Part counselor, part shaman, part horse-whisperer, Cindy Leigh McGinley has been creating, improving upon, and constantly re-inventing herself for many years. She holds degrees in:
- Equine Science
- Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- Equine-Assisted Mental Health
She is also certified through EAGALA, the global standard for equine-assisted psychotherapy and personal development, and has completed the Natural Lifemanship’s Fundamentals training and NL Intensive training in trauma-focused equine-assisted psychotherapy (TF-EAP).
Cindy has served the horse industry for close to 40 years as an
- equine behavior specialist
- professional trainer
- riding/driving instructor
She is extremely passionate about including the horse as an ally and partner in her life, and just as passionate about facilitating that transpersonal connection for her clients.
Cindy is also an educator. As a former classroom teacher, lifelong learning is important to her; therefore, she strives to remain current in her field(s). She has completed several certificate courses taught by Eleanor M. Kellon, VMD, in such subjects as:
- NRC Plus
- Equine Cushing’s Disease & Insulin Resistance
- Nutrition as Therapy
- Arthritis & Other Lamenesses
- Comprehesive Care of the Older Horse
- The Basics of Reading Radiographs
Cindy became interested in traditional healing methods for both humans and horses over 20 years ago and keeps her foot in the herbal world, mainly working with natural and herbal treatments for horses.
As an ordained minister, she has spent a lifetime studying the ways of Nature and Spirit, becoming increasingly aware that balance between body, mind, and spirit is essential for achieving complete wellness. She is also trained in the way of the shaman, and has developed her practice in shamanic healing and shamanic counseling through workshops and seminars with some of today’s leading shamanic teachers. Her shamanic practice is multi-cultural. She has completed an apprenticeship in Amazonian shamanism with Peruvian-trained shamana Connie Grauds. She also has some experience and affinity with Native American spiritual medicine, and is considered an Elder in at least one Irish Druid tradition (aka Celtic Shamanism) — no surprise, as these are her ancestral cultures. In addition, she is a graduate of Sandra Ingerman’s 2-Year Shamanic Teacher Training.
She also trained for several years in Aikido, a strictly defensive Japanese martial art, and was greatly influenced by the philosophy of the “Way of Harmony.”
Responding to an inner call to assist her fellow humans as well as the horses she loves, she completed over 100 hours of professional training to become a certified Life & Wellness Coach. She has since trained with Paul Sheele in Neurolinguistic Programming and Rick Carson in advanced “Taming Your Gremlin” coaching techniques. She is also trained in EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), otherwise known as “tapping.”
Cindy is a hypnotherapist (CHt) certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists, specializing in stress management and post-traumatic stress disorder techniques. She was also trained in the specific techniques of past life regression by Virginia Waldron through the International Board for Regression Therapy (IBRT).
Cindy also holds certificates in the following:
- Alcohol & Substance Abuse Counseling
- Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP)
- Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)
- Mental Health First Aid
- OASAS Military Culture
- Military Horse Sense: Fundamentals of Serving Veterans with Horses
- OASAS Personality Disorder and Substance Use
- Naloxone Emergency Administration
- Gottman Method Couples Counseling 1
In addition, she has also completed training workshops in:
- LGBTQ Youth: Clinical Strategies to Support Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
- Understanding Pain and Prescription Drugs
- Strategies to Combat Opioid Use in Rural Communities
- Harm Reduction Approaches to Addressing the Local Opioid Epidemic
- Today’s Marijuana: The science of today’s marijuana, understanding political changes, laws, legislation, and cannabis zoning
She is a member in good standing of the:
- New York State Farm Bureau
- Society for Shamanic Practice
- National Guild of Hypnotists
- American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA)
- American Counseling Association (ACA)
- International Association of Trauma Professionals
Cindy is a former wildlife rehabilitator and still advocates for wildlife, as they are increasingly crowded out of their habitats and encroached upon by humans. She and her husband maintain a sanctuary where all living creatures are welcome and safe from harassment.
Cindy is the author of Purple Roses and Other Poems, a book of original poetry, and was honored when one of her poems, The Sacrifice, was chosen to be published in an anthology. She also edited Alf’s Little Book of Wisdom Sayings, a collection of uplifting and inspiring quotes. (15% of the proceeds from sales of this book go to DSLD research.) In addition, she has written articles (notably, The Sacred Celtic Horse and Druidism: A Glance at the Past Reveals a Vision for the Future) for Celtic-themed publications. She also authored two chapters in The Book of Keltria: Druidism for the 21st Century.
Cindy is currently writing and teaching classes in her areas of expertise at Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES adult continuing education in East Syracuse, NY (Henry Campus), and receives clients by appointment at both Rivendell Farm in Chittenango, NY and Anahata Mental Health Counseling in Cicero, NY. She also offers online counseling and/or coaching.