animals as natural therapy equine therapy youth programs horses bellingham veterans mental healthAnimals as Natural Therapy (ANT) offers healing programs for at-risk youth & veterans based on the knowledge that animals can teach humans important life skills, such as: respect for self and others, boundaries, self-management, and clear communication. As a 501(c)3 non-profit, ANT operates out of Windy Acres, a one-hundred-year-old farm situated at the edge of Bellingham, Washington. Since 1999, ANT has touched the lives of thousands of children and adults through various programs, including:

Equine therapy & equine-assisted learning sessions
Experiential education & field trips
Leadership & Bullying Awareness workshops
Summer Day Camps
EAGLE Veterans services for heroes


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.

Many youth coming to ANT are being raised by grandparents, extended family, foster parents, or adoptive families. Some are experiencing homelessness. Many of our families struggle with dysfunctional and abusive relationships, unemployment, sporadic housing, and poverty.
Agency 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 Headstart
Northwest Youth Services
Secret Harbor Foster Program
Compass Health
Brigid Collins
Opportunity Council & Dorothy Place
Whatcom & Skagit County public, private, and tribal schools


Since 2010, ANT has been nationally recognized as a PATH Intl. Premiere Accredited Center, ensuring adherence to the highest industry standards of therapeutic horsemanship. ANT has also 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.