Steps to Completing Training

Trauma can be found in any room or round pen. This is why the EQUUSOMA® Training is geared towards four streams of professionals:

  • STREAM 1: Equine-assisted psychotherapy and learning practitioners regardless of approach (whether as the mental health professional, the experiential learning or healing professional, the equine professional, or as someone with cross-training and qualifications in two or more of these categories). This category also includes therapeutic (or adaptive) riding instructors and hippotherapy practitioners
  • STREAM 2: Horse trainers, equine behaviourists, horsemanship instructors, riding coaches, or other equine health or bodywork professionals
  • STREAM 3: Somatic Experiencing® students and practitioners
  • STREAM 4: Health, helping, healing, learning and coaching professionals with a clearly defined scope of practice who do not have a background in either 1. or 3.

Training modules have different combinations of students from these four streams, allowing a rich opportunity for individuals from each background to learn from one another. The material is relevant to many scopes of practice, and training participants will be exploring how to integrate what they have learned into the context of their own work and existing approaches.

Attending the training with the person you partner with to offer your services (if this applies to you) is encouraged to integrate the material. A 10% discount is offered to pairs of co-facilitators or pairs of people who jointly offer services who register for the same live in-person modules together. This does not apply to the online Fundamentals.

Begin Here

  • Submit a registration package, which are located on each individual event on the Events page (in Letter format) or on the Documents page (in Letter and A4 format). An electronic registration form is being developed to replace the PDF version and will be available soon.

Step 1: Online Fundamentals Training (40 hours)

The Fundamentals Training is a foundational introduction to the material described here. All training participants must complete Fundamentals prior to attending the Practical Intensives so that everyone has the same grounding in the material.

Fundamentals I (20 hours) Description coming soon!

Fundamentals II (20 hours) Description coming soon!

Step 2: Practical Intensive I (30 hours)

Completion of the Fundamentals training is required prior to attending the first Practical Intensive. Training participants should also have completed 5 personal sessions of Somatic Experiencing® and have started one or some of the following recommended readings prior to attending this module.

  • Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma (Peter Levine)
  • In An Unspoken Voice (Peter Levine)
  • Nurturing Resilience (Kathy Kain and Stephen Terrell)
  • Language Signs and Calming Signals in Horses (Rachaël Draaisma)
  • Horses in Company (Lucy Rees)
  • Equus Lost? (Francesco De Giorgio and José De Giorgio-Schoorl)

Days 1-2: Personal Process

The first two days of this module consist of a personal workshop that training participants attend as “clients” as opposed to students, experiencing facilitation by the trainer and the team of training assistants. This is to allow training participants an opportunity to experience some of the material personally first and to work on their own inner awareness, regulation, containment, and attunement before moving into practicing the material within a professional role. This is also to support the relational process to unfold between the participants and the equines at each facility prior to adding another nervous system (the “client”) into the mix.

Days 3-5: Facilitation Practice

The last three days of this module focus more specifically on practicing facilitating or co-facilitating interactions between equines and people on the ground, and gaining more in-depth experience in applying skills and principles learned during the Fundamentals Training and during readings and personal sessions. Specific themes will also be explored in greater depth, as well as particular contexts and specialty topics. These will depend on the needs of each group. Practice rounds are supported by a team of training assistants.

Step 3: Practical Intensive II (30 hours)

Completion of the Fundamentals online training and Practical Intensive I are required prior to attending the second Practical Intensive. Ideally, the remaining 5 personal sessions will have been completed prior to attending this module (however, the remaining sessions can be completed afterwards).

Participants attending their second Practical Intensive will have particular assignments to complete and present to the cohort. Depending on the participant, this may involve the presentation of a case study, a group workshop plan, or a clinic event outline for guidance or refinement for use in their practice. There will also be further experiential practice in (co)facilitation as well as discussion about the application of the material to mounted work and touch/table work.

Step 4: EQUUSOMA® Practitioner Designation

The following requirements are necessary to complete the training program and attain the designation of EQUUSOMA® Practitioner (ESP).

  • 100 hours of training
  • Assigned recommended readings (note: other suggested readings are not mandatory)
  • 10 hours of personal sessions of Somatic Experiencing® (with or without horses present) with an approved provider
  • 10 hours of consultation with an approved provider
  • Written assignment
  • Scope of practice statement
  • Additional requirements may be added depending on a particular training participant’s learning goals and skill sets