Lantern Lane Farm, founded in 2004 by Ralph and Joni Cook as a small counseling center, has become a place of healing for thousands through both traditional and equine assisted therapy models.
The business obtained its non-profit status in 2008 and has expanded outside of its base center on Logue Road in Mt. Juliet to four other locations: Hermitage, Madison, Hendersonville and most recently Brentwood.
Jeff Gregg, who spent many years in the music industry, was hired as the executive director in April of 2020.
“I was a talent agent guiding artists in their careers and now I’m guiding people in their emotions and life,” said Gregg.
The career change later in life does make sense. Gregg, 61, said it truly was a God thing.
“The Holy Spirit called me to it,” he said. “I was going to therapy in 2007. It turned out to be a transformative experience.”
During the pandemic, LLF remained open, doing sessions via Zoom and outdoors at the farm using stations set up in the yard, barn and pastures on the 15-acre facility.
These days, Gregg actually has two jobs, as a therapist and as the facility’s executive director. He deals with budgeting, facilities, donor relations, grant writing and overseeing the volunteers. He specializes in therapy for young adults, couples, and emerging adults.
The Mt. Juliet facility recently added a new covered therapy riding arena.
“Equine therapy is good for all ages because people feel comfortable around horses and they learn to trust these animals and form relationships and open up about their issues in the process,” said Gregg.
The new Brentwood location has two therapists and is the only other location besides Mt. Juliet that offers equine therapy. Therapist Cindy Thompson worked at the Mt. Juliet facility and had everything at her Brentwood farm to offer equine therapy. She has three horses available for therapy sessions.
“Galloping Grace Farm owned by Cindy Thompson is leasing the beautiful equine facility to LLF,” Joni Cook said. “Cindy came to us in the beginning years of LLF as an equine volunteer. After experiencing all that God was doing, Cindy went back to school to get her master’s degree in equine therapy and asked LLF to open a branch office on her property to serve the community where she resides.”