E3A Member Spotlight: Pam Salem, Horizon Farm EAGL Center
The Equine Experiential Education Association
Pam Salem is a founding member of E3A and entered the equine experiential education field in 1998. Prior to this, Pam rode competitively in jumping events, Pony Club and Competitive Trail. By age seventeen she had accrued over 4,000 hours in the saddle. She attended the University of Tennessee graduating with a B.S. in Education. For twenty years she raised Anglo Arabian sport horses on her farm in East Tennessee and served as the Region IV Vice President of the Tennessee Horse Council. During these years, the horses taught her their language and their ways while she managed a herd of twenty horses on the ground.
Pam entered the equine assisted field in1998 through training with Dr. Joanne Moses at Tucson Animal Assisted Psychotherapy Associates (TAAPA). When Eagala formed in July of 1999, Pam attended one of their first trainings in October 1999 at Virginia Intermont College, then hosted a training in Knoxville in October 2000. She worked with therapists in the Eagala model from 2000-2009 at her farm with her horses and took a variety of trainings in the field. She also worked in the business co-founded in 1972 with her husband, a linen and contract furnishings supplier for the hospitality industry.
Being in the business world, she realized that a therapeutic model of equine experiential work would not be appropriate for the workplace training field. Pam is known for her unique talents as a networker and catalyst in creating community, bringing together a variety of different people to share their experience, learn something new, and enhance each other’s assets and expertise. So when PJ Stegen asked her if she thought an association for equine experiential corporate training was needed, she agreed to help with its creation. Only two people in the founding group knew each other, but Pam knew all of them and brought them together.
In June 2007, PJ and Dave Stegen, Larry Bramblett, Tim Manson, and Kim Shook stayed at Pam’s home, with Linda Pucci attending during the day, for twelve days hammering out the structure of the Equine Experiential Education Association (E3A) and actually culminating with training a business group under Tim’s tutelage. These were the seven founding members who poured their energies into the formation of E3A. Pam’s husband, Don, fixed all the meals, leading Tim to say one evening after savoring Don’s meatloaf recipe, “Don, if she ever divorces you, I will marry you.” So there was much camaraderie and laughter involved in the hard work.
E3A launched in July 2008. Linda Pucci and PJ Stegen became the Master Trainers. In February 2010, Pam was contracted by English Mountain Recovery Center to develop their equine assisted program for their 90 day residential alcohol and drug treatment center. Pam initially worked with Activities Therapist, Wayne Terrazas, to develop the equine assisted program, and subsequently worked with staff and several therapists to co-facilitate the program which continues today.
Little did the little girl who simply just loved horses realize where that love would lead her, and how rewarding that path would be. Pam lives happily ever after with her savory husband, Don, and her horses, dogs and cats at Horizon Farm EAGL Center on a hillside in East Tennessee overlooking the Great Smoky Mountains.
Pam hosts a website for the field: http://horsesteachingandhealing.com