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Welcome to Willowbend Farm

Herd 2 Human 

An Aid in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)

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 


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:

  • The Learning Center at Red Willow in Missoula, Montana in support of a wide range of healing                       modalities including veteran programs like HTOP (Heroes Therapeutic Outreach Program)
  • The Missoula Urban 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


Heroes Therapeutic Outreach Program (HTOP) by Roy Savage Offered through The Learning Center at Red Willow



Click below to watch video





Herd 2 Human Workshop slideshow


By Keri Petrilli Photography                   Florence, MT



Horse Specialist & 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 get involved?


If you are recovering from a traumatic event in your life, know someone who is, or just need a break from life's challenges, we want to hear from you.  We are always happy to discuss our work and how it might help you.  You may also learn more about getting involved in the program through others we work with like:


  • The Learning Center at Red Willow in Missoula, MT - www.redwillowlearning.org 
  • The Missoula Urban Indian Health Center, LeeAnn Bruishead  - www.muihc.org
  • Joining Community Forces (JCF),  Shannon Noble - www.jcfmissoula.org/
  • The Montana Office of Public Instruction, Director of Military Education Kenneth Gemlich  - www.opi.mt.gov 
  • Possibly your own professional counselor or therapist


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 Willowbend Farm and donations from caring people like you, earmarked for Herd 2 Human, through non-profits like Horsepower, Inc. or The Learning Center at Red Willow in Missoula, Montana.  The program fee is $1,625.00 per person.  Donations made through either of the above non-profits 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 Herd 2 Human, specifying veteran, non-veteran or either.  Checks must be written directly to:  


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



Coming soon:  Horsepower, Inc. will provide a direct link to support scholarships for Herd 2 Human



Instructors

Jeffrey T. Patterson

Founder/Instructor of Herd 2 Humam  Interspecies Communication

Licensed Private Investigator  www.pattersoninvestigations.com



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 www.radicalforgiveness.com , A Course In Miracles https://www.acim.org/ , 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.