From Horse’s Wisdom to Indigenous Enterprise: Shannon Carroll’s Equine Healing Journey
Burrden Acres isn’t just a business; it’s a sanctuary where the majestic energy of horses interlaces with the Indigenous spirit. Shannon Carroll, the Sagamok Anishnawbek Owner, Operator, and Certified Equine Facilitator at Burrden Acres, living in Massey, Ontario, finds her purpose in sharing the transformative power of equines with her community.
“I wanted to share the power of the horse,” Shannon confides, reminiscing about the force that drove her to set up Burrden Acres. “Knowing first-hand the benefits of having an equine in your presence had me so passionate about wanting to help my horses help others.”
Burrden Acres was conceived not just as a venture, but as a means to offer a culturally rich healing. Situated amidst nature, this unique organization provides an ‘on-the-land, out-of-office’ therapeutic environment. Drawing from the Seven Grandfather Teachings and the Medicine Wheel, Shannon’s curriculum has been a beacon of hope for many. She says, “Most of our clients leave feeling a deeper connection with not only their paired equine but also themselves.”
Shannon’s entrepreneurial journey, however, hasn’t been without challenges. She touches upon the struggles of supporting people to understand the benefits of equine-assisted learning and counselling. “Educating those who truly do not understand… how it works,” she states, has been one of her primary hurdles. But resilience runs deep, as she acknowledges the wisdom imparted by her mentors, Jon Ferguson from CIRA and Jayden Halls from RBC. “Regardless of my struggles, I am helping others,” she quotes Jon. “The absolute best part of being a part of Pow Wow Pitch is the new relationships I have gained,” she mentions with palpable enthusiasm.
To budding Indigenous entrepreneurs, Shannon has words of wisdom and encouragement, “Get out of your head.” She emphasizes that dreaming is just the start – taking decisive action is what truly brings dreams to fruition.
At the heart of Burrden Acres is a message that Shannon feels deeply about: “Leave the burden at the gate™.” It isn’t merely a saying, but a testament to the sanctuary she’s created where one can let go, heal, and find strength in the gentle gaze of her equine companions.
Register to watch Shannon pitch at the Health and Wellness Semi-Final Online Watch Party on September 8, 2023, at 6 PM ET and vote for Shannon to win the 2023 People’s Choice Prize (#14) before September 17, 2023.