observing horsesEquines in Therapy

A theoretical and practical 3-4 day training (3 days, with a possibility to add 1 day focusing on working with traumatized clients). The training covers the fundamentals of:

• Equine evolution – how domestication and co-existence with humans have affected horses. Wild versus domesticated equines
• Equine biology, necessary to know about to be able to cater to horse working in therapy, preventing burnout and emotional overload for the horse (this incorporates how to keep and feed a horse in the best possible way under the existing circumstances which the equine lives in).
• How the equine's life affects how he can contribute to EAT, both his previous and current living conditions as well as physical and mental states.
• Ethics – how we help to move the EAP field from equine welfare to equine wellbeing by better understanding the equine biology, but also his emotional, social and cognitive needs.
• Equine cognitive abilities (covering their mental faculties including perception, attention, memory, thinking, emotion, learning and language/communication)
• General conceptions and preconceived notions about equines; The horse as a flight animal, equines social structures as hierarchies, dominant and submissive individuals.
• How your human cognitive abilities meet the equine's cognitive abilities – where you both as mammals are similar and where you as different species differ. And how you work with these similarities and differences in EAT.
• How a common space between horses and humans is created, why it is created and what it opens up to in therapy (addressing the chameleon effect, mimicking/mirroring, emulation, and social learning).
• The mirror neuron theory and why it doesn't sufficiently explain what goes on between horses and humans (or humans and humans) in regard to empathy etc.
• How horses learn and how training affects your horse.
• Horse behavior and misbehavior (stereotypical behavior, bad habits, aggression etc). How to read and reflect on horse behavior, understanding that one behavior can have multiple causes and one expression can be shown through different behaviors.
• How does an equine know what to do in EAT? Joint attention, gaze following, understanding intention.
• Equine stress – eustress – and its impact on the equines and the quality of EAT.
• Negative equine welfare. What to look out for, when to intervene.
• Positive equine welfare – how EAT, properly constructed and monitored by a knowledgeable ES – makes it possible for the equine to not only do good in EAT, but also thrive and grow.
• Anthropomorphism – the bad version and the good and the necessary one. How to use it in EAT to promote and grow empathy towards self and other. Developing a deeper awareness of your own human background.
• Essentials about human psychology to know how horse and human effects each other.
• The horse as a subject, why objectification and instrumentalization don't belong in EAT.
• Intersubjectivity theory – addressing attachment between horse and human. The horse as a transitional object. The common space that is created between horse and human and what can go on in that space.
• The horse as a helper in grounding, staying in the here and now while working on therapeutic issues. The horse as a safe companion.
• How to enhance your observational skills and how to use them in EAT to formulate questions to the client, and to look out for the equine's wellbeing.
• Safety issues – what is safety in EAT? How to assess situations.
• The ES role. Looking out for the equine, contributing your equine knowledge and understanding of equine-human interaction.
• The ES support to the equine. How to remain a safe person for the equine.
• Awareness of yourself and what you bring to a session. Both awareness on how you interact with others and how this potentially affect everybody present (equines as humans), but also awareness of your own “inner stuff” and how awareness of it keeps it out of the sessions.
• Teamwork and respect. How when you work within your scope of practice, if you are an ES, together with a therapist who does the same (work with a knowledgeable ES) – you together role model respect towards all individuals in the session, but also role model teamwork and collaboration.
• EAT activities. How to choose them. Props, space, and environment.
• Working with different populations – who this affect your work and how you prepare.
• Why you always, as an ES, need to work with a properly licensed mental health professional – trained to work with the population you offer help to if you are offering any kind of psychological treatment.
• How and when mounted work can be used, and what kind of mounted work.
• Your responsibilities as an ES – towards the horse, the client and the therapist.
• How to prepare for sessions. How to prepare yourself and how to take care of yourself after sessions.
• How you, on your own, can further develop your observational skills and use your own senses as tools.

The days consist of a mix of theoretical seminars and discussions and practical exercises with horses and humans. The practical exercises will include how to enhance your observational skills and how you link what you see with what you know, aware of your own filters, as how you formulate your observations into ES questions – in collaboration with the therapist. As well as how your observational skills are what keeps the equine both safe and provide him with a space to grow.

The training is adapted to the participants level of knowledge. Other areas/topics can be covered if need be, as some areas will only be touched upon depending on the participants prior, already acquired knowledge and skills. An interview will be conducted with each participant to establish expectations on the training as well as specific knowledge needs. There will also bee a list of suggested reading to do before coming.

The training is equally suitable and beneficial for equine specialists and therapists, you will just leave the training with different levels of deepened knowledge.

Complimentary online support is offered after the training, on a consultant basis. There will also be possibilities to do follow up trainings.

If you are interested in the training, a detailed program will be sent to you on request.

Price: 3 days €500, 4 days €625, including lunch and snacks.
Dates: 13-15 (16)) September 2018

The training will be held in English (or also Swedish, if with only Swedish participants/participants from the Nordic countries).

When the training is held at our own facility, accommodation is available at our hostel, ask for availability and prices. You can find more info about our accommodation options on www.trollskogensvandrarhem.se

25% of the revenue goes to MiMer Centre, an NGO that works to contribute to research, education, and knowledge spreading about equines and equine assisted therapies – www.mimercentre.org

This training is based on Ilka Parent at Minds-n-Motion (www.mindsnmotion.net) work and what I have learned through training and working with her team, how I have developed my work with equines since 2008 together with psychologists/psychotherapists/coaches and trainers in Sweden and Denmark, and the most recent research pertaining horse-human interaction, equine cognition, equine welfare and several other fields that contributes to explain the dynamics between horses and humans, as well as knowledge about equines, equine welfare and wellbeing, with focus on EAT.

If you are interested in signing up or have questions, please contact Katarina Felicia Lundgren, MiMer Centre, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +46 768 95 98 68.