The Team at Healing Hearts Ranch consists of Mental Health Professional, Suzanne M Towne, LCSW, BSN and Equine Specialist; Bonnie Blackmon, Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning; and the horses, whose photos are below. The horses’ names are specifically not stated. With this type of therapy/work, the horses may metaphorically symbolize certain people, situations, emotions, etc. for the client(s) - so we let this just flow - they are who they are to the client(s).
Suzanne (known as Sue) is the owner and founder of Healing Hearts Ranch. Sue has her Master of Social Work Degree (MSW) from Florida State University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Additionally, she has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Keuka College, NY.
Sue worked as a psychiatric nurse for 18 years at the University of Minnesota Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis, MN. The U of M had four inpatient psychiatric units, and during her career there, she was Nurse Manager of three of the four psychiatric units: Child Psychiatry, Eating Disorders and Chemical Dependency and the Intensive Psychiatric Unit. She had the privilege of working with some of the most respected psychiatrists in the US, several of whom were contributing authors to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).
Sue moved to Florida in 1994 and worked in several inpatient child and adolescent psychiatric units in northwest Florida.
Sue learned about Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and this inspired her to go to graduate school to earn her MSW. She was impressed with how quickly issues can surface for the client(s) during interactions with the horses and facilitate a more efficient and effective course of therapy.
After earning her MSW she worked in a community mental health facility and assisted individuals, couples, groups and children and foster parents living in the therapeutic foster care system.
Sue has completed Level II of the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association’s (EAGALA) certification program. Sue’s sessions may take place either one-on-one or with the Team. Healing Hearts Ranch has been her dream and it has finally come to fruition!
Equine Specialist in
Mental Health and Learning
Horses have been a part of Bonnie’s life since youth, with Natural Horsemanship as the basis, the horse(s) have been a partner in the sessions, not a tool.
Bonnie is a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (P.A.T.H.) certified Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. Bonnie has attended Level I EAGALA certification training and will complete Level II in 2017. Bonnie also holds a Certification with Walton County as an Equestrian Special Olympic Coach.
Bonnie has attended and participated in numerous educational and training equine clinics over the years. She also has worked at several therapeutic riding programs in the northwest Florida region.
Having a child with special needs has inspired Bonnie to give back to the community and as a way, to express thankfulness to the many therapists she coordinated with throughout the years.
Bonnie is current in First Aide/CPR/AED classes.
Bonnie is excited to work with individuals, families, couples, groups and be a partner in the power of using horses to help others find solutions to life and work issues.