sonja_lairila,_emily_kieson,_katarina_felicia_lundgrenInvitation to anyone who works in Equines in Therapy and/or Learning Programs (or want to!)

Maybe you do therapy with horses? Coaching? Learning? Personal development? Team-building? Leadership-skills trainings? Mindfulness? Spiritual explorations? Yoga? Dance? Song? Drumming? Maybe you are a researcher in the field? Or a beginner who do not know where to turn or sign up? Or maybe you are “just” a very curious person who works on the human side of wellbeing?

How you name it and yourself and whatever it contains – as long as equines are a part of it, or can be, in some way – come and show us! Come and share your knowledge and experience! Come and take part in what other providers or explores in the field want to share and have feedback on!

The 21-23 of June we invite you to MiMer Centre in Torna Hällestad, Skåne, Sweden – for an Open Mind-Space gathering were we all share how we work with equines, how we talk about our equine team-members, how we think of them, what we think we know about them, how we see our and our equines future in this fast growing field of equine assisted interventions and activities, or something else you want to share with us.

We have the space and offer the facilitation of the gathering, you bring your knowledge, experience, but also your curiosity, questions and openness – and we share, get to know each other, build networks and maybe find new collaborators? Or maybe we “just” find new questions? (or answers!)

The experience will broaden your view of the field and of the different models (or no-models) that the participants represent, it will inspire you, and give you new perspectives. Maybe it will also give you some new insights of in what direction to head next in your own personal or/and professional journey?

How is the gathering set up?

We meet on the 21st at lunchtime, eat together and set the program for the weekend. You all contribute with a session, be that a practical one or a more discussion based one. You decide the content of your session. We end on the 23rd eat lunch together, wrap up and say good-bye.

We as gathering facilitators act as the Equine Professionals and see that the equine team members' voices, needs and choices are heard and respected. We also facilitate the gathering in itself.

On the facility we have access to a couple of different indoor spaces, as well as a big variety of outdoor spaces in our fields and the surrounding nature reserve. 10 equines, 15 sheep, 15 goats, a number of hens, cats, and a dog live on the facility.

You pay for your travels, your food, your accommodation and a small fee for the facility/to the equines (80 Euro/person) – but we all contribute with our time, engagement and interest.

For those of you how are interested can take part in the vegan cooking food team, and we cook and eat together during the weekend. For those who are interested at staying at the facility, you can book a room or a yurt at our hostel or bring your own tent for a small fee (

What is the idea behind and the goal with the gathering?

The idea behind the gathering is to provide an open space for sharing, learning and discussing regardless of your background. As equine enthusiasts, we believe in the potential that equines can bring to different practices. Thus, we want to create a space in which practitioners of different fields can gather together and explore the value of diversity in a safe and appreciative atmosphere where all participants and their skills, including equines, are respected and recognized. It is your choice to decide in which activities you want to take part in and what you want to share with others. The goal of the gathering is to provide an experiential interdisciplinary learning platform for a diverse group of people, linked together by their interest and fascination for equine assisted activities.

Facilitators: Emily Kieson, Sonja Lairila and Katarina Felicia Lundgren
Place: MiMer Centre, Torna Hällestad, Skåne, Sweden
Price: 80 Euro/person – see above what is included
Date: 21st of June 12.00-23rd of June 13.30.

Who are the facilitators?

Emily Kieson is a multi-disciplinary trainer and instructor. She has taken several trainings in equine assisted activities and therapies. It was during these trainings that she discovered the lack of research in horse-human interactions and became interested (honestly, obsessed) with developing the science in this field. Emily is specifically interested in understanding how horses interact with humans in ways that mimic social bonding, so she can help develop better models of equine-assisted psychotherapy that use equine interactions to parallel interpersonal relationships. She is finishing her Phd in Comparative Psychology this summer.

Sonja Lairila is a promoter of equine wellbeing and a Dynamic Mindfulness yoga teacher. Her passion is to explore the intersections between movement, body awareness, horse-human communication, and holistic wellbeing. She draws inspiration from different movement and mindfulness-based practices into interactions with horses, especially emphasizing the value of play and curiosity, for both horses and humans. Sonja holds a BA in nature- and culture communication and looks at the equine world through interdisciplinary lenses combining eastern philosophy with modern science.

Katarina Felicia Lundgren is an equine-human interaction and growth facilitator, an equine cognitive scientist and a nature based mindfulness instructor whose passion is to explore the interaction between humans and equines, inside and outside of equine assisted therapies. She is an avid equine welfare and ethics advocate. She also works passionately to spread knowledge about equines and equine-human interaction, as well as engaging in and promoting research in this area by offering trainings, writing and building networks. She is currently writing her master's thesis on equine-human interaction in therapies.

For those of you who are new to Open Space learning/meetings, here is a short introduction video:

To sign up, contact Katarina Felicia Lundgren, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +46 (0)768 95 98 68.