About Bella Terra Acres Farm
Experiential Growth and Learning with Horses
Team Building | Leadership Development | Corporate Training | Youth Success Skills | Personal Growth | Counseling
Experience this innovative approach to personal and professional development based on the horse-human connection; where horses reflect your thoughts, feelings, and actions to provide feedback about your effectiveness without bias or judgment.
The Bella Terra Story
Bella Terra was founded in 2000 by Todd and Kim Shook after their own personal, life changing encounter participating in the Equine Experience led by Wyatt Webb at Miraval Resort and Spa in Tucson, Arizona. The impact of this experience fueled their passion and within six months they purchased their first miniature horses and began the Equine Adventure program to share equine experiential programming with others.
The Shooks have continued to attend training sessions and conferences to continue to develop their skills in the field of equine experiential education. By integrating their experiences in executive management, human services, and personal growth, the Shooks have developed a very unique learning program with horses and the first equine experiential program exclusively with miniature horses. Bella Terra's Equine Adventure offers both group workshops and individual sessions in southwest Michigan as well as professional and personal development workshops across the country. The Shooks are founding members and Master Trainers for the Equine Experiential Education Association (E3A).
Because this learning program is with horses many quickly link it to therapeutic horseback riding. Although similar, the Bella Terra program differs in that it does not involve horseback riding and is not focused on horsemanship skills. The experience takes place on the ground doing goal oriented activities with horses. Activities such as brushing, obstacle courses, lunging, and many other group challenge activities make up the Equine Adventure experience. Participants learn about horse safety and how horses communicate and these are the skills used during the horse activities. The focus is not on the right or wrong way of doing things with the horses, but rather are we being effective and achieving our goals.
"It is truly amazing to touch people's lives with this type of learning experience. The authentic connection between a person and an animal sparks experiences that could not come about any other way. The relationship develops based on unconditional acceptance, being in the present moment, and where discernment replaces judgment. This is a peaceful, refreshing, and empowering place to be. For many, the result will stay with them for a lifetime. For some, the experience will dramatically alter how they perceive themselves and events in their life."
Bella Terra Acres Farm
BELLA TERRA ACRES
Our Farm is located southwest of Kalamazoo, Michigan, in Texas Township / Kalamazoo County.
Our equine program is provided at various locations and visits to our farm are by appointment.
Equine Experiential Affiliations and Certifications
How Bella Terra Started
"My first equine experiential experience completely redirected me to a new life path and purpose - Bella Terra; to facilitate the same gift that was given to me by one incredible horse, a shire named Whitney at Miraval."
~ Kim Shook, Cofounder of Bella Terra, Inc.