animals as natural therapy equine therapy youth programs horses bellingham veterans mental healthAnimals as Natural Therapy (ANT) offers healing, mental health programs for at-risk youth, veterans, & elders based on the knowledge that animals can teach important life skills, such as: respect for self and others, healthy boundaries, self-management, empathy, and clear communication.

Since 1999, ANT has touched the lives of thousands of children and adults, offering unique mental health programs, including: Equine Assisted Activities & Therapies (EAAT), EAGLE Veterans – Equine Services for Heroes, Mobile ANT Visiting Therapy Animals, Leadership & Bullying Awareness Workshops, Summer Day Camps, Field Trips, and experiential education programs.


Since 2010, ANT has been nationally recognized as a PATH International Premiere Accredited Center, ensuring adherence to the highest industry standards of therapeutic horsemanship, and demonstrating excellence in providing quality equine-assisted activities. ANT is also recognized as an EQUUS Foundation Guardian, providing: Shelter & rehabilitation for abused & neglected horses; Opportunities for horses to change people’s lives through EAAT; and Peaceful, humane retirement & end-of-life for horses that ensure that they are able to live out their lives in comfort and dignity.


ANT has been recognized for its value to our community by The Whatcom County Dispute Resolution Center, honoring ANT with the Community Peace Builder Award in 2011, and the Whatcom Family & Community Network awarding director Sonja Wingard the Ken Gass Community Building Award.

Agency/Community Partners include:

Catholic Community Services
SeaMar Visions Chemical Dependency Treatment Facility
Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS)
Blue Skies for Children
Lummi Youth Academy & Lummi Nation
Northwest Youth Services
Secret Harbor Foster Program
Opportunity Council & Dorothy Place
Whatcom & Skagit County public, private, and tribal schools


ANT’s equine-based experiential methods are highly effective in helping overcome many personal challenges in areas such as impulse control, anger management, attachment, PTSD, grief and anxiety. ANT’s projects successfully aid in preventing school drop outs; avoiding repeated incarcerations; circumventing gang, prostitution or drug involvement; and preventing suicide attempts