Welcome to Rivendell!
Relax into the almost magical healing power of Equine Assisted Therapy
Come for an hour, stay for a day!
Deb Lewis, owner of Rivendell and highly qualified Equine Assisted therapist, opens her heart, gardens and home to her therapy guests and their families and carers.
Time with the calm, intuitive horses and ponies will have you living right in the present moment – not hurting from the past or worrying about the future. Perpetuate this feeling of a weight lifted off your shoulders by spending some time in nature in a safe, non-judgemental and inclusive space.
Mindfulness with horses
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning clients or groups learn skills or overcome problems from resources taught by the horses.
Rivendell is a 150-acre property with its own fascinating heritage. The homestead was formerly the Mount Pleasant Hotel back in 1888.
Mindfulness... with Horses!
Are you looking for a natural, peaceful way to deal with problems, stress and trauma?
What would it mean to you, or someone you care for, to be completely accepted for who you are, and loved unconditionally?
Come and relax and learn with our therapy horses on a beautiful property only 15 minutes from Gin Gin.
Both NDIS and private guests are very welcome.
Who is it for?
Health & Wellness Clients
If you are seeking to improve your health and wellbeing, then Rivendell can help!
Spend time at Rivendell and you will experience:
- improved wellbeing
- personal development
- reconnection with nature
- reconnecting with self and others!
Healing Journey Clients
Aid your journey to heal from:
- depression / anxiety
- stress / trauma / PTSD
- grief and loss, separation
- life transitions
- relationship issues
- spirituality / existential issues
- inner critic (confidence/self-esteem)
- behavioural problems
- life stage adjustment
- inclusiveness and social connections
Professional Development in Leadership
Horses can help improve your leadership skills! Improve your:
- creative thinking
- understanding of others
- emotional intelligence
- relationship building skills
- control of your emotions
Children and Teenagers
Children and teenagers often find equine therapy a much more inviting and less intimidating environment than a traditional talk therapy office. Rivendell can help them to work on issues such as:
- developing and maintaining relationships
- emotional awareness
- impulse control
- problem-solving skills
- social skills
- trust in others
- trust in self
The use of equine-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of PTSD for veterans is growing. Many veterans feel disconnected from other people after what they have been through and doubt their ability to bond and connect with anyone. But being with their horse brings that feeling of connection again – and they take that into the rest of their lives and their relationships.
Deb has a stack of qualifications (listed below), and years of experience, but these are only part of the reason why Deb’s clients speak so highly of her. The simple truth is – Deb LOVES horses, she LOVES people, and nothing makes her happier than helping people benefit and heal with the presence and assistance of her beautiful equine friends and the other animals here.
At Rivendell’s Equine Assisted Therapy, Deb has found her true home – and she ensures that all her guests feel welcome and at home too. Deb offers the communities of Gin Gin, Bundaberg and surrounds a non-judgemental, inclusive service that supports people in their journey to recovery and wellness.
Deb says ‘I am fortunate to have been around horses for 36 years and they still teach me new things with their out breaths and the beautiful energy they bring to living in the moment, the here and now.’
Deb has had horses in her life since she was 13 years of age, and currently runs a herd of 14 horses. In her earlier years she did work experience at racing stables and a saddlery, and went on to study Horse Husbandry at Tafe. She then worked at a paint horse stud in NSW (where Sunny was born), was mentored in equine massage and had an exciting time working at fox hunting stables.
When she isn’t with her beloved animals, you might find Deb painting or renovating or out for a ride on her Harley Davidson motorbike.
Five Star Review
Rivendell's Equine Assisted Therapy has helped me more than other therapies I have tried. I find it relaxing and I look forward to going there. Deb is very supportive and understanding, she also provides me with strategies for managing my life in a more positive way. As a participant in Rivendell's Equine Assisted Therapy, I know that Debra Lewis is hard-working, and friendly. I highly recommend Rivendell's Equine Assisted Therapy.
Making progress in my life
Deb has helped me a lot with Mental, Social and Physical health.
With Deb and the horses, I have been able to keep my Bipolar under control a little bit better.
Deb has helped me get some of my life back, to stop second guessing myself and being less critical about myself.
I'm a hard person to reach and had some bad times over the last 7 yrs. I have almost isolated myself from other people.
Deb is a very friendly person and very knowledgeable about mental health and horses.
We talk about what horses can teach us; what horses show with their body language. Deb shows how they pick up on my own body language.
I would recommend Deb to any person that needs help with their mental health. I feel with the help of this counselling service, I'm making progress in my life.
How it works
Our guests go through a series of mainly one-on-one interactions with horses, under the supervision of an EAP/EAL practitioner. Riding isn't necessarily involved with equine-assisted psychotherapy. Rather, the focus is on presence, attention, mindfulness, boundaries, social cues, and more.
As prey animals, horses are acutely attuned to the body language of humans.
"The horses act as mirrors, so whatever your energy is, or your emotions are at that time, they're going to mirror that to you”.
This helps develop life skills like self-awareness and the ability to regulate emotions and to promote awareness, be in the here and the now and live in the moment.
One of the major benefits of equine-assisted therapy is improved mood. The improved mood is a signal that we are giving cells of the brain and body the chance to operate on a healthy level. By participating in equine therapy, you or your loved one will learn invaluable skills, not just horsemanship.
At Rivendell’s Equine Assisted Therapy we involve you in everything from 'catching' the horse (they usually come to us), grooming, games, liberty play, horsemanship, horse safety, feeding, mounted riding sessions and much more.
It’s scientifically proven that simply being around horses naturally slows our heartbeat and breath. Just stroking a horse and observing it up close supports people to stop thinking and live in the now. It's all about connecting with a sentient being that doesn't care about your past or what you look like. The horse just wants to connect in the moment… and that is a beautiful thing.
Deb trained through The Equine Psychotherapy Institute (Meg Kirby) and loved being mentored by Sue Lamond.
Accreditation in Equine Assisted Therapy EAP/EAL
Member of the Australian Counsellor Association
ACA 13493 (Level 2 Counsellor)
Diploma in Counselling
Diploma in Community Service
Cert IV Mental Health Peer Support
Frequently asked questions
Clients can be referred by their case managers or service providers. Self managed Clients can contact Rivendell's Equine Assisted Therapy for more information.
What to do if there is a problem?
Speak to Debora directly if there are any concerns with the service and Debora will attempt to resolve them.
Compliment, complaints and feedback forms will be available.
Horses bring a unique authentic relationship that helps humans self regulate, promote awareness and live in the moment.
EAP & EAL clients or groups can learn these skills or overcome problems from resources taught to us from the Horses:
- awareness and self regulation
- Non verbal communication
- Creative thinking
- Behavioural issues
- Post traumatic stress disorder
- Eating disorder
- Self-confidence and Self-esteem.
- Grief and Loss, Separation
- Life Transitions
- Relationship breakdown
- Spirituality / Existential issues
- Inner Critic
- Behavioral problems
- Life stage adjustment
- Connection to Nature
- Inclusiveness and social Connections
These resources can help guide people on their recovery journey with Mental health and Personal development or Leadership skills.