HALT ® is horses and humans working together to build high performance leaders and teams, as well as promote healing from life’s hurts.

The Mission and Purpose of HALT

The mission of HALT ® is to develop leadership skills, build high performance teams and promote healing from life’s hurts through hands on experiential learning activities using horses, facilitated by an Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) certified team. The purpose of HALT ® is to help people connect with their God-given gifts, talents, abilities, personality as well as training and skills in such a way as to encourage and equip them to make a positive influence on the world in which they live, work and play. More recently HALT has added to it’s mission using horses to bring hope and healing to people who are hurting or have experienced trauma in their lives.

HALT ® Clinics

  • customized for faith-based, non-profit, and corporate groups seeking teambuilding and leadership development.

  • customized for clients seeking healing from various hardships in life such as loss, divorce,  cancer, PTSD, etc.

  • customized programing for at risk youth and their families on Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

  • great for cross cultural training.

  • divided between arena time and “classroom” time.

  • targeted toward adults and older teens with a special emphasis on teams.

  • facilitated by a learning/mental health specialist and an equine specialist.

  • based on experiential/transformational learning principles.

Horses are used as tools for emotional growth and learning. Encounters with horses require people to engage with them emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually, creating a dynamic experiential learning situation for both human and horse. Horses will reflect their handlers emotionally and therefore provide invaluable feedback to those who are receptive to learning from them.


Under the direction of the Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) team, growth, change and healing comes through processing/feedback/debriefing from hands on activities with the horses that address leadership, team work and challenging life issues. Activities are designed to enhance problem solving skills, creative thinking, communication, self and other awareness as well as healing from life’s hurts. These interactions with the horses have an amazing capacity to help people overcome fears, blind spots and other road blocks that can hinder one’s overall functioning.  HALT is designed to enhance a group or corporation's vision, mission, communication, cooperation, and motivation leading to an overall higher performance. Activities with the horses are done from the ground. No riding or horse experience is necessary or recommended.

HALT ® Leadership Team

Barbara Robbins is developer of HALT ®. She is certified through The Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association and OK Corral Series for equine assisted learning . She manages their family horse boarding business located in the Shenandoah Valley. She is a partner in the consulting group, Cooperative By Design, which serves a diverse spectrum of clients in organizational development and conflict transformation. In addition she is a facilitator for OWLS (Organizational Wide Leadership Solutions). Barbara holds a MA in Conflict Transformation and Organizational Development from Eastern Mennonite University, a Master of Divinity in counseling, a BA in Social Work and is a graduate of the Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University.


For more information, email barbara.robbins@cooperativebydesign.com

No horse experience is necessary!

Here is what the Daily News Record wrote about HALT ® 

It has been my distinct pleasure to work with Barbara using the HALT program . . . She incorporates the Sioux culture whenever possible . . . Working with a people group that is suspicious of “outsiders” requires a great ability for understanding different cultural norms. Barbara has educated herself in these differences as well as anyone I have ever seen. Our program is designed to empower the girls here; to give them self-esteem, options for their future, nurturing, equine education and most importantly love.
— Jackie Marsh, Tipi Wakan Church, Standing Rock Indian Reservation, North Dakota
I first met Jackie, my equine friend, a few months after I had returned from a deployment to Afghanistan. I was struggling to adjust to the transition home, and was making some unhealthy choices in order to cope.

I had always liked horses, but had never been around them very much. . . What I did not expect was how easily conversations happened across the back of a horse. I never arrived at the barn with an agenda about what was going to happen. But things usually popped to the surface as I worked with Jackie, and I felt safe enough to express them. . . I never thought I’d make a close connection with a large animal like that.
— Colleen Dixon, Navy Reserves Commander suffering from PTSD
The HALT ™ training was a big part of our focus during leadership staff training and it prepared us to communicate effectively…the training has been invaluable…Our teams’ ability to solve problems together grew out of the HALT ™ program.
— Jeremy Jackson, Director of Camp Piankatank
Our experience with HALT exceeded our expectations . . we would recommend the HALT training program to anyone who is looking for the opportunity to refocus, recharge or re-evaluate their team . . .
— Rev. Mike Poff, Pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church