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DBEM & EAGALA Horse Therapy

Johnny U. is a certified Level II equine specialist through EAGALA, a model of equine-assisted psychotherapy services which focuses on growth and learning. He also trains in diaphragmatic breathing and movement and meditation.

Throughout his years the only constant in Johnny’s life has been horses. His love of horses helped him connect with his father, which led to Johnny becoming a professional rodeo cowboy. After high school in Shoshone, Idaho, Johnny attended Idaho State University on a track scholarship. Following graduation, he became a high school math teacher. But it wasn’t the algebra or geometry that motivated Johnny. “My favorite part of teaching was the counseling,” he says. “Some kids have come back and said, ‘You saved my life because you let me spend time to visit with you.’ That is the best thing.”

In the fall of 1983, Johnny began down a new road and launched a successful music career. For 15 years Johnny U and the Dodge Country Band toured the nation 300 days out of the year. Throughout his music career Johnny recorded 10 albums, his first single, “He’s a Cowboy,” charted in 1984, and he had six top-10 songs in Europe. If you ask Johnny he says he “dabbled” in music, however opening for Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson is a bit more than dabbling.

As country music evolved Johnny U always stayed true to his roots. “I’m very western and very cowboy. That’s who I am. That’s what I do best.” Working in the EAP field has provided a great opportunity for Johnny to combine his love of horses, desire to help youth, and even bridging in things he learned along the way through his music career.

Of the work with the horses and youth Johnny facilitates and witnesses, he has this to say, “It is the most wonderful, powerful thing I’ve ever seen.”