Animals Don’t Whisper, They Talk

Equine Manager and Dakota

Equine Manager and Animal Communicator Dakota Getrouw found her dream job when she started working at CORRAL in August of 2019. Here’s the story on her unique ability to communicate with animals.

I started talking to animals when I was fourteen, and turned professional at age 20. During this time, I’ve traveled the world, talking to dogs, cats, horses, rhinos, lemurs, big cats, and so many more animals. I help with behavior, medical issues, discovering an animal’s past, and happiness in general. I’ve enjoyed bridging the gap between humans and animals, helping both sides live more peacefully with each other. And then about six months ago, I got an opportunity to fulfill another dream of mine.

Animal Communication

I took a job at CORRAL as the Equine Manager, working with troubled girls and horses alike to bring healing. That’s right, CORRAL’s main horse professional can talk to animals. As you might imagine, such a skill comes in very handy on the farm!  The concept of animal communication is very simple; I pick up a ‘connection’ with any animal, in which I can hear their thoughts, and they can hear mine. Through this mental link, we then have a conversation. 

Most of the time, I hear animals’ thoughts in English. I believe that the animals are hearing me in whatever ‘language’ is most natural to them, whether that be dog, cat, or dolphin. Sometimes, when concepts between an animal and me are too complicated for words, we can switch to sharing memories or senses. This is extremely helpful when animals are hurting and need to show me where the pain is, or when an animal wants to work through a traumatic memory of theirs with me. Yes, sometimes I do play the part of an animal therapist!

Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy

At CORRAL, Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is one of our five program pillars and works because the horses are allowed to give ‘feedback’. When the girls are in the arena, every time a horse chooses to walk with a girl or walk away, cooperate or try to bite, it is a therapeutic moment. Because of their sensitivity, they pick up the emotional state of our girls and sometimes see them clearer than they see themselves. As an Equine Specialist and Animal Communicator, I interpret these behaviors and keep everyone safe. 

Horses always have a reason for their behavior. I am blessed that I get a behind-the-scenes explanation to some of their more mysterious behaviors. For example, one of our beloved therapy horses, Giselle, is great at giving feedback—and she gives a lot of it! A few weeks ago, one of our girls was working with Giselle, but Giselle kept putting her ears back at her and threatening to bite her. 

Without audibly saying a word, I asked Giselle “Why are you doing that?” 

I couldn’t see any reason why Giselle would give such feedback. But Giselle had picked up on something I couldn’t see. Giselle told me: “She’s putting out a vibe that I’m some monster, based on one ride we had together a long time ago. I’m telling her to knock it off! Stop seeing me that way.” 

Sure enough, when I asked the girl how she was feeling, she answered “Nervous.” Then she told me that years ago Giselle had bucked her off, and she couldn’t stop thinking about that, even though she and Giselle had had successful rides together since then. The teen was focusing on one bad thing and using that to shape her entire view of the horse. It all made sense… and led into a conversation about trust. Did Giselle deserve her trust again? How does one trust again? Who in her life deserved a second chance?

Now, this girl and Giselle are still working on their relationship, but since that moment they have ridden together. And I am proud that my God-given gift to talk to animals can tease out therapeutic moments in such a unique way. To learn more about Dakota’s unique ability to talk with animals, visit her personal site here. 

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CORRAL is a faith-motivated nonprofit that equips adolescent girls in high-risk situations through a long-term, holistic program of equine therapy and education.

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