Scope of Practice
Similar to Somatic Experiencing®, EQUUSOMA® can be applied in different scopes of practice. Individuals must identify and commit to working within their scope of practice (e.g., equine-assisted/facilitated psychotherapy, equine-assisted/facilitated learning, equine professional) in order to practice EAL/EFL or EAP/EFP or related equine-assisted interventions (e.g., equine-assisted yoga, equine-assisted Reiki, etc.) ethically and with integrity in a trauma-informed way.
Training participants are also responsible for abiding by the standards of practice of their regulatory or licensing body, professional association, and municipal, state/provincial, and federal laws.
Equine professionals who attend EQUUSOMA® training with the intention of applying this information in other contexts (such as horse training, riding instruction, behaviour consultation, equine health practitioners and so on) must also commit to working within in their scope of practice.
Triangle and Diamond Models of Facilitation
EQUUSOMA® supports both models of facilitating commonly found in animal-assisted interventions:
- Triangle model: Consists of a dually-trained facilitator working solo, client(s), and equine(s). Dually-trained refers to having competency in both working with humans and working with horses.
- Diamond model: Typically consists of a “human facilitator” (mental health, learning, wellness, etc.), an equine professional, client(s), and equine(s). This model is typically used in cases where the “human facilitator” lacks equine experience (see below). Variations on the diamond model include:
- Two dually-trained facilitators working together (with or without additional volunteers as animal handlers) when offering group workshops.
- A dually-trained facilitator partnering with an equine professional with client(s) and equine(s) when offering group workshops or sessions.
- An equine professional with training in equine-assisted learning partnering with a mental health professional when offering group workshops or sessions.
- A mental health professional or dually-trained professional partnering with an equine professional to offer horsemanship instruction, equine behaviour consultation, or riding instruction.
Participants are expected to have familiarity and experience in handling horses in an ethical, respectful way that takes into consideration equine ethology, behaviour, and psychology. Participants must also demonstrate a commitment to learning and applying methods that align with equitation science and to continuing education in these areas.
Participants with less equine experience are welcome to attend EQUUSOMA® training and will be expected to co-facilitate with an equine professional or dually-trained facilitator in order to practice safely and ethically.
Similarly, equine professionals without the requisite human facilitation skills and training are expected to work with a co-facilitator with this scope of practice when offering EAP/EFP or EAL/EFL sessions to clients.
Ethics and Standards
The EQUUSOMA® model was developed in alignment with the ethics and standards of the Professional Association of Equine-Facilitated Wellness, an organization that prioritizes the needs of the animals in equine interaction programs and promotes trauma-informed practice.
Insurance requirements vary around the world, from country to country and even state to state (or province to province). Some insurance companies require individuals to provide a certificate of completion of training (or proof of certification) prior to offering insurance coverage. Other plans provide coverage while training participants are still mid-training (in order to allow them the opportunity to practice what they are learning). Insurance companies typically require individuals to have proof of a clear scope of practice prior to providing insurance coverage.
In some cases, it may be possible to work under the supervision of somebody who has liability insurance (whether as a student or as a new professional), or participants may work for an organization that has insurance that covers their work.
Training participants are responsible for ensuring they are abiding by the parameters of their insurance.