Bismarck hairstylist hosts a retreat with the help of her horse

Local News

A hairstylist is using her love of horses to help others discover what they want out of life.

The Bismarck hairstylist is combining her two passions in life together.

When North Dakota hair salons shut down for two months due to the pandemic, hair stylist Kristal Schaaf spent the time helping out at a horse ranch full-time.

That’s when she came up with the idea to combine coaching and horse therapy.

“Coaching is… It’s not teaching. It’s not teaching and telling how to do it. It’s showing up and saying how can I support you in doing what you want to do next,” explained Schaaf.

Schaaf decided to invite some of her co-workers from Escape on Third to attend a one day retreat and meet her horse Murphy.

“We want to discover what we like the most doing. We want to discover our ideal clients. And we also really want to give over some blocks we’ve created. Be it worthiness, money blocks. Anything that’s stopping us from reaching these goals that we’re setting today,” shared Schaaf.

This was five year old Murphy’s first time being used in a therapeutic exercise.

“You can’t be fake to her and she’s going to tell if something is going with you. She’s going to tell right away. So that’s where she worked really well in the coaching and working people through their blocks,” explained Schaaf.

The retreat not only helped them work on their goals, self-reflection and energy, but also gave them a unique experience as a team.

“I really was a little apprehensive because I thought horses are kind of big and they’re kind of scary. And they’re pretty to look at, but I wasn’t sure how it was going to feel about interacting with a horse. But this has been a very enjoyable experience. I’m finding out that horses definitely have their own personality just like people do,” shared Karen Gunsch-Walter a Nail Tech at Escape on Third.

“So on top of the importance of team work and coming together and working on goals for yourself and your team I always think it’s important to do something you’ve never done,” shared Teresa Felch, the owner of Escape on Third.

Another exercise the group did was create a vision board of what they want out of 2021.

Schaaf says her goal with this pilot project, going forward is to be able to expand it to others for one-on-one sessions, or group sessions.

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