The Nature Speaks Story...
THE NATURE SPEAKS STORY
Nature Speaks was created from a very personal tragedy that changed who I am. While riding my leased horse Jazz, in the woods of Palm Beach Gardens, the horse collapsed underneath me and I slid on my face in the sand where I landed superman style. When the horse stood back up she stepped on the back of my hand breaking my pinky finger in half. Three days later, while I was in and out of plastic surgery to put my face back on in the hospital, Jazz was hit by lightning in her pasture and killed. I was devastated. Now in addition to my body being broken, my spirit was too! I cried for days. Eventually I sought help for depression with a therapist and took anti-depressants and pain killers for a while.
At the time I owned a public relations firm called NozNewz Communications, Inc. I represented businesses, non profit organizations and government entities in Palm Beach County for almost 20 years. Within two years of the accident, I lost my company and was in debt for thousands of dollars of medical bills even with health insurance.
During my recovery I read voraciously! The book that changed my life is called the Tao of Equus by therapist and horsewoman Linda Kohanov. She writes about her experiences living with her herd of horses and using those experiences to help others through the practice of equine therapy. I studied her model of equine therapy and those of other practitioners but I felt a little empty. Equine therapy is ground work with the horse only. It does not include riding. But to me and the kids I wanted to work with, riding the horse is an important component to empowerment. So I created a life skills program called "Who's in Your Herd?" which teaches about making good decisions in life in a very simple way. Decisions which will affect the future path of a youngster and we use the horses as our facilitators/teachers assistants. As horses live in herds, so do people but our herds change throughout the day and throughout our lives. We use the philosophy of taking care of the horses as a metaphor for taking care of oneself.
So my future path became more clear and I took a risk by taking an equity loan out on my home and started Nature Speaks with the money. I knew that horses helped me in my recovery and I was desperate to share that with others who needed personal growth.
My background has always been in helping others. I started working in law enforcement in Ossining, NY but became frustrated with the court system. I transferred my education to California State University Long Beach where I got my BA in Journalism. I continued my education at UCLA but a car accident sidelined my plans of becoming a television reporter. With a head injury, I had to start learning again even though I was almost out of college. A year later I became a newspaper reporter, a job I had at various publications for the next 10 years in Los Angeles. They were exciting years as I covered the LAPD and LA City Council during the Rodney King trials and LA riots. I got married in 1993 and my husband, Tracy and I moved to Florida for some peace and quiet.
I started my public relations firm, NozNewz Communications, Inc. and worked for many clients over the next 17 years in South Florida. After a severe riding accident in 2008, I started Nature Speaks the following year. We applied for our non profit designation in December 2013.
My volunteer work consists of being a member of the Palm Beach County Emergency Response Team and I hold a national certification as a member of the Humane Society of the United States Disaster Animal Response Team. Rachel Ibarra is an approved contractor for all Florida public schools and was a member of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office COP Mounted Unit for five years.
When you listen to nature speak you experience the connection to all that is.
Educational and empowerment programs with horses.
A 501C3 non profit corporation
Rachel and Shadow playing Headless Horseman
Rachel and husband, Tracy learn to drive Shadow
Riding to our camp site at Forever Florida
In July 2017, the Ibarra family and Nature Speaks, Inc. moved to 11065 164th court north, Jupiter Farms. Our 2.5 acre facility includes our renovated 1974 home, a new 4 stall barn and pastures for the horses. Please call Rachel Ibarra 561-632-2394 for appointments and information.