About Karen

About Karen

Karen Duty is trauma trained as a Canine & Equine Gestaltist , certified by Melisa Pearce the founder of Touched By A Horse and the creator of the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method.

Karen has dedicated the last 25 years of her life to teaching people and their dogs to develop healthy, respectful relationships. Now, Karen  has expanded her business by adding  Certified Equine Gestaltist and Certified Equine Facilitator to her  a multi-certified dog training program. Now, Karen helps others find emotional peace by partnering with dogs & horses. In the beginning, before actual dog training schools were available or  easily accessible, Karen taught herself. Through dedication and hard work, she soon received multiple certifications. She was the first person in the state of  Montana to receive her CCPDT-KA from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. She is also certified in Pet Partners, Touching Lives, Improving Health; the Animal- Assisted Therapy Skills and Coaching People to Train Their Dogs. She is an Avidog International Associate and a Proffessional  Member of the International Association of Canine Professionals.

Karen started breeding dogs in 1998 with the goal of providing high quality, intuitive, balanced companionable animals for service organizations. In addition to providing excellent health benifits, the dogs provide opportunities for building trust, accepting care, and emotional healing. “Karen’s Dogs” as her pups are loving referred to by the non-profit organization’s trainers make the pups very sought after by these types of non-profit service dog organizations. For Karen, watching the veterans and their dog partners, (her pups) at the graduation ceremonies touchs her heart in numerable ways and brings her great pride and joy. Karen then began working directly with veterans in partnering with their dogs to assist them in their daily lives. While this is a large and  valuable service, there was a piece of the puzzle missing. Karen soon realized that due to the complicated nature of Post Traumatic Stress, she needed to know more about trauma and sought out to become  trauma informed. That same passion, to learn and to do more is what drove her to seek additional ways to help others live full lives. What Karen didn’t realize was the impact gesalt would have on her own life. As Karen started working with Melisa Pearce who in 2011 founded the Equine Gesaltist program at Touched by a Horse, she realized how much of her childhood had been repressed and was holding her back from living a life which now fulfills her. Karen’s life has always been rich with animals so it seems to Karen it is a natural next step to include dogs as partners in the Equine Gestalt healing process.

Karen sees horses and dogs as the original healers. The dogs and horses provide non judgmental comfort and unconditional love. Through the Canine-Equine Gestalt technique, she now uses her skills and knowledge to assists others to heal emotionally and gain a sense of peace and purpose to live balanced and joyful lives, living in the moment.  Dogs and horses also live in the moment and readily share their innate skills of healing support for the journey to live a life full of new possibilities and blessings in a safe, confiedntial, wholistic way.


Karen’s given Northern Cheyene name, hesta ‘he mo’ enase

which translates as blessed animal heart woman

In a realm where love entwines,

Where dogs and horses set the lines,

There resides a soul, gentle and kind,

A spirit captivating, Karen, defined.

Her heart, a haven for paws and hooves,

She cherishes them, each creature she soothes.

With canines loyal, her love does bloom,

Their wagging tails erase all gloom.

In her presence, dogs find solace sweet,

Their playful antics at her feet.

From bounding joy to gentle snuggles,

Her love for them only deepens and doubles.

But horses, majestic, hold her gaze,

Their grace and strength her spirit amaze.

She finds solace atop their backs,

In the rhythm of hooves, her worries slack.

With reins in hand, she rides the breeze,

Through fields and forests, her soul finds ease.

In harmony, they move as one,

Bound by a bond, never to come undone.

Karen, a guardian of four-legged friends,

Her love for them knows no amends.

In their eyes, she sees pure devotion,

A love story etched in eternal motion.

So here’s to Karen, a woman of grace,

Whose heart’s symphony echoes in each embrace.

May dogs and horses forever bless her days,

As she continues on love’s noblest of ways.