HISTORY: Equine Assisted Organizations, Training Programs plus RESOURCES
All of us begin our search for understanding the field of EAP/EAL trying to grasp what it is exactly. Perhaps reviewing the history of the different organizations will help you find your ‘fit.’ My history in the field actively began in 1998 when I went online to search for equine assisted psychotherapy and found three hits [today there are over eighty pages]. Two of the hits were for Equine Services, the training organization Greg Kersten owned. One was a NARHA (now PATH, Intl) based link which eventually led to Boo McDaniel’s Horses and Healing conference. Thus I began my search. ~Pam Salem (BIO)
Additional information can be added by authorized representatives from each organization. There are other training programs available for equine assisted work. I hope this aids your own journey.
Below are the membership organizations in rough chronological order along with various trainings that have grown with the field. Suggested Resources are offered as well.
EFMHA (now PATH) The Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association began as a subcommittee of NARHA in 1994 according to the chronological history at the former EGEA, and EFMHA was granted section status by NARHA in 1996. Co-founder Boo McDaniel held Horses & Healing conferences at her Pony Farm in New Hampshire. Boo has written an article about the founding of EFMHA that was published by NARHA in their magazine. Contact PATH for a copy of the article. Another co-founder, Barbara Rector, continues to train individuals through her Adventures in Awareness [AIA] programs. In 2010, NARHA incorporated EFMHA into the newly named PATH Intl (Professional Horsemanship of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International). The term EFP or Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy is definedHERE. This forum hosts a wealth of information from those with EFMHA foundation: EFMHE Listserv Views expressed on this list are solely the views of the author(s).
Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (PATH)
Adventures in Awareness http://www.adventuresinawareness.net/ Barbara Rector
EPONAQUEST Linda Kohanov established Epona Equestrian Services in 1997. Her Tao of Equus was published in 2001. Riding Between the Worlds was published in 2003. While not a membership organization like the other organizations, EPONAQUEST provides holistic and spiritual approaches to acquiring emotional fitness skills, including creativity workshops as well as The Eponaquest Apprenticeship Program. Best Practice Guidelines for Epona-approved instructors. Starting in 2013, apprentices also began receiving instruction in how to teach The Five Roles of a Master Herder in corporate, educational, personal development, equestrian, and family systems contexts. This model, based on research Linda first presented in The Power of the Herd, has since expanded into another book, The Five Roles of a Master Herder. “While I was intrigued and most certainly inspired by the potential of equine-facilitated therapy, I was most interested in partnering with horses to help so-called ‘well-adjusted’ people learn to how to excel in life and work.”
EAGALA , the Equine Assisted Growth & Learning Association, was formed in July 1999 out of the work begun by Greg Kersten and Lynn Thomas in Kersten’s business, Equine Services. Greg Kersten had begun, some years before, working with adjudicated youth near Washington, DC, rewarding them with visits to the horses when they met their requirements. Soon Kersten, a trained alcohol and drug counselor, developed a system of exercises that he took with him to Turn-About Ranch, a residential program in Utah, where he met Lynn Thomas, a wilderness guide, who was impressed with his results. Thomas then earned a social work degree before Eagala formed. Lanier Cordell was instrumental in logo creation/selection and contributed to the marketing of Eagala. In 1998 I was in touch via email with Lynn Thomas during the formation of Eagala as a non profit association, the selection of Board Members, and the assorted questions about non profit application. A conference was held in Utah in 1999, and in Lubbock, TX, in 2000 with 100+- people in attendance. In 2002 a committee was formed to study the expansion of Equine Assisted Learning. In 2004 just one Eagala training hosted 80 people at $500 per person with the revenues that year approaching one million (the figures can be obtained from the Eagala IRS 990 form, public record). In 2005, at the conference in Primm, NV, it was announced that Eagala would focus totally on equine assisted psychotherapy and not expand into equine assisted learning in order to establish standards and promote the Eagala model in the mental health field, a decision Kersten opposed. He also opposed Board members doing Eagala trainings and making money from Eagala while serving on the Board of Directors which he considered a conflict of interest.
During that shift, the Eagala Board of Directors voted to remove Greg Kersten as the Executive Director from the organization he established with his intellectual property. Thomas was retained as executive director by the Board of Directors. Kersten sued for financial restitution of his intellectual property but was never compensated. Eagala’s 990 form showed legal expenses of $90,000. The original training manuals were changed and an Eagala “Model” became branded by the new Board of Directors. Currently Eagala promotes its Model for both EAP and EAL as well as corporate work, all requiring a therapist in the team.
OK CORRAL SERIES Greg Kersten established this EAP training organization after his disputed departure from Eagala in 2005. Kersten’s talent and creativity continue to benefit the equine assisted community. The OK Corral trains nationally and internationally, and the website lists over 500 members. Kersten offers a series of innovative seminar/workshops based on the different applications of EAP/EAL he has created. Signature exercises were created by Greg Kersten with the help of countless at-risk youth he served in the 1980s and 1990s. The exercises were first published and copyrighted in the Equine Assisted Psychotherapy training manual, published by Equine Services, Inc. in 1995. New exercises are being created every day, but these exercises have become synonymous with Greg Kersten and EAP. OK Corral publishes a newsletter called the Equine Assisted Networker that supplies current news and information for the equine assisted field. OK Corral GATHERINGS are held in different parts of the country as a one-day event for members and newcomers to learn new equine assisted exercises, add depth to their understanding of equine assisted philosophy in practice, and network with other equine assisted individuals.
EGEA the Equine Guided Education Association was established in 2003 by Ariana Strozzi to promote equine guided education, a holistic model based on her program of Leadership & Horses and Somatic Coaching. After Eagala made the decision to focus on EAP, EGEA offered conferences to promote EAL. It now operates as http://casariranch.com/sky-horse-equine-guided-education/
EAHAE The European Association for Horse Assisted Education was founded in 2004 by Gerhard Krebs. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EAHAEinternational/
E3A the Equine Experiential Education Association was founded July 2008 by a core group to provide an international professional membership organization that builds, delivers, and supports excellence in the field of Equine Assisted Learning. The training and services are specific to practitioners interested in building their professional facilitation skills in the coaching, leadership, corporate and personal development fields. Each team member is trained in horse handling and communication as well as facilitation skills so each team member is knowledgeable in a well-balanced team.
E3A Five Question Model
E3A hosted its first international conference in Sept 2017:
EAPD Equine-Assisted Personal Development In EAPD ~ equine assisted personal development ~ Chris Irwin facilitates students on how to lead horses with Insights that integrate “horse sense” into practical and essential life skills. EAPD is a paradigm shift experience in conscious awareness. Participants learn how to communicate respectfully and consistently with their personal core – their primal energy – so that self-assurance balanced with empathy is expressed through non-verbal behavior. Chris has renamed this INTERNAL COMPASS.
NATURAL LIFEMANSHIP Certification Trainings with Tim and Bettina Jobe. As the original Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (TF-EAP™), NL is based on contemporary medical research that explains the physiological and psychological impact of chronic stress and traumatic insults on human development beginning in utero and throughout the lifespan. Founded on this science Natural Lifemanship views and treats psychological and behavioral disorders through a trauma lens by intentionally using horse physiology to regulate human physiology, and horse psychology to heal human psychology. In TF-EAP™ the relationship between the client and their horse is the foundation for healing and every interaction between the horse and human, whether on the ground or mounted, has a therapeutic purpose. https://naturallifemanship.com/training-certification/mental-health-practitioners/https://naturallifemanship.com/training-certification/for-educators/
IFEAL QUALIFICATIONS http://ifealqualifications.com/ UK-based IFEAL Qualifications was established in 2007, as a professional training that has the depth and psychological competency needed to do justice to any equine assisted facilitation, coaching and psychotherapy interventions. They realised the need for a systematic method in order to best consider and validate the complex process and outcomes of the Facilitator-Horse-Client alliance. Hale Court Farm House, Beech Green Lane, Withyham, East Sussex, TN7 4DD
GESTALT EQUINE INSTITUTE OF THE ROCKIES
We offer a two year training program in Gestalt Equine Psychotherapy (GEP)™. You will learn the essentials of Gestalt therapy and the essentials of equine assisted psychotherapy providing a great deal of experiential work directly with the horses in this program. About 75% of this program will be hands on, both with horses and working with each other in an experiential way. Many equine programs do not include any, or have very little expectation that you will become a “horse” person. We will hold that you become both a “horse” person and a Gestalt therapist. Duey Freeman, MA, LPC and Joan Rieger, MA, LPC
The Equine Gestalt Coaching Method® (EGCMethod) 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, assist the client in examining their life and choices made with a focus on designing a positive future. Read more about Melisa by clicking here.
Human-Equine Alliances for Learning (HEAL)
HEAL founder and lead therapist Leigh Shambo, MSW, LPCC has developed the HEAL Model™ of EFP, based on scientifically validated principles from the fields of neuroscience and psychology (human and animal). The HEAL Model™ teaches core skills for navigating and enhancing relationships, while strengthening autonomy and awareness of self. The horses are respected as sensitive and intelligent communicators who may guide the process in unique ways!
The Listening Heart: The Limbic Path Beyond Office Therapy By MSW, LMHC, Leigh Shambo
Equine-Assisted EMDR http://eaemdr.com/ Sarah Jenkins, USA
Equine Facilitated Learning and Coaching (EFLC) Certification Program
KATHY PIKE This program melds aspects of human consciousness, energy awareness, horse wisdom and nature to create safe learning environments that support authentic expression and skills development in this new and rapidly emerging field.
Medicine and Horsemanship
Dr. Beverley Kane. Medicine and Horsemanship trains medical students and other healthcare students and practitioners to develop awareness of the subtleties of self-presentation and communication that are necessary for the provider-patient relationship and all other professional encounters.
The Herd Institute http://herdinstitute.com/ Veronic Lac, New Albany, Ohio USA
The HERD Institute offers an inclusive environment, embraces an attitude of abundance, and honors the potential of all its members. We aim for Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy and Learning (EFPL) to be recognized as an empirically based treatment and educational modality.
Horse Spirit Connections Inc, Canada http://horsespiritconnections.com – Horse Spirit Connections founded theFEEL (Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning)® Certification Program in 2008. FEEL is a leading-edge modality for developing human potential. Participants learn to create a horse-centered, experiential learning environment that supports personal growth. Throughout the training, prospective FEEL Practitioners gain self-knowledge and acquire skills and experience to develop their own FEEL programs where horses are valued for their roles as teachers and healers. www.FEELAlumni.com Wendy Golding is an Epona Instructor and has completed an extensive apprenticeship with Linda Kohanov and Kathleen Barry Ingram of the Epona Center in Arizona.
Equine Connection, Canada
Equine Assisted Learning BuildingBlock™ Course has helped people just like yourself all over the world to do what you are called to do, help people to become all they can be with the horses as the teachers.
International Academy of Medicine Horses, Canada
Dedicated to bringing wisdom and knowledge to the world of Equine Therapy from the perspective of First Nations and the Medicine Horses.
LEAD (Leadership through Equine Assisted Discovery) Program (Canada)
LEAD is the first university-accredited equine-assisted leadership program in Canada; participants receive a University of Guelph certificate on successful completion of the program.
Equine Facilitated Wellness-Canada (EFW-CAN)
http://www.equinefacilitatedwellness.org EFW-Can is a professional community who values building respectful, trusting relationships through the human-equine bond. Our holistic foundation offers a diverse array of opportunities for personal exploration & growth, professional development, and certification training within the arena of Equine Facilitated Wellness.
Can Praxis, Canada http://canpraxis.com/ While the Canadian Forces uses team building, communications training and leadership development to prepare soldiers for war, Can Praxis uses horses to help soldiers recover from it and regain their family relationships.
Equine-Assisted EMDR http://eaemdr.com/ Sarah Jenkins, USA
Equine Psychotherapy Institute, Australia http://www.equinepsychotherapy.net.au/
LEAP, United Kingdom http://www.leapequine.com/ LEAP provides safe and healing Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) and Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) for individuals and groups, and high quality, professional training for those who wish to become EFP/L practitioners.
Cartier Farms, Canada. http://www.cartierfarms.ca/
Cartier Farms offers the original creation of the award-winning Equine Assisted Learning Building Block (™) Certification Program. It is the only program of its type recognized by the Saskatchewan Horse Federation.
Kathleen Barry Ingram
Kathleen Barry Ingram and her colleagues can help you to look at possibilities and turn them into probabilities that will enrich and enhance your personal and professional life. “The Sacred Space of Possibility” is a term that Kathleen uses to describe those spaces in between doing, where we are being in the moment and liberated from time, self, and material things.
EAQ (Equine Assisted Qualifications) Limited
EAQ® sets and monitors quality standards for its equine assisted learning centres and provides training and qualifications for facilitators and others involved with equine assisted learning. There are a number of EAQ Approved Centres in the UK and Australia offering interaction with horses for children, young people and adults leading to nationally-recognised qualifications. Tricia Day
Ohio State Horse Learning Lab https://ohio4h.org/books-and-resources/learning-lab-kits/horse This is an awesome resource for EAL youth programs.
Strides to Success in Plainfield Indiana is the leader in equine assisted learning training. Our continuing education workshops help professionals create sustainable horse businesses that honor the welfare of the horse and meet a need in the community.
Lisa Baugh Master’s Thesis Equine Assisted Therapy: Striving for Balance In a New Form of Psychotherapyhttp://www.sagrising.com/purchasethesisabstract.html
By Lisa S. Baugh
The complete 128 page master’s thesis is available for purchase. Comes wire bound with black front and back vinyl cover. $46 includes shipping and handling. Contact by phone or email for details: (561) 791-8939 email@example.com
HEALING WITH HORSE SYMPOSIUM AND TELESUMMIT Diedre West
The Healing with Horse Symposium is an annual interdisciplinary or cross-model gathering of Equine Facilitators and others wishing to team with horses to provide space for the empowerment and healing of humans around the globe. The Healing with Horses Tele Summit offers education, ideas, best practices, and inspiration for your equine practice.
Barbara Alexander http://barbarainc.com/
“After working in the corporate world for many years in the fields of team building, leadership and employee performance improvement, I began training in the emerging field of equine experiential learning. This led to forming the Epona Ridge, where women have come for years to gain insight and greater awareness of their life direction. I found that horses provided a significant key to a depth of learning that had not be reached before and opened the heart to a deeper potential of greatness…Prior to coaching with horses I had the privilege of apprenticing with Linda Kohanov, an internationally recognized innovator of EFL and renowned author on expanding human potential. In addition to the traditional corporate leadership training and team building, I am also certified in Linda’s Power of the Herd and Master Herder Leadership programs.”