top of page
    • Facebook
    • Instagram

    Why Horses?

    Horses are unique because they offer a pure, nonjudgmental relationship to the client. A horse’s instincts cause the animal to live in the present moment and react to immediate surroundings; therefore, a horse often reacts to the mood and behavior of the participant. Whereas a dog loves unconditionally and a cat loves quite conditionally, a horse’s behavior is always honest.

    Psychotherapy incorporating horses offers clients struggling with depression, low self-esteem or anxiety the opportunity to engage in authentic connection. The concepts learned in developing a relationship with a horse can be easily translated to developing healthy relationships with others.

    Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy

    Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is an experiential form of mental health therapy that uses interactions with a horse (equine) to facilitate individual growth and relational healing. Board-certified therapists use experiences with a horse and personal reflection to achieve the participant’s therapy goals. Individual, family and group sessions are offered and can include riding or working with a horse on the ground.


    Psychotherapy incorporating horses at One Heart Stables began in 1995 as a service to the children in the residential center on the Christian Children’s Home of Ohio campus in Wooster. The program has expanded to serve children and adults in the general public. Our mission remains to improve the quality of life for our clients through compassionate equine-assisted therapy.

    Our team looks forward to hearing from you and helping you achieve your goals. Most insurances are accepted.

    Who can benefit?

    Children and adults with the following challenges can benefit from participation in EAP:

    • Depression, anxiety or trauma disorders

    • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

    • Relationship or communication problems

    • Sensory processing disorders

    • Behavioral issues

    • Substance abuse

    • Eating disorders

    Melissa has her master's degree in social work from Ohio University. She obtained her Bachelor of Social Work from Youngstown State University and her Associate in Human and Social Services from Stark State College. Melissa is Dually Certified as both a Practitioner and an Equine Professional through Natural Lifemanship. Since 2017, Melissa has specialized in equine-assisted psychotherapy, pairing her love for horses with her desire to assist individuals and families make progress toward their goals. Melissa loves seeing the relationships that can develop while working with horses and utilizing clients' strengths to help them find improved connection with themselves, others, and the world around them. Melissa began riding horses at ten years old and enjoys jumping and trail riding as well as spending any time possible with her equine friends. Melissa is married to her husband Ryan and enjoys spending time with her pets, playing board games, reading, traveling, camping, and experiencing nature.

    Melissa McMullen, LSW, MSW

    Melissa McMullen, LSW, MSW

    Program Manager & Equine Therapist

    McKenna graduated from Lake Erie College with her Bachelor of Science degree in Equine Facilities Management. In addition to her degree, she also received her Certification in Equine Massage Therapy. McKenna oversees the equestrian facility and the care needs of our animals. McKenna loves being able to share her love of horses and love for Christ in the work she does in the barn. McKenna grew up riding horses and is still riding and competing in the sport of Dressage. McKenna enjoys trail riding as well as spending time with her horse Romeo.

    McKenna Marody

    McKenna Marody

    Barn Manager

    Deanna graduated from Malone University with her Bachelor's Degree in Social Work. She previously worked in CCHO's residential program for 3 1/2 years and is excited to work with OHS as an equine therapist. She has been riding and working with horses for most of her life and started showing horses in her early twenties. She enjoys going for a nice trail ride in the fall or spring and soaking in all the marvels of nature. In her professional career, she loves the connections people can make with animals and her passion is helping them understand how they can use that connection to develop better connections and relationships with other people. Deanna is married to her wonderful husband Jacob and together they have a cat named Ranger and a dog named Astrid, a licensed therapy dog who loves making people happy and getting belly rubs.

    Deanna Schmucker, BSW, LSW

    Deanna Schmucker, BSW, LSW

    Equine Therapist

    Jen received her undergraduate degree from the University of Findlay where she double majored in Western Equestrian Studies and Psychology. Jen went on to pursue her master’s degree in counseling from Ball State University. She has worked as a therapist for 20 years and is passionate about helping people and incorporating animals into the healing process. Jen loves working with individuals, families and couples. Her work focuses on the mind and body connection and helping individuals grow within themselves and in their relationships with others. Jen enjoys riding horses and began riding in her early teenage years at a Christian horse camp. Since that time her love for horses has only become stronger. In her spare time, Jen enjoys spending time with her two daughters, being outdoors kayaking, running and skiing and listening to country music. She also adores her therapy dog, Brooklynn, who is a blue Great Dane.

    Jen Sunday, LPCC-S

    Jen Sunday, LPCC-S

    Equine Therapist

    Meet our team

    One Heart Stables is utilized by the youth in the Children’s Residential Center at CCHO as well as children and adults in the general public for equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP). Our therapists are certified instructors in equine-specialized therapy, and they are eager to help you achieve your goals. Learn more about our caring team below.

    Connect with Us

    Thanks for submitting!

    Want to learn more about equine therapy, or interested in making an appointment? Send us a confidential message using the form below. We will review your message and contact you using the information you provide.

    bottom of page