Meet Melissa

I love cooking and feeding people, I love growing things and creating beautiful aesthetics all around me. Most of all, I love to host community, bring people together and cultivate connections in a world that does not put much value in being vulnerable. To create all these things in the world, before horses entered my life and after years in education and research there was this dream of a big house in Sicily with a sustainable garden for a farm to table restaurant and guest house.

When this dream crashed and broke as dreams sometimes do, it took me with it.
It wasn’t that dream in particular; it was my own inability to withstand one more bout of unresolved issues of abandonment and attachment that began in childhood from too many tragic deaths of the adults, the safety keepers in my life. These issues infiltrated my life through perfectionism and always being at the helm which was superb for overworking and overachieving. They lived in my relationships manifesting through my reluctance, often failure to trust. Thank goodness for those times in life that disrupt and crash our realities; depending on how we choose to navigate, they can change the course of our lives and lead us to expansion.

The journey to where I am today has been about recreating, transforming and metamorphosing , finally being able to access the expansiveness and authentic freedom I believe is possible and natural for us all. It is a direct result of following the thread of my guiding principle, always to Explore Possibility.

During this time of intentional change, I met a horse in an equine therapy session. It was suggested that I ask a question, I didn’t have one; my body and soul were open and empty. The only thing I could think to say to the horse was “I don’t know” within moments he leaned in slowly and pushed his head heavy into my heart leaving it there for what seemed like an eternity. This was not a pivoting experience nor was it the beginning of my Equus Coaching adventure, it was one of many threads I followed in my exploration of a life of possibility. I say this because it was years later that I found the Institute for Equus Coaching and trained for the Certification I hold today.

There were many tapestries, people, and horses along the way. So many concepts that I deep dove into. Attunement, emotional ability, and agility, choosing my change, being on my own side, reflections on wisdom and the meaning of alchemy, resilience, and vulnerability. I went from being the protective and ever vigilant stallion to a fair and grounded lead mare in a herd of wild mustangs. These meanderings, concerted efforts and leaps of courage led me to a new dream, my life and home with my herd here in New Mexico at Tierra del Alma today.

I truly believe that we can all Explore Possibility, ask Why Not instead of Why and shift our lives to a deep sense of meaning, fulfillment and freedom. It is my privilege and honor to share with you the results of my hard work and explorations. Tierra del Alma and all its offerings.

I am full of gratitude to be of service to you and the larger interconnected world we so humbly get to live in.


“No one who conceives him only as a potential servant to man can apprehend the mustang.
The true conceiver must be a lover of freedom
– a person who yearns to extend freedom to all life.”
– Wild Horse Country.
Read The Article from Life N Sports

For Melissa Vashé, life is about land of the soul

by J.T. Keith | Life N Sports

Life is real. No matter what vocation you do for a living or where you live. Pain, stress and trials hit everyone. For Melissa Vashé, that moment forced her to find help in a place she never thought she would. It was seeking solitude on a horse.

The former California school teacher began to deal with her problems in a way that some people find odd. In the end it was a therapy she needed to get to her real purpose in life, and that is to help others.

Melissa found a kinship in spending time on a horse. She found The Koelle Institute for Equus Coaching. That is where people experience a unique time with a horse, giving the person a chance to gain insight and understanding into the horse and life.

Some people might call it a horse whisperer come to life, but for Melissa it was a life saver. Her experience gave her insight into what was important. So she moved back to New Mexico and bought a ranch. She was so connected by her horse that she quit her teaching job and is in training to become an Equus coach.

Equus coaches work in dynamic partnership with horses to create a playful, open, and authentic environment where clients can gain powerful moments in their lives. The training with the horse is experimental-embodying that it has a relational learning that helps the clients explore the gaps between where they are currently and where they would like to be in their life. It is a results-focused approach that elevates people’s lives and provides breakthroughs and transformation.

Melissa said that interacting with a horse can offer insights into people’s lives. In their presence, a space opens up between our authentic selves and the coping strategies we have learned to navigate the world. From there, clients are able to reconsider their approach.

Melissa feels like there are many ideas to explore-wants and needs, relational tendencies and patterns, and boundaries that are important to you. What is your body and not just your mind communicating to you? How is what is going on inside of you shaping your reality and building a better connection to and understanding your emotions?

Melissa said that she chose a horse because horses are remarkable for their ability to give clear, direct, rapid bio-feedback. The feedback enables the client to deepen their awareness of themselves. With a 1,000 pound highly sensitive animal, a horse cannot be coaxed or coerced. Both positive and negative patterns very quickly become apparent. A horse’s inherent gentle nature, curiosity and desire to work within a herd causes a horse to seek connection. Horses do not think in terms of right or wrong; horses only reflect the truth of the present moment. Horses do not lie.

For Melissa, this therapy has helped her become a better human being, and she wants to pass on her success to others. “I wanted to bring something to southern New Mexico”, Melissa said. “It is where nature meets nurture. I wanted to bring alternative experiences toward horses. It is about your energy with your horse”.