Through my life’s journey one thing has remained true:  At the core of my foundation lies that carefree little farm girl from South Dakota and my faith.  When I connect with that little girl and stay true to whom I was created to be, life gets easier.  — Myra

Meet Dr. Myra Heckenlaible-Gotto

Myra’s extensive background as a teacher and psychologist has prepared her for many of life’s challenges, but her faith has been her stronghold. She has used her mind, heart, and spirit to fulfill her higher purpose of helping others find their higher good.  In her professional career of more than thirty-five years, Myra has worked with people in all stages of life’s journey — children, adolescents and adults – in a variety of educational and mental health settings.  As she grew in her understanding of human development, Myra began to seek alternative ways to help those seeking personal or professional growth, self-awareness, self-care, and healing.  To follow her calling, her focus shifted to her coaching practice, blending her heart for teaching, her love of horses and nature, and passion for helping others. She combined her knowledge of human growth with her love of horses by becoming a Certified Practitioner of the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method®. To further expand her services in self-awareness and leadership, she became a GiANT Certified (Leadership) Coach through GiANT Worldwide. In God’s timing, her training and career experiences led her to where she is today. Myra now incorporates a variety of approaches into her work.

Current Credentials:

Certified Equine Gestalt Practitioner

Certified GiANT (Leadership) Coach

Licensed Equine Facilitator

Doctorate in Educational Psychology and Counseling

Previous Work History:

Licensed Psychologist

Registered Play Therapist

Visiting Assistant Professor in Psychology

School Psychologist

Special Education Teacher


What is Crossing Life’s Bridges

Crossing Life’s Bridges was created for those who seek self-awareness, personal or professional growth, guidance through life transitions, healing, recharge and renewal, and leadership/team development.

Located in a relaxed, rural setting, Crossing Life’s Bridges offers you the opportunity to slow down and enjoy the peaceful, yet powerful, gift of nature. While you’re in the area, we hope you will take time enjoy the beautiful lakes and many activities the area has to offer.

A variety of services are available to meet you where your are and help you navigate the path ahead. Depending on the situation, sessions may include an experiential process, learning experience, or a combination of both. Whatever method is utilized, you will have the opportunity to be fully present and let go of things that hold you back or weigh you down as you stretch and grow – personally and professionally.

Services are tailored to your needs and can be offered in a variety of settings and formats. In-person options include private sessions, group coaching & workshops, and retreats at Crossing Life’s Bridges. Leadership and team development workshops and retreats are custom designed to fit your needs. At times, it may be possible to come to your location.

Sessions including horses take place in the arena at Crossing Life’s Bridges. No horse experience is necessary to benefit, and you will not ride the horses.

Additional services may include virtual or phone coaching sessions and speaking engagements.

We honor your process – at your own pace – “bit by bit”.

About Equine Gestalt

When you let a horse whisper in your ear and breathe on your heart, you will find yourself at the beginning of a great journey …

Horses have a very special gift to offer humans – being truly present without judgment. As prey animals by nature, horses are highly intuitive and aware of their environment. Their eyes look into our soul and their hearts reach out to us – giving us the strength, courage, and support to truly embrace what our heart, head, and gut are telling us. With their mere presence, horses bring to light that which is holding us back from living an authentic life. The choice of how we walk with that awareness is then ours.

The Equine Gestalt Coaching Method® was developed by Melisa Pearce, a core founder since 1989, of the horse-human healing movement. The experiential nature of the method involves the horse as an active partner with the coach in the client’s exploratory process. The integrative approach of the equine’s interaction combined with positive coaching, somatic awareness, guidance and Gestalt methodology, assists the client in examining their life and choices made with a focus on designing a positive future. ©Melisa Pearce

The EGCMethod can be applied to any life situation where personal growth or healing is being called for such as:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Life Transitions
  • Grief, Loss, and Healing
  • Human Empowerment
  • Relationships
  • Leadership/Team Development

Leadership Development

Are you seeking to grow as a leader but aren’t sure where to begin?

How could you enhance your team’s performance and potential by improving communication, collaboration, and relationships?

What are the benefits of partnering with horses to enhance your team’s leadership development?

What is your 5 Voices Leadership style?

Each one of us possess leadership skills. We lead ourselves every single day – in our personal life, with our significant other, with our children, family, friends, or colleagues, and within our organization and community.

Everyone has a voice – a unique way of thinking, leading, and communicating. But not everyone is heard. Most of us don’t fully understand our voice and utilize it effectively. When we understand our foundational voice and what it’s like to be on the other side of us, we will be better able to adapt to use different voices to connect more effectively with people who have a different voice.

By utilizing practical visual tools, we help you increase your self-awareness and confidence as you discover your leadership voice, deepen relational trust, strengthen collaboration, improve communication skills to reduce tensions and challenges, and increase team performance.

At Crossing Life’s Bridges, we focus on individuals, couples, teams, and small businesses who seek to enhance their ability to build a healthy, effective, and sustainable rhythm for their life and work, so they can bring their best in every area of their life.

We offer different leadership packages or can tailor a package to meet your personal or professional needs. Options include virtual, online, at your location, or at Crossing Life’s Bridges.

Whether you’re seeking professional leadership growth as an individual or team, we invite you to reach out for a free exploratory call to discuss the possibilities of partnering with our horses.

Meet the Horses

Ginger — This beautiful mare joined our family in 2003 when she was seven years old. Her respectful nature, intuition, and quiet strength gel together to create the gift of being a strong leader. She also has an amazing ability to connect, hold space, and provide support – making her a treasured partner in our journey!

Gabriel  — This boy joined our family in 2013 when he was thirteen years old.  When he directly showed us he wanted to be an active partner in the coaching process, his name was changed to Gabriel as he truly is an “angel who serves as a messanger from God”.  He is very social, inquisitive, and animated.  He also loves to have his picture taken!  So grateful he is with us!

Royal  — This handsome guy joined our family in 2015 when he was seven years old. When I first met Royal, there was an immediate connection.  His is playful, curious, and eager to learn.  His sensitivity to others around him and his friendly disposition are true gifts.  It is awesome to watch his growth!

Annie  — This girl joined our family in 2019 when she was sixteen years old.  It’s exciting to watch her shift from being in the show world to walking alongside others in our coaching practice.  She brings a sense of confidence and strength, as well as compassion and peace, as she connects with others.  We are blessed with her kind and caring soul!

In loving memory of Rusty  — We are so grateful and blessed that God brought Rusty into our family in 1998. Rusty had such a gentle, wise soul and was able to adjust his energy level to take care of others.  He taught our boys how to ride and taught me to always follow my heart….which led to creating Crossing Life’s Bridges.  Rusty – you were an amazing teacher and healer.  I will forever be honored to walk with you.  Our journey will continue….Love always