Our Team

EQUUSOMA® is grateful for the many hands (and hooves!) of support from humans and herds around the world who share our vision for horse-human relationships. Read on below for more details about our two-legged lead team members. For more information about the EQUUSOMA® approved training assistants, personal session and consultation providers, click here.

About Sarah

Professional CV

Sarah (she/her) is a Registered Psychotherapist, Canadian Certified Counsellor and Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner with a trauma-focused master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Victoria.  Fluent in French and English, her foundation within Somatic Experiencing® and mammalian psychophysiology includes:

Additional trauma treatment trainings and seminars she has attended include but are not limited to EMDR, Brainspotting, parts work (structural dissociation theory, Internal Family Systems), Deep Brain Reorienting, Body Memory Recall, Bioenergetics, and Sensory-Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment, among others. She has studied directly with or attended conference presentations from other well-known experts in the trauma field, such as Dr. Frank Corrigan, Dr. Janina Fisher, Dr. Gabor Maté, Kathy Martin, Dolores Mosquera, Babette Rothschild, Dr. Allan Schore, Dr. Daniel Siegel, and Dr. David Berceli.

Human-Animal Bond and Equine Studies

Sarah completed her training in Integrative Equine-Facilitated Wellness with Deborah Marshall, MA, RCC in Nanaimo, BC.  The IEFW model is body-oriented and focused on trauma and mindfulness, incorporating elements from the work of Dr. Peter Levine, Dr. Robert Scaer, Dr. Daniel Siegel, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Babette Rothschild; ecopsychology in the tradition of Jon Young, Richard Louv, and Michael Cohen; and aspects of the Eponaquest® Approach, relational horsemanship, and liberty work.

She has also completed the online Fundamentals of Natural Lifemanship training with Bettina Shultz-Jobe, LPC and Tim Jobe, on Trauma-Focused Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy. This model is grounded in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics of Dr. Bruce Perry, as well as in attachment theory applied to both horse and human relationships.

Additional related education, clinics, and conferences attended include:

  • EMDR for Animals with Fabienne Lannes Gillibert (Marseille, France)
  • Resolving Fear Issues in Horses with Robin Foster, PhD and Lauren Fraser (IAABC)
  • Pair Bond Training with Marina Wright (The Wright Approach)
  • The Dance of Relationship – Resnick’s Waterhole Rituals with Sharolyn Wandzura (Ears Forward Coaching)
  • Humane Education Conference (Green Chimneys Children’s Center, New York)
  • Equine-Assisted Mental Health Stream with Sue McIntosh, MA, CCC (Power of the Horse Conference, CanTRA, BC)
  • Clinics with Buck Brannaman and Todd Owens

Sarah’s background also includes volunteering with the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dogs, volunteering for national committees involved in the development of standards and ethics for the fields of animal-assisted therapy and equine-facilitated wellness in Canada, coordinating The Natural Connection (a comprehensive online directory for animal- and nature-based interventions, programs, trainings and resources, no longer active), conducting her master’s thesis practice pattern research about the state of the field in Canada, and incorporating her dogs in therapy sessions.

Sarah has presented at a variety of animal/equine-related conferences, including:

  • International Society for Equitation Science (ISES, Guelph, ON, 2019)
  • International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO/Green Chimneys, New York, 2019)
  • International Symposium for Equine Welfare and Wellness (Germany, 2017; Pennsylvania, 2019)
  • Natural Lifemanship Conference (Brenham, Texas, 2017 and 2019)
  • Animals and Us: Research, Policy and Practice (Windsor, ON, 2018)
  • International Society for Anthrozoology Conference (Toronto, ON, 2008)

A former volunteer for The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada, she is an avid student of horsemanship from a variety of approaches and perspectives, drawing primarily from ethology, as well as behavioural learning theory, equitation science research, relational horsemanship, clicker training, and liberty interactions. EQUUSOMA®, of course, goes beyond behaviourism to explore how to apply Somatic Experiencing®, attachment theory, ethology, neuroscience, and other frameworks and approaches to understanding and addressing trauma in equines and in the equine-human relationship. She is also inspired by the work of Lucy Rees, Rachaël Draaisma, Francesco De Giorgio and José De Giorgio-Schoorl, Emily Kieson, Katarina Lundgren, Marc Bekoff, and others. She has two horses, a Paint Percheron cross named Brando and a Paint Quarter Horse cross named Ruby.

She is also the co-founder of Equuscience™ with Dr. Steve Peters, and the currently-retired Equuspirit™ equine-facilitated trauma therapy program.

EQUUSOMA® Faculty In Training

Ines Kaiser, SEP, ESP

Ines (she/her) is a Somatic Psychotherapist, Advanced Eponaquest® Instructor, Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner, EQUUSOMA® Practitioner, and former horse trainer and riding coach. Originally from Liechtenstein, she currently resides in the medieval village of Moussac, France. She offers personal sessions in person and online, private intensives, and group workshops from her farm, The Place of Grace.

This serene facility along the Gardon River is home to over 20 equines of various ages and backgrounds, 3 cats, and 3 dogs. Ines is fluent in German, English and French.

Her work is also inspired by the developmental trauma and inner child work of Walid Daw, Core Energetics (Switzerland), quantum mechanics, and the work of Thomas Hübl, Brené Brown, Eckhart Tolle, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, and Caroline Myss. She has trained in body-oriented psychotherapy with horses (Monika Mehlem, Germany) and co-authored “Marcher dans les pas du cheval – Sagesse animale et découverte de soi” with Anna Evans (2018). She is the former co-director of the EquiMotion Institute for Equine-Facilitated Therapy in Luxembourg.

In her earlier life with horses, she experienced various training methods in dressage, show jumping and natural horsemanship. Her work with horses today is influenced by people like Elsa Sinclair who apply freedom-based training. Respecting the horses’ freedom in their space is of utmost importance in her approach.

Ines is currently the lead assistant for the EQUUSOMA® training cohorts in Europe.

Susanne Hays, MS, LMFT, SEP, ESP

Fluent in German and English, Susanne (she, her) is a Licensed Marriage, Family, and Child Therapist, Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner, and EQUUSOMA® Practitioner. She is the owner of Pegasus Somatic Trauma Healing, a private practice on a small Ranch in Black Forest, Colorado. Her “team” consists of three horses, two cats, and a dog. Her office is in a welcoming barn with indoor rooms and easy access to nature.

She is trained in various modalities like Art, Sandtray, Play, Family, Yoga, Mindfulness, and Equine-Assisted Therapy. She practices through a Somatic Experiencing® and attachment lens, tracking and addressing the nervous system and providing for physiological and psychological change. She offers new experiences to develop capacity in the body, so trauma can be processed and discharged.

Susanne sees mostly adults, and children only if the parents are involved. Her work focuses on complex trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety, syndromal patterns resulting in health issues, and near death experiences/medical trauma. She is trained to work with a wide range of other traumas, such as accidents, falls, near drowning, electrocution, etc.

She also offers personal sessions and individual case consultations to SE students through the Advanced Level. She is an approved assistant for Dr. Levine’s Master classes and is also approved to provide EQUUSOMA® sessions and consultations. She has experience providing supervision to LPC and LMFT candidates for licensure in CO. Susanne has assisted for SE faculty members Alicen Halquist, Dr. Joshua Sylvae, Dr. Raja Selvam, Lael Keen, Dr. Abi Blakeslee, and Dr. Shideh Lennon. She has also completed DARE I and II, (Dynamic Attachment Repatterning Experience); various master classes with Dr. Peter Levine as well as the Safe and Sound Protocol training with Dr. Stephen Porges. She is a therapeutic riding instructor through PATH International (but no longer offers therapeutic riding). She has been an avid student of relational horsemanship for many years, and now works with horses through the EQUUSOMA® lens, tracking the nervous system of the horse, building secure attachments and resilience, and fostering a healthy relationship that is mutually beneficial for the horse and human.