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The Greenhorn Chronicles 8: Rachael Dent-Flynn on Flar Equine Experience


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2022/06/15


Rachael Dent-Flynn is the Owner/Lead Facilitator of Flar Equine Experience. Flar Equine Experience facilitates life skills and relationships alongside horses. Dent-Flynn’s background is having a lived experience of trauma, coming out into the LGBTQ2+ community, & PTSD from volunteer firefighting. Knowing the lack of effective affordable resources for her own mental health journey, she wanted to be able to offer a healing experience that could help someone along their journeys. She discusses: experiences and training; horsemanship in Nova Scotia; Owner and Senior Facilitator of Flar Equine Experience; tasks and responsibilities; horse industry in Nova Scotia; resources; a mental health service; facilitate life skills and relationships; anxiety, depression, PTSD, impatience, and building trusting relationships; working on the aforementioned personal difficulties; people become involved in the horse industry in Nova Scotia; equine therapy; assisting veterans; statistics on veterans in Nova Scotia; clinical research and popular feedback; narratives coming to Flar Equine Experience; meaningful narratives; and support and/or become involved in Flar Equine Experience.

Keywords: Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator, Equine Assisted Personal Development Coach, Flar Equine Experience, Nova Scotia, Rachael Dent-Flynn.

The Greenhorn Chronicles 8: Rachael Dent-Flynn on Flar Equine Experience

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citations after the interview.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What sorts of experiences and training were part of becoming a more mature and experienced equestrian?

Rachael Dent-Flynn[1],[2]: I got certified as an Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator & Equine Assisted Personal Development Coach; however, with horses, I’m always learning & growing as new methods are presented.

Jacobsen: How prominent is horsemanship in Nova Scotia? Most of Canadian equestrianism seems centralized in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario.

Dent-Flynn: It’s way behind the other provinces you’ve mentioned…however for no other reason than education and awareness of the effectiveness on mental health being in the presence of horses.

Jacobsen: You are the Owner and Senior Facilitator of Flar Equine Experience. Did you create it, too?

Dent-Flynn: Yes.

Jacobsen: What are the tasks and responsibilities involved with the ownership and senior facilitation work of Flar Equine Experience?

Dent-Flynn: Absolutely everything from horse care, welfare, and maintenance to running all the programs/sessions and then all the business side of things.

Jacobsen: Flar Equine Experience is based in Hubley, NS. What is the state of the horse industry in Nova Scotia?

Dent-Flynn: It’s in need of provincial or federal recognition just like the other provinces. We have enough organizations doing it all for the right reasons, and for the best life for the horses and humans alike.

Jacobsen: What resources exist in Hubley to help with the maintenance, even growth, of Flar Equine Experience?

Dent-Flynn: Not many at all.

Jacobsen: On social media, Facebook specifically, it is listed as a mental health service. Why focus on mental health as the equine-based service of Flar Equine Experience?

Dent-Flynn: Absolutely, because now more than ever everyone needs to know the true empowering effectiveness skills you can gain from being in the presence of the horse that can then transfer into your own challenges in struggling away from the arena.

Jacobsen: You facilitate life skills and relationships at Flar Equine Experience. How is this done, in a rather unique way?

Dent-Flynn: Yes, we sure do, through objectively driven skill based structured obstacles that you & your horse will navigate through together.

Jacobsen: If we can talk about it, please, the horses have helped with your anxiety, depression, PTSD, impatience, and building trusting relationships. How do animals speak to this for you?

Dent-Flynn: They have a natural ability to have us look within in the present moments as we navigate through the obstacles in the arena. While doing so, it brings all these challenges to the forefront where I couldn’t hide or bullshit my way through it or shut down and try and avoid it. So, in those instant moments, I had to recognize what was going on with me, name it, and then navigate differently through the obstacles with the horses. When I did that, it was both successful for my own confidence of doing it with a 1,200lb animal, but it was instant validation from the horse’s willingness to be right alongside me! Holy shit, totally empowering, and for me, that was my break-awake because years of talk therapy never provided that opportunity or feeling.

Jacobsen: How have horses, particularly, helped with working on the aforementioned personal difficulties?

Dent-Flynn: The skills learned alongside in the arena while navigating through challenges with a 1200lb teacher are able to be gained in a safe, non-judgemental, healing environment….which in turn transfers into challenging situations away from the arena, where I caught myself taking a second to breath, remembering how I dealt with it in the arena, and then navigating through it differently in daily life situations to live a more positive, confident overall better life.

Jacobsen: How can people become involved in the horse industry in Nova Scotia?

Dent-Flynn: Many ways, volunteering is always amazing, can never have too many hands helping around the barn. Fundraising for local equine organizations as we aren’t funded currently, get the word out there by word of mouth and lastly is education and awareness of all the places doing phenomenal healing with horses.

Jacobsen: What is equine therapy?

Dent-Flynn: Simply, it is experiential learning providing life skills and personal development opportunities alongside horses that transfers into all other avenues of daily life.

Jacobsen: How does Flar Equine Experience apply this to assisting veterans?

Dent-Flynn: Call, email, social media or drop by!

Jacobsen: What are the statistics on veterans in Nova Scotia?

Dent-Flynn: 1,300 are war service veterans, 385,000 are Canadian Armed Forces, regular & primary veterans.

Jacobsen: What has been the clinical research and popular feedback on equine therapy from veterans coming into and out of Flar Equine Experience?

Dent-Flynn: That they have never felt so safe, not judged & that they can still be hyper vigilant, but it’s in a different more positive way & they have something to continuously look forward to.

Jacobsen: Veterans remain an interesting portion of Canada. Both honoured and venerated, though neglected and impoverished in numerous ways. We honour them with ceremonies and days of celebration. We venerate them with medals and words of affirmation. We neglect them with lack of various resources. We impoverish them with lies about honour and dignity in, in truth, having them as hired killers for the State, who have PTSD, damaged bodies and minds, and tensions on their social and familial ties in the midst of service – even after service. How do you navigate these various narratives coming to Flar Equine Experience?

Dent-Flynn: We couldn’t agree more & we love this question because we are doing everything we can at FLAR to be the “catcher” of those who feel they have been failed by everyone else. This is a common theme to this day and many times the first session conversation. However, the beauty of the horses that ends up most times in the vet becoming very emotional is that the horses can’t lie (they aren’t made up to) and they don’t judge, which instantly is overwhelmingly positive because most haven’t felt that supported directly or indirectly in many, many years.

Jacobsen: What are the more meaningful narratives of success coming out of equine therapy through Flar Equine Experience for you?

Dent-Flynn: When individuals can feel totally confident in articulating their once seen as weak challenged stories of struggles into telling their journey in hopes to help someone else not feel alone in their struggles.

Jacobsen: How can people support and/or become involved in Flar Equine Experience?

Dent-Flynn: Many ways, share all the social media things, volunteer, help fundraisers or find sponsors, help with marketing & promotions for awareness and keep the conversations going!

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Rachael.

Dent-Flynn: Thank you so much.


[1] Owner/Lead Facilitator, Flar Equine Experience

[2] Individual Publication Date: June 15, 2022:; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2022:


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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