BFA Equine & Therapy Center

There is something about the outside of a horse
that is good for the inside of a man.
~Winston Churchill

Equine Psychotherapy & Equine Assisted/Facilitated Learning are evidence based treatment for many of the mental health and behavioral challenges survivors of sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking struggle with.

It is also effective with individuals struggling with PTSD, Bipolar, Autism, Aspergers, Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissism, Self Harm, Eating, and Behavioral Disorders.

Decreased Isolation
Impulse Control
Social Skills
Spiritual Connection


In December 2011, BFA's Founder, Julie Shematz, was provided the opportunity to fulfill 
a desire of her heart by resuming horseback riding through the generosity of a couple in North Fort Myers, Florida who own three horses.  

In June 2012, Mrs. Shematz wrote a White Paper: Beauty From Ashes™ Therapy Center  sharing the vision she had for a therapeutic center that provided multiple evidence-based treatments, including art and equine therapy. Additionally, she recommended to the board of directors that the agency begin developing evidence based equine psychotherapy and learning programs. The board approved Mrs. Shematz pursuing certification in equine and art therapy.  

In July 2012, the owners of the horses opened up the property and the use of their horses to Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries for equine programs.  Mrs Shematz piloted horsemanship mentoring programs to individuals ages 11 through adulthood.

In September, 2012, Florida Gulf Coast University Master of Arts, Mental Health Counseling Program approved Julie Shematz doing her final, 300 hour internship in Spring 2013 (January - April) for Dr. Sandra Wise and her  "Eye of a Horse" equine assisted learning/psychotherapy program at the Equine Education Center located within the 4700 acre Crescent J Ranch in Florida. Dr. Wise is considered one of the leading psychologists in the world, working in the field of equine psychotherapy and equine assisted learning.  

In January 2013, we welcomed Marie Shelli, as an Equine Specialist.  Marie has over 18 years experience with horses, EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growing and Learning Association) certification in Equine Therapy, and over 4 years experience as an Equine Specialist at a girl's residential program in Wyoming. 

In February 2013, Julie Shematz completed the PATH International training as an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. 

In August 2013, Mrs. Shematz graduated, with honors and a 4.0 GPA, from Florida Gulf Coast University with a Master of Arts degree from the school of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
In May, 2014, BFA relocated the equine facility to a 5 acre property, less than 20 miles from Tampa Bay. 


Art Therapy
Bible Studies
Equine Assisted Learning
Equine/Country Escape Experiences
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
Educational Seminars, Workshops, and Programs
Horsemanship Lessons
Individual & Group Therapy
Mental Health Counseling
Spiritual Counseling
Team & Group Building Exercises  


If you are an individual, or an agency that has individuals or a group that would like to receive services, please call (239) 939-9218 and/or email


Left to right: Candy Man, 15 y/o Rocky Mountain Horse; Handsome, 13 y/o Tennessee Walking Horse

Morning Star Spirit, 4 year old Appaloosa 
To follow these three and our three rescued, miniature horses, like Morning Star Spirit's facebook fan page!


Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries: Where victims become over-comers.

To give securely online, CLICK HERE or send your cash, check, or money order to:  

Beauty From Ashes™ Ministries
32789 Eiland Blvd.
Zephyrhills, FL 33541

Please notate:  Equine Programs 

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