Equines in Therapy and Learning Programs - Level 1 - The Fundamentals
Are you an Equine Professional and want to work with Equines in Therapy or Learning Programs? Are you a therapist that considers including EiT/L in your work? Do you already work with EiT/L programs, but want to enhance your knowledge and skills on equines, their welfare, safety and the role they play in these programs? Then this training is for you!
EiT/L level 1 is a theoretical and practical 4-day training that presents an alternative approach to understanding equine-assisted therapies and activities through science and research. It is based on 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 EiT/L programs.
The EiT/L level 1 training includes fundamental information that can be applied to every model and method where equines are taking part in therapy and learning programs.
The training covers the fundamentals of:
• Equine evolution – domestication, co-existence with humans. Wild/feral vs domesticated equines
• Equine biology - what do we need to know?
• How the equine's previous and current life affects how he can contribute to EiT/L programs
• Equine cognitive abilities
• General conceptions and preconceived notions about equines.
• Equines and humans' common mammalian background. The importance of species-specific knowledge.
• How a common ground between horses and humans is created.
• The mirror neuron theory and why we don't know if it explains what goes on between horses and humans.
• How horses learn and how training affects your horse.
• Horse behavior and "misbehavior" (stereotypical behavior, "bad" habits, aggression, etc).
• How does an equine know what to do in EiT/L programs?
• Equine stress – eustress and burnout.
• Negative equine welfare.
• Positive equine welfare – growth for equines.
• Anthropomorphism – the bad and the good version.
• Essentials about comparative psychology to know how horses and humans differ and affect each other.
• The horse as a subject, why objectification and instrumentalization don't belong in EiT/L programs.
• Intersubjectivity theory – addressing the two attachment systems at play between horse and human. The horse as a transitional object.
• 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 EiT/L programs to formulate questions to the client, and to look out for the equine's welfare.
• Safety issues – what is safety in EiT/L programs? How to assess situations.
• The EP's role before, during and after sessions.
• The EP support to the equine. How to remain a safe person for the equine.
• Awareness of yourself and what you bring to a session.
• Teamwork and respect. How you work within your scope of practice.
• Activities. How to choose them. Props, space, and environment.
• Working with different populations – who affect your work and how you prepare.
• Why you as an EP need to work with a licensed mental health professional 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 EP – 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 and awareness 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, how you stay aware of your own filters, and how you can use and formulate your observations into equine centered questions directed towards the client(s). As well as how your observational skills are what keeps the equine safe and provide him with a space to grow.
The training is adapted to the participant's 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. A dialogue will be initiated with each interested participant to establish expectations on the training as well as specific knowledge needs. There will also be a list of suggested reading to do before coming.
We encourage open discourse to help participants apply the concepts to their own programs and provide examples of how these principles can be applied to every program. This is not a model or step-by-step process, rather it is a way to integrate science and research into existing models or upon which to develop new approaches to equine-assisted therapy and learning programs. We believe in the application of science in all EiT/L programs and work hard to clarify uncertainties and misunderstandings in equine-human interactions and in the field of EiT/L programs.
The training is equally suitable and beneficial for equine specialists and therapists, you will just leave the training with different levels of deepened knowledge.
There are also the possibilities to do follow up trainings, we offer level 1-3 and a Train the Trainer module.
If you are interested in the training, a detailed program will be sent to you on request.
What is included in the training?
- 4 days of in-person training, including lectures, discussions and practical exercises with horses
- access to our online resource library
- access to MiMer's online network where you can connect with colleagues around the world
- complimentary mentorship / online support after the training, on a consultant basis
Upcoming EiT/L Level 1 trainings:
Portugal, Feburary 11-14 - registration link
Canada, April 8-11 - registration link
Italy, May 1-4 - registration link
Finland May 15-18 registration link
Norway, August 7-10 - registration link
The training will be held in English, but when needed we have a local co-trainer who speaks the language of the country the training is held in.