Velvety Nuzzle Of A Horsey Muzzle

Understanding Anxiety @ Becky’s Place

Close your eyes … take 3 deep breaths … feel the warm sun on your face and hear the chirping of the birds … as you sink down into relaxation you may feel the velvety nuzzle of a warm pony muzzle … what could be more calming than that?

The peaceful rural setting run by Doreen Gagel called ‘Becky’s Place’ is tucked away in Stockleigh and feels like the solitude of the rural outback, but in reality, is a scant 10 minutes from either central Logan Village, Yarrabilba, or Jimboomba. 

For the past eight years Doreen has been providing a holistic approach to anxiety and stress management utilising Equine facilitated connections – mini horses. Originally aimed at children and young adults with disabilities, ADHD, autism and other learning or behavioural issues, her mini horses have the ability to transmute stress, soothe the troubled mind and provide a stability and calmness that lasts beyond the boundaries of the hour-long session.

Over time, and with further learning under her belt Doreen has come to realise how greatly underlying anxiety and stress affect the developing child’s brain and how neurological pathways shape all bodily development and function – at a cellular level no less.

With renewed vigour Doreen has shifted her vision to also providing support to the people who significantly shape a child’s life in the first ‘1000 days’ – a concept spoken of by Nathan Wallis discussing how a baby’s genes react to their environment with the largest impact in that window of time. To this end Doreen has been hosting workshops for educators and support workers entitled ‘Understanding Anxiety’ to explain the neuroscience and learn the skills to bring calm and relaxation to any childcare/disability setting. 

These workshops provide grassroots solutions to complex issues, help breakdown any barriers to communication, show how to apply helpful strategies across various situations and teach relaxation, calming and meditation. 

To help with promotion, Doreen is currently offering her 2 hour workshop for a group of 2 to 6 people at the special price of $220- which includes morning tea if held at Becky’s place. (Please mention this article for the reduced price.) This is half the usual workshop fee.

One on one private 60 minute sessions are also still available for $80ph and these may be eligible for NDIS funding rebates.

“It’s all about connections” says Doreen, emphasising that families need to be involved and spend time with their children. Many challenges faced by adults can be traced back to brain pathways that originated in early childhood with modelled behaviours being easily absorbed. Building resilience and improving the environments and experiences of the early stages of development will help ensure positive health and well-being for our future generations. 

Any enquiries from education settings or home-schooling groups are welcomed. 

Contact Doreen on 0421 659 052 for more info or email 

By Sue Jobson (Reporter)