About Spirit of Eight
& Equine Assisted Healing
Spirit of Eight we are dedicated to caring for the well-being of
people. Our experience, training, and education coalesce with
the amazing curative qualities of equine to produce a powerful
catalyst to help individuals with almost any cognitive, physical,
sensory and/or emotional impairment.
An individual that interacts with a powerful animal like
a horse benefits from the natural bonding that takes place.
From that connection a person gains a sense of self and belonging
and from that significance emerges opportunities for change and growth.
Spirit of Eight was established in 2004 by Carla Dickhaut who
has a significant background working with both horses and people,
especially with individuals who struggle with behaviour, cognitive,
or emotional issues.
understand how Spirit of Eight evolved it helps to get to know more
about Carla’s Dickhaut, our founder/ Program Developer/Lead
Facilitator, and about Renatus W. Van Daelen, our facilitator
for both Equine Assisted Healing for Individuals with Disabilities
and Life Skills Training.
Carla has designed Equine Assisted Healing Programs based on her life-long experience with equine, an
extensive time studying under Aboriginal Elders, and years of
experience as a child and youth worker as well as in outreach and in-home
Both Carla and Rene have been
invited to help with a University of Alberta (U of A) study for
(click to learn more).
Is there a
program that fits your needs?
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About Founder, Carla Dickhaut
addition to the conventional, Carla has benefitted from a rather
adventurous, self-determining education. Starting at a very
young age she felt destined to be with horses and in pursuing this
passion has become a breeder and trainer.
Carla and her horses.
Carla has also gained extensive experience in her satisfying career
as a Child and Youth
particularly with Aboriginal people.
about her work.
Her most rewarding and edifying educational endeavour has been her
eighteen years of study under Aboriginal Elders and her commitment
to Sundance. More
about this interesting experience.
Merging her knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Métis
traditional ways with her experience in helping people Carla
developed her Equine Assisted Healing Programs. She has had
success helping people with depression, cognitive therapy, speech
therapy, anger management, and
other types of problematic
developmental issues. Carla loves
this type of healing work.
About Renatus W. Van Daelen
(Rene) - Facilitator
Rene is skilled with horses and people. He facilitates
two specialized programs, Shining Moon,
Equine Curative Interactions for Clients with Disabilities,
and Down to Earth Boosters, our Life Skills Training Program.
More than twenty years ago Rene’s first encounter with a horse was a
life changing experience for him so he is able to interact very well
with clients in need.