Meet Carrie O’Neal
All my life, I have loved being around horses. As a teen, when homelife was rocky with addiction and an affair, I escaped on horseback. As an adult, facing grief from losing both parents to illnesses and my older brother to suicide, I have found solace with my horse, Jerry a red roan Quarter Horse.
Growing up in a small town within Los Angeles, California, I always dreamed of owning a horse. I studied interior design and equine studies at Colorado State University leaving the city behind me and forming a fierce love with the Rocky Mountains. After marrying a Colorado mountain man, we spent 13 years working in Spain with university students and enjoying the richness of living in another culture.
Our four children were raised in Spanish/Catalan schools and were challenged on their return to the USA, learning to read and write in English as teens. While living overseas, we had a variety of arduous adaptations and challenges to overcome: the pressure of perfectionism while living in a foreign land, depression, anger, suicidal ideation, financial stress, loneliness, low self-esteem, discouragement and isolation. Through all the cultural stress and changes I grew a lot. I now find myself more enriched for it, as do my children who endured these challenges as well. My family has since lived in Austin, Texas, for five years, and the remaining in my husband’s hometown of Crested Butte, Colorado.
Crested Butte offers a lifestyle of adventure and beauty that I thrive in. I am privileged to have kept my horses on stunning ranches in this valley where freedom in God’s creation is my every day. It is here I can fulfill my spirit for nature and for helping people grow.
I firmly believe that God has put these magnificent creatures, on this earth to help us on our healing journeys. My life is a God-centered one, and though it is of utmost importance to me, I vow to love and respect all that cross my path wherever their faith is.
As a teenager, loving mentors invested in me and gave me a life-altering experience. I was given unconditional love, a foundation to learn and grow. Today, I am using my training with the Touched By A Horse® Certification program as a certified Equine Gestalt Coach and want to give back to teenagers under pressure, the grieving, and those seeking the strength to make shifts in their lives.
I will be working with my horse, Jerry, and other equine partners on various ranches around the Gunnison-Crested Butte Valley where my family lives. Stunning pastures, winding creeks, big skies, sweet grasses and majestic mountains are the backdrop for this healing.
Meet the Herd
My horse Jerry, who lives on one of the various ranches in the valley, depending on the season. Jerry has offered me nothing but genuine love, willingness and care. He is especially expressive and releases my energies beautifully and has been my primary therapist during the loss of my parents and brother.
And Cody dog who has kisses for all. Everyone adores this little big guy Cody, our 3 year old mini Australian shepherd.