenue generated by our youth program(our veterans and first responders programs are 100% free), we still fall approximately $1500 short every month of covering our expenditures.  We rely on grants, fundraisers, and donations to make up the difference.  We look to only cover the cost of the animals and the facilities.  We do not, nor have we ever taken a salary from Equine Escape.  We do however compensate our facilitators as contract employees.  For us to continue to provide our services we need your help.  Please consider being a donor and help us help others who so desperately need it.  These people need our help and without your help we will not be able to continue assisting them.  Furthermore, all donations are 100% tax deductible.

Helping people through Equine Assisted Learning

Equine Escape offers Equine Assisted Learning Programs (EAL) to “at risk” youth, veterans, police officers, first responders and their families. Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is also offered to those key groups and requires coordination with a mental health professional. Please contact us if you are interested in EAL or EAP.


Giving Youth a “leg up”

We use the term a “leg up” when we are helping another person up into the saddle on a horse. This program is designed to give youth that “leg up” in life. The youth program attempts to provide young people with some of the resilience and protective factors necessary to avoid possible negative life outcomes. Our youth of today face many challenges that were not even considered 20 years ago. As a result, many youth need extra support in developing a set of skills or toolbox to face the challenges in their lives. Oftentimes youth are labeled “at risk” as a consequence of psychosocial disadvantages. In addition early exposure to traumatic events can lead youth to develop behaviors that will have negative life outcomes either now or later in life. We work with youth who are demonstrating many different types of behaviors: hypervigilance, hyperactivity, extreme sensitivity, abrupt/extreme mood changes, lack of self worth, depression, avoidance, addictive behaviors, self harming and many more. We also work with youth facing the challenges of Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, attachment disorders, drug/alcohol misuse or recovery, eating disorders and self harming, like cutting. In some cases where we need more EAP directed sessions, we will need the youth’s mental health professional to partner with us as we deliver the program.


Welcome Home

There are many challenges for our veterans as they transition from military life to civilian life. One such challenge is forming relationships. Veterans may feel as if they are being judged based on their military actions or suffer from PTSD due to event(s) they had to participate in. The military recognizes that EAL may be a good choice for our veterans. EAL is a popular choice as it addresses many psychosocial factors that office-based therapy cannot. Some of the key domain the military recognizes as benefiting from EAL are physical, emotional, family relationships, social, spiritual and career (U.S. Army 2014) EAL allows a safe place to feel and address emotions through the human-animal bond. The herd mentality, prey animal instincts and unconditional acceptance of horses is why they work so well with our veterans. We look forward to giving back to our service men and women as we start this program in June 2017.   If we are too far away please visit Operation We Are Here to find assistance or a provider near you.

Brace getting her horse therapy
Veteran Horse Tribute

Equine Escape's Friends and Family

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What is EAL?

Equine Assisted Learning, or EAL is a means to which people of all walks of life can receive benefit from the interaction between the individual or group and the equine. EAL has proven to help people with psychological and physical disabilities worldwide. EAL can help give people problem solving tools and aid in developing coping mechanisms for dealing with life’s challenges.

Is EAL right for me or my loved one(s)?

EAL can help with a wide array of psychological and physical challenges which affect a multitude of people young and old. EAL can be beneficial in the treatment to those afflicted with anxiety, depression, ADHD, autism, dementia, a delay in mental development, down syndrome and other genetic disorders, trauma and brain injuries, behavior and abuse issues and other mental health issues.

How does EAL work?

EAL works experientially by helping others develop skills they might otherwise be lacking, for example, honesty, communication, trust and respect for others. Those being helped receive feedback, both positive and negative, instantaneously and are able to learn in ways which would be otherwise unattainable. There is a level of honesty received from a horse that human interaction could never replace and you will never be judged by a horse.

Marshmellow The Wonder Pony
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