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  Welcome to Willowbend Farm, Inc.

Herd 2 Human


An Aid in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)


Interspecies Communication Course (ICC)

When individuals seek formal treatment, EAP:

Treatment will be rendered by licensed providers within their prospective scope as part of the H2H program.

Individuals engaged in treatment will have established medical necessity indicating this intervention.

Individuals engaged in treatment will be engaged in applicable evidence-based screening tools pre and post intervention. Examples: PH-Q, GAD-7, SBIRT, Columbia suicide rating scale, ACES, etc.

All interventions will be evidence based (Motivational interviewing, trauma informed CBT, DBT, etc...) and directed towards attaining goals as described in individual patient treatment plans.

All interventions will meet MT Medicaid standards of care at a minimum.

H2H will provide MT Medicaid compliance training to instructors as and where needed as a mechanism to increase utilization with an emphasis on Urban Indian Health and Tribal 638.

H2H will utilize evidence-based suicide prevention trainings as and where applicable: QPR, Safe Care, etc...

For more information regarding formal treatment, contact:

Megan Bailey, LCSW, LMFT, LAC

Cedar Creek Integrated Health


Other licensed behavioral health provider team members are also available upon request.

Providing services to individuals, groups and families

 coping with PTSD and other emotional challenges. 

Committed to our veterans and active duty military.

Click on Videos in the navigation bar to see more 

Program Outline


        Herd 2 Human is an equine interspecies communication groundwork course, designed to help individuals mitigate the anticipation, stress, and aftermath of trauma.  The course goal is to provide tools that help individuals formulate new or renewed approaches and methods of understanding past, present or future psychological stressors or trauma that can be practiced long after completing the course.  The methods used in the Herd 2 Human course promote a balance between the intuitive and cognitive thought processing of traumatic events. Herd 2 Human promotes the thought: While trauma is stressful and can be disabling, there are lessons to be learned through building appropriate and meaningful relationships with horses that are transferable and sustainable in everyday life.  These lessons involve methods of perceiving and accepting that stressors or trauma, and the stress of trauma can be reduced or mitigated by Herd 2 Human techniques.   


The Herd 2 Human Interspecies Communication Course

        Herd 2 Human is designed to be offered in one of two different schedules, a 6-week schedule and a 3-day schedule.  The ideal class size is 4 – 6 students.

The 6-week schedule is as follows:

        Sessions are once a week for 6-weeks. Classes are 2 ½ to 3 hours.  Sessions can be scheduled during the day or evening, whichever works best for the group scheduled. 

Week 1 

  • Classroom at the barn – Introductions
  • Sharing a little food, or a meal of some sort in the classroom
  • Sharing personal experiences.
  • Setting goals, meditation, intuitive writing
  • Safety agreement
  • Introduction to the horses
  • Processing time

Week 2

  • Food
  • Classroom at the barn – learning Herd 2 Human philosophies
  • Presentation - explaining Herd 2 Human (horse and human interaction and understanding)
  • Connecting with a horse partner

Week 3

  • Food
  • Classroom at the barn – recapping communication techniques and philosophies
  • Hands on with the horse – finding a safe place for horse and human
  • Processing time

Week 4

  • Food
  • Classroom at the barn – philosophies of leadership 
  • Hands-on with the horse – learning and applying the principles of confident, clear and consistent leadership (The 3       C’s), applicable and necessary in building good relationships with both horses and humans
  • Processing time

Week 5

  • Food
  • Classroom at the barn – philosophies on moving body parts and being a respectable leader in a relationship – the       importance of “how we ask”
  • Hands-on with the horse – moving body parts – learning from the horse how to ask a question and the importance       of hearing the answer to that question
  • Processing time

Week 6

  • Food
  • Pulling previous lessons together by working with the horse – putting trauma in perspective based on a newly               learned ability to develop relationships based on trust, acceptance, and forgiveness (The Safe Place)  
  • Classroom at the barn – revisit goals and intuitive writing.  “Where am I today after 6 weeks”?  “Am I able to apply       what I learned to my everyday life”? 
  • Processing time - meeting or exceeding student goals

The 3-day schedule is as follows: (NOTE: Everything covered in the 6-week schedule is condensed into the 3-day schedule.)

Day 1:                         9:00 a.m. - Classroom – Introductions (Breakfast food - muffins, fruit, etc.)

                                                      Arena - Meeting the horses

                                                      Classroom – Processing horse introductions

                                 12:00 p.m. -  Lunch

                                   1:30 p.m. -  Classroom - Meditation, Intuitive Writing, Talking Circle

                                   3:00 p.m. -  Break

                                   3:15 p.m. -  Classroom – Herd 2 Human presentation

                                   4:00 p.m. -  Arena - Horse interaction and close for the day

Day 2:                         9:00 a.m. -  Classroom – Meditation, Talking Circle, recap Herd 2 Human

                                                       (Breakfast food - muffins, fruit, etc.)

                                 10:30 a.m. -   Break

                                 10:45 a.m. -   Arena – The Safe Place

                                 12:00 p.m. -   Lunch

                                   1:00 p.m. -   Classroom – Processing The Safe Place

                                   1:30 p.m. -   Arena – Leadership

                                                       Classroom – Processing Leadership

                                   3:00 p.m. -   Break

                                   3:15 p.m. -   Arena – V-thinking, Moving Body Parts

                                   4:00 p.m. -   Classroom – Processing, Talking Circle

Day 3:                         9:00 a.m. -   Classroom – Meditation, Talking Circle, recap Herd 2 Human

                                                        (Breakfast food - muffins, fruit, etc.)

                                  10:30 a.m. -   Break

                                  10:45 a.m. -   Arena – The Safe Place, Leadership, Moving Body Parts

                                  12:00 p.m. -   Lunch

                                    1:00 p.m. -   Classroom - Processing what we have learned

                                    1:30 p.m. -   Arena – The Safe Place, Leadership, Moving Body Parts, Long Line

                                    2:45 p.m. -   Classroom – Processing what we have learned

                                    3:00 p.m. -   Break

                                    3:15 p.m. -   Arena – Bringing the communication all together

                                    4:00 p.m. -   Closing circle

Herd 2 Human Instructor Certification

        Herd 2 Human is a copyrighted program designed to be offered specific to its design.  The instructor certification program is designed to teach others how to provide Herd 2 Human course to students in the 6-week and 3-day schedules.  (See curriculum.) 

        The horsemanship methods and philosophies of Herd 2 Human are proven effective in helping humans deal with the stress of life's challenges, build better relationships with their horses and discover new or renewed value in their life, even if they are not horsemen or horsewomen.  You don't have to be a horseman to benefit from what horses have to teach us.

Willowbend Farm offers Herd 2 Human programs to:

  • Veterans, veteran's families, and active duty soldiers
  • First responders, law enforcement, and other emergency or trauma caregivers  
  • At risk youth
  • All Nations Indian Center in support of their historical healing program and/or individual client needs
  • Independent counselors and therapist working with trauma survivors
  • Individuals interested in learning interspecies communication or simply a break from the everyday                 struggles of life

  •  Members of organizations looking for relief from work related stress

Herd 2 Human Workshop slideshow

By Keri Petrilli Photography                   Florence, MT

Horse Specialist & Retired Private Investigator - Jeff Patterson)

This seven minute film tells a short story about private investigator, Jeff Patterson, the development of Herd 2 Human, along with student testimonials.  The film is a production of Kier Atherton and premiered at the 2016 National Cowboy Poetry Convention in Elko, NV.

   What is Herd 2 Human?

  • Once removed from the herd ... their safe place ... the horse's first instinct is to bolt and run. Herd 2 Human is a            process of learning how to provide the horse with an alternative ... a new safe place with humans.
  • Horses responding because they understand and want to rather than because they are afraid not to ... sharing              energy and communicating through the eye.
  • Providing the horse a new safe place requires that we understand the horse's needs and language, at the same          time teaching them to associate our vocabulary with our body language.

   How does Herd 2 Human help humans recovering from trauma?  

 Herd 2 Human teaches us:

  •  How to create a safer place
  • How to put our fears in perspective
  • How to remove our masks
  • How to listen
  • A new way of seeing our personal value in the whole of things
  •  How we can apply all these same principles to ourselves

 The Safe Place

  •  The safe place is a place of trust, acceptance and forgiveness ... for the horse and human
  • The safe place is an emotional refuge we learn to create for the horse as a confident, trusted and respected leader
  •  Creating new experiences through effective communication that builds confidence and reduces fear of past                   traumatic experiences reoccurring with no control or means of escape

At Willowbend Farm we focus on horsemanship that builds relationships and spiritual growth through  interspecies communication with the horse. We have experienced many success stories over the years from those who have attended clinics or private sessions to learn the methods and philosophies of Herd 2 Human. Our history with horses healing humans dates back to 1977 and continues to enrich our lives through sharing what we learn with others.

How can you help?

Herd 2 Human is offered free of charge to veterans. Offering this service to veterans free of charge and others in need is made possible by contributions from Willowbend Farm,Inc. and donations from caring people like you, earmarked for Herd 2 Human, through non-profits like Horsepower, Inc.  The program fee is $1,625.00 per person.  Donations made through Horsepower, Inc. are tax deductible.    

It is recognized as well that there are non-veterans suffering from PTSD, second-hand PTSD and other challenges bought on by trauma that also need help.  With the support of our communities and people like you that care about the mental health of our families, friends and neighbors, it is possible to provide Herd 2 Human to many in need.  

Donations must be earmarked for "WBF Herd 2 Human," specifying veteran, non-veteran or either.  Checks must be written directly to:  

Horsepower, Inc. - 13400 Turah Rd., Clinton, MT 59825

                                                      Horsepower, Inc website

                                                                  Click Here


Jeffrey T. Patterson

Founder/Instructor of Herd 2 Humam  Interspecies Communication

Retired Licensed Private Investigator

Jeff has been a horseman his entire life.  Like many horseman, Jeff was taught ways of handling horses early in life that were far from beneficial to him or the horse that bordered on abusive.  As Jeff recognized and accepted responsibility for his poor approach to horsemanship and started listening to the horse, he discovered a means of communicating and working with the horse that changed his world.  As a result, Jeff developed and teaches a methodology entitled Herd 2 Human, proven to be an effective aid in trauma therapy. Utilizing this systematic approach to thought, technique and timing, Herd 2 Human creates a safer place for the horse, provides the human with a sense of value and purpose, while developing new emotional pathways from places of fear to inner peace and confidence.

For 35 years, Jeff's work as a private investigator has been digging deep into the intimate lives of others ... gathering facts and examining the personalities, habits and emotional state of those involved in trauma and dispute.  In addition, to the countless hours on the street observing sub-rosa human behavior, Jeff has examined hundreds of clients, family members and witnesses, listening and documenting their personal stories of abuse, betrayal, mistrust and violent acts such as rape, suicide and homicide. On many occasions Jeff has used horses to assist him in overcoming seemingly impassable roadblocks with witnesses who were unable or unwilling to express themselves due to trauma.  The combination of years of investigation with a lifetime of horsemanship has been a unique and invaluable education in trauma and the domino effect it has on everyone involved.

A popular belief since the beginning of human's relationships with the horse is that man captured and domesticated the horse. Another popular belief is that horses are magical or mystical.  The truth is, the horse chose human and in that sense is a magical part of our lives.  However, it is important to understand that the magic of the horse is the shared energy that connects us in interspecies relationships.

Darlene C. Patterson

Co-founder/Instructor of Herd 2 Human Interspecies Communication

Reiki III Practitioner

Darlene began her horse experience with Hackney ponies as a young girl.  As an adult she is an accomplished equine endurance competitor, riding instructor, and inspirational leader. Darlene plays an important role in organizing and facilitating the Herd 2 Human program and student sessions, including a multitude of the behind the scenes unsung tasks that help make Herd 2 Human successful. 

Darlene is an equestrian, Reiki III Practitioner (Reiki video) , student of Colin Tipping’s Radical Forgiveness philosophies , A Course In Miracles , as well as other spiritual teachers who promote spiritual oneness. Darlene practices a belief in spiritual oneness. Combined with her extensive history with horses, she helps create moments of peace for individual self-discovery in Herd 2 Human sessions.

A Tribute to Sam

From Jeff Patterson

The horse that lead us into the journey of Herd 2 Human

(Sammy Boy ... Sammy ... Sam the Man ... Samson & his first name ... Sammy Joe)

I bought Sam when he was four.  We became best of friends over the years and he taught me endless lessons about life and myself ... who I really am and what my purpose is in this life.   Sam is the reason I do what I do with horses today.  At age 22, on January 6, 2014 Sam died.  In all those years of  never being sick once or any serious lameness, Sammy Boy suddenly fell ill overnight with some kind of internal pain.  It was without warning and within hours he was gone.  Everything was done that could be done, but it was obviously Sam's time.  My sincere gratitude goes out to Bill Brown (Sam's vet) and his help, Lynn, Kim and Jason, for their efforts to save Sam, but I know it is as it is meant to be.

With that said and with everything I think I know about the oneness of creation, it still isn't easy to lose a good friend, so I just feel the need to tell you about Sam.  I guess writing this tribute is my therapy after looking out the window this morning at our herd of horses without Sam.  He was the head of the pecking order and cornerstone of the barn.  He was my pal.  Sam was a do everything horse.  He not only touched my life in wonderful ways, he touched the lives of many.  The number of names given Sam is demonstrative of the different ways he touched others' lives.  To the horses that shared pasture with Sam, visited the barn or competed against him, he was Samson.  I could pony the most unruly horse around the barn behind Samson and they would stay in their place with one twist of Samson's ear and his slightest warning of dominance.  Sam was my polo and games horse for many years.  He chased cows, packed me around the hills hunting, did a couple limited distance races and was a 4-H horse (both Western and English) for Austin at a time in Austin's life that he really needed Sam. 

Later in Sam's life after we retired from polo, Sam became everyone's horse.  He entertained family and friends, and friends of friends with pony rides around the arena and lessons of all sorts.  Sam was always available and willing when others came to the arena and needed a horse to play with.  Sam did everything from slow walks around the arena, to fast hard racing through games and obstacles, to standing around being groomed endlessly with ribbons and braids in his mane and tail.  I never worried about Sam hurting anyone.  While he was like a rocket under me in the polo field, he was a gentle giant under those just learning.  He always seemed to know the difference and took care of us accordingly. 

Over the past few years Sam had been my partner, along with Austin and Darlene, hosting clinics.  Sam willingly ran around the arena with me at liberty and under me bridle-less and bareback, demonstrating to everyone how man and horse can communicate.  Sam's ability to communicate made him a very special boy.  Most recently, Sammy had become a therapy horse, helping trauma survivors with recovery.  He was beyond amazing when it came to interacting with humans in pain, physically or emotionally.  Of all the joyful times I had with Sam over the years, watching him work with people in need was the ultimate end to a wonderful and meaningful life.  As stated by others who worked with Sammy: "The spirit of Sammy will live on through the hearts of many."  "I am blessed to have known Sam and am grateful for the healing energy he shared with me and all those he touched."  "Sam taught me how to be honest with him, but most importantly, with myself and others".  Of all those Sam helped, I am the most blessed.  He was there for me when I didn't even understand that he was.  Sam taught me how to listen to an unspoken language. Now in the end, I know there is no end.  While Sam's life has passed, his energy will be with me and those he touched forever.  Sam's presence will always be at the barn.  Once again, I am on the receiving end of Sam's endless giving.  His purpose was a selfless offering to those of us who needed him in our lives for one reason or another.  I only hope not to lose sight of that purpose for the remainder of my walk through this life.  So while I say farewell to Sam's physical presence, I will enjoy his energy forever by remembering all that he is - powerful, kind, willing, unbelievably forgiving and so much more.  And, I hope all who personally knew this horse of many names, will also remember the numerous teaching and learning opportunities he provided us all.