Welcome to Heart of the Mountain!

Nestled in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains near Boone, North Carolina, Heart of the Mountain is a nonprofit organization supporting the special needs of those with chronic illness, through a unique, horse-partnered healing process known as the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method® (EGCM). With most of the focus on healing the body—through diagnosis, finding a cure, following the correct protocol—there is often little attention given to the mental, emotional and spiritual needs of you and your family. Our mission is to help you awaken to an awareness of a creative power within that holds unlimited opportunities for life-affirming change. Many times our return to wholeness is hindered by limiting negative beliefs such as lack, unworthiness, powerlessness, and victimization, as well as emotions such as fear, anger, betrayal, grief, and depression. Addressing these issues can play a pivotal role in changing the course of your healing.

Equine Gestalt Coaching® is a co-active, experiential process wherein you, the coach, and the horse all play integral parts in helping to access deeply-rooted beliefs and memories that are no longer serving your best interests. These resistant, wounded parts of self are brought forward into the present moment and released, resulting in permanent resolutions to many issues confronting you in your life today.

Our programs are based in the burgeoning understanding of the deep and profound role the horse plays in the healing process. From the earliest known existence of the horse-human connection, horses have given themselves in service; for industry and agriculture, in military campaigns, as a means of transportation, and—to those who understood their language—have offered the gift of their companionship and loyalty. As our consciousness evolves, we learn to listen more with our hearts than our minds, and we begin to hear a deeper message of love and compassion coming from their souls.

With their innate wisdom, the horse guides you to your authentic self and shows you the places that are wounded and in need of attention. They give to you their strength, presence and accept who you are in the moment, without judgment. With this unwavering support, you are encouraged to face your challenges honestly, and thus more easily dissolve the negative patterns and feelings, allowing you to drop your fears and self-judgment and move more effortlessly into self-acceptance and self-love. The horse’s enormous energy fields help to transform any feelings of despair and hopelessness into a more positive state of well-being, restoring and brightening your spirit, enabling your body to heal more effectively.

Ashie, Gypsy Vanner horse

We believe that horses are showing us their amazing capacity to heal the human spirit, which deeply affects our emotions, mental states, and physical bodies. We believe horses are able to see through our pain and offer back to us our true Divinity. For these reasons and many more, we at Heart of the Mountain choose to partner with these loving, nurturing, gentle-yet-powerful beings to assist you in exploring your capacity to fully embrace and trust your healing process, and experience joy!


The EGCM sessions do not include riding the horse. No horse experience is necessary to fully benefit from this process.

“After 40 years of dedication to the healing arts and energy therapy profession, I am extremely excited about adding the Equine Gestalt Coaching certification to my areas of expertise. I and my horses are eagerly looking forward to serving you.”

- Jia Wildwyn


Heart of the Mountain (HOTM) was born from the vision of Jia Wildwyn in 2013. Having been through her own chronic illness, she understands first-hand the issues that accompany the lengthy recovery process of those with similar needs. The healing wisdom of horses was a major influence in her healing process.


Bryan Dechter, co-founder of HOTM, has been at Jia’s side every moment of the way. He offers understanding as “the caregiver”, and brings visions to life with his artistic and design skills, incorporating beauty into all of his work.


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Help those in need. Stay Informed!

We hope you'll share word of our offerings by staying informed of our progress, so that you and others you know may benefit from our services. Opt in to our mailing list by filling out this simple form, and you'll learn about our upcoming individual and group sessions, and weekend workshops. We will also remind you of our grand opening planned for Spring/Summer of 2017, plus volunteer opportunities, fund-raisers and more. We value your privacy, and will not share your contact info with anyone. You may opt out at any time.



Help Fulfill the Vision

We appreciate any contribution to help us fulfill the vision and bring this work to those in need. Heart of the Mountain is a 501(c)(3), public, non-profit, charitable organization. All donations and gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.







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Heart of the Mountain:

Photo credits:
Sequoyah Wildwyn-Dechter,
Olga Itina




Heart of the Mountain™ and the Heart of the Mountain logo icon are trademarks of Heart of the Mountain. © Copyright 2013-2016. This website design and contents are copyrighted material, and unless noted are the sole property of Heart of the Mountain, a non-profit organization. All Rights Reserved.

Ashie, Gypsy Vanner horse

Ashie, Gypsy Vanner horse

Ashie, Gypsy Vanner horse

Ashie, Gypsy Vanner horse

Ashie, Gypsy Vanner horse

Ashie, Gypsy Vanner horse