PROFESSIONAL TRAINING & RESOURCES

Now in Canada, the UK and Online.

Train with leading professionals in the field, and certify with Pro EFW.

Why Healing Hooves? 

When you train with Healing Hooves you join a community of professionals dedicated to a journey of ongoing growth in partnership with animals and nature. This is not a one week program that tells you exactly what to do when. Rather we meet you where you are now, honouring the unique experiences and skills – with people and with animals – you already possess, and we share a ‘map’ for applying and growing your experiences and skills within the Equine and Animal Assisted Services and Wellness field. Our approach is insight based and adaptable and is firmly grounded in both the discernments of science, research and professionalism AND in the wisdom of nature and our animals.  This often means slowing down, looking deeper and allowing more space – all of which we have learned to do best in the company of our animals!

But this doesn’t mean you need to wait long before applying what you learn with us. In fact we encourage and support our students to apply your learnings from our courses, within your unique context and scope of practice, right from the start.

Why a ‘Map’ rather than step by step Directions?

We recognise that a ‘what to do when’ manual or set of directions would be quicker for us to develop and for you to learn. But would it allow you to adapt your journey and approach to take in consideration your own context?  To respond when something doesn’t go according to plan?  While directions tend to dumb you down in anything but the most straightforward of scenarios, maps allow you to think for yourself to find your own way through. Or to take the scenic route, the road less travelled, if that’s what works for you.

The Healing Hooves Map is grounded in our:

  • relationships with animals as sentient beings with their own emotions, intelligence and opinions
  • learnings from neuroscience (human and animal!), attachment theory and trauma informed approaches to understanding and supporting people and animals
  • values of slowing down, honouring emotional defenses, working in the present moment and listening to nature and our body’s own internal wisdom
  • curiosity and openness towards new learnings and insights
  • boundaries, guidance and support of professional practice including a clear scope of practice with both the people and animals we work with, and the separation of training and certification as per Canadian and International ISO standards
  • Collaboration with and support of other professionals in our field and ongoing support of our students

When you train with us we share our map and support you in integrating this with what you already know, what else you would like to learn and where you would like to work on your growing edges. We strive to teach, work and live in accordance with our underlying values, competencies and principals, and we invite you to incorporate these with your own to develop an approach that is uniquely yours, yet supported by ours.

We have also been active leaders in this field and practicing this work for over 25 years – we’ve stood the test of time and we’re not planning on stopping any time soon!

How Long Will it Take?

You can complete our training within one year if you wish. Or you can take a little longer. If you need to gain more experience with horses or in your human services field we can support you to do that too, meaning all are welcome.

How Much will it Cost?

That depends on you!  Your initial enquiries cost nothing and will provide you access to a huge body of resources which you can keep regardless of whether you take any training with us.

Our online ‘Exploration’ course is 6-8 weeks long and costs $650 with a lower early bird rate if you plan ahead.

Our one year training program costs $5,250.  This provides you with full access to three 6-8 week highly interactive online courses, three 2 day onsite workshops in small groups, one onsite horsemanship workshop, regular mentoring and support sessions and more.  Again there are early bird discounts if you plan ahead plus payment plans available to fit your finances.

Certification (and we recommend the program with the Professional Association for Equine Facilitated Wellness for most of our students) will incur additional costs and these will vary depending on the certification body and route chosen. Setting up a business will also incur costs which will vary depending on your plans. We can guide and support you through both of these journeys.

If this sounds like an approach that fits for you please keep reading!

Introduction

Integrating animals into your life and work offers new avenues for healing, learning and growth for both yourself and those you work with!

Come learn about and experience Equine and Animal Assisted Therapy with nationally endorsed training available both online and onsite at our peaceful ranch in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies and now in two UK locations. Healing Hooves programs were established in 1999; we’ve stood the test of time and bring over two decades of experience to all our programs!

You can incorporate animals into many different approaches and professions to invite those you seek to help feel safe with you, engage in your services, learn new skills, and find new paths to healing and growth.

If you are supporting – or have dreams of developing a practice to support – people who struggle with trust or emotional expression, who are resistant to attend or engage in therapy or personal growth sessions, or who are ‘stuck’ and don’t seem to be making progress in a more traditional environment – an animal assisted approach could provide a way through.

Whether you already work with animals, admire them from afar or are simply curious about the opportunities, this is your opportunity to explore the healing power of animals and to harness this for yourself, your practice and your clients.

What past participants are saying about these trainings

Here are just a few examples of how our recent students have described their training experience with Healing Hooves.  If you’d like to speak with a former student to hear from them directly about what our trainings are like, please ask!

“Fantastic training that really boosted my confidence. Amazing horses, perfect for their role and so loved and well looked after. The hands on experience and balance with theory was perfect and gave great opportunity for growth.” – Ella, July 2022

“Very supportive facilitators who helped us explore our strategies and approaches in an individual way.” – Jill, July 2022

“Sue is so clear and accessible when explaining things. I love how she gives real examples.” – Julie, May 2022

“I loved the theory and integration of theory through case studies experiential exercises and debrief. I was grateful for the opportunities to ask questions.  The environment felt very safe and supportive.” JC, May 2022

“The combination of theory and practical was very well balanced. The session planning and practice sessions were meaningful. I am leaving inspired for the work.” –  Anon, Aug 2022

“I really benefitted from the different learning styles – reading, videos, discussion, hands on and interactive.” Jen, 2022

“Very practical application of the high level thinking behind EFW. Excellent takeaways in session planning and horsemanship. Very good pace. Excellent takeaways in session planning and horsemanship. It’s a joy to work and learn with Sue.”  Jason, Oct 2022

“This was a lovely demonstration of respect for the horses and how it is an essential part of EFW.” – Lisa, July 2021

“Excellent models of ethics, safety and well being for all.” –  Tonia July 2022

“Sue has the unique ability to manage the group and the pace so well.” – Teri, Aug 2022

“Very relevant with time for questions and exploration. Hand on. Freedom to try new things, comfort with having a trainer who is receptive to questions, mistakes, ideas, etc.”  – Anon, Oct 2022

“Really really appreciate the authenticity of Sue’s demeanour and she is so knowledgeable.” – Anon, June 2021

“So much love here. A great model of humane care of all animals.” – Carol, June 2021

 

When I walked through the doors at Healing Hooves, something magical happened …

In 2013 I began my EFW training Journey with Healing Hooves. I really didn’t know what to expect, only that I had a 10 hour drive through the mountains to get to a place I loved (Southern Alberta). I already had a background in psychology, facilitation and trauma informed practice and when I walked through the doors at Healing Hooves, something magical happened. I knew I was in the right place and the teaching and learning fit perfectly  for what I had as a vision for my work. The Neufeld Attachment work has enriched not only my EFW practice but also my work as an Anger Management/Family Violence Facilitator at the Northern John Howard Society here in Prince George, BC. I’ve been going back every year to continue my EFW education and to assist with facilitating workshops. Sue’s place has felt like home right from the beginning, this is of course supported by her homemade baking… I have appreciated the opportunity to be part of the Healing Hooves family and would highly recommend any of the workshops and seminars that they offer. It’s not just the power of horses you feel at Healing Hooves but the power of friendship, of family and of nature.
Lisa Loewen
LL Equine, Prince George, BC

 

I share her wonderful selection children’s stories with clients of all ages …
 
I initially met Sue McIntosh almost 9 years ago when I attended my first EFW Training at Healing Hooves. My trainIng experience was so positive that I pursued fulfilling all of my EFW Training requirements at Healing Hooves, under Sue’s guidance. Many years later, I continue to look to Sue as a leader in the field of EFW and as a personal mentor and colleague.
 
Her Developmental and Attachment based approach to EFW has greatly influenced my own Clinical Social Work practice. As a result of my training with Sue, I have had the privilege of offering EFW opportunities to my own clients through my private practice, Heart of the Horse Wellness over the past 8 years.
 
Although I do not see Sue often enough, I am reminded of her frequently as I share her wonderful selection children’s stories with clients of all ages. Sue’s short stories offer a multitude of clinical opportunities that enable clients to explore and identify vulnerable emotions, process personal wounds and explore relational complexities in a non-threatening and “once removed” manner that serves to enrich individual and group sessions as well as promote healing for many clients.
 
Thank you Sue for all that you do to enhance the field of EFW with your knowledge, impeccable ethics and warm heart.
Jane Everitt Walker
Clinical Social Worker
Heart of the Horse
Ontario
 
 

I enrolled in Sue’s EFW training stream in the spring of 2017. It was the wisest and best decision I made …

I first came across Sue McIntosh and her EFW training program at Healing Hooves late in 2016. I was extremely frustrated as I had been searching long and hard to find a training program in ‘Equine-Facilitated -Something’ that aligned with my values and personal and professional ethics as a practicing mental health professional as I wanted to introduce an Animal Assisted/Equine Facilitated component to my practice, and had not found a program that came close to what I was looking for.

Since 2014, I had been building towards adding horses assisted activities to my work as a counsellor with some of my clients where traditional office sessions weren’t working for them. In 2015 I enrolled in a training program for Equine Assisted Learning, which was run in a 1-week training with ongoing support to assist in building the business portion of my practice. Although I took away many skills and specific goal oriented exercises for life skills development from the earlier training in EAL, I was wanting and needing more in depth training and skill building that encouraged me to grow and develop a practice that was unique to my skills and vision as a helping professional.

I enrolled in Sue’s EFW training stream in the spring of 2017. It was the wisest and best decision I made for my development and growth as a provider of Equine Facilitated Wellness (EFW) programs and services. Sue is a highly skilled, professional, knowledgeable teacher, and an industry leader on the cutting edge of the development and evolution of EFW in Canada and beyond. Personally, Sue is kind, empathetic, humorous, and a patient teacher and mentor. At her EFW training sessions, Sue creates a dynamic space for learning, allowing time for questions and concerns to be explored and answered.

If you are considering Sue’s training at Healing Hooves, I highly recommend attending the Exploration Workshop to help you in your decision making process. This is a journey you must experience first hand to really feel the full impact and depth of Sue’s training, skills and the wonderful field of EFW.

Rhonda Pickles
RPC, MPCC, CCPCPR
www.theequineedge.ca

 
 
If you desire to learn and grow, both for personal and professional development, then I encourage you to connect with Sue McIntosh at Healing Hooves …
 

Sue McIntosh, MA, CCC the founder, lead counselor, trainer, practitioner and author of Children’s Therapeutic Stories from Healing Hooves became my role model for best practice standards in the field of equine facilitated wellness (EFW) specializing in attachment and developmental psychology in 2010.  After thoroughly researching educational programs and training facilities across the US and Canada, I found my fit and niche with Sue and her healing support team, both 2 legged and 4 legged.

For 8 years now and counting, Sue as a mentor has guided, encouraged, challenged, advocated and believed in me as her student.  There has been more than one occasion when I felt I had lost my way, that if it wasn’t for Sue’s support, I might have truly stumbled and fallen.  EFW training and professional development is a rigorous undertaking.  One needs the experience of a dedicated esteemed teacher in the field to help navigate the way.  Sue’s willingness to share carefully researched resources, provide both printed and online manuals, deliver in-person instruction in various teaching styles, arrange for hands on practice, supplement her own teaching with guest teachers in coursework, and continue her own training set a gold standard for program development.

The animals on the welcoming, organized, peaceful yet fun farm that Sue and her team oversee in Alberta, CA provide numerous diverse opportunities for engagement, training practice, reflection and bonding.  A mini pony, Teddy, became my muse for moving forward in the EFW field and framing my own mission for providing attachment based EFW programming. Structure, safety (emotional and physical), soundness (animals and people), sensibility and fostering secure attachment are principles that I experienced first hand in Healing Hooves and now incorporate into my own practice along with resources from Sue’s program such as her Children’s Therapeutic Stories.

If you desire to learn and grow, both for personal and professional development, then I encourage you to connect with Sue McIntosh at Healing Hooves and explore the potential for your best fit!

Sandra J. Kerns
MEd., MSW, LCSW
Winter’s Grace Guidance Center
Soldotna, Alaska USA

 

I am thankful to be working with such a kind, compassionate and knowledgeable therapist …

My name is Angela Miller and I am Certified Canadian Counsellor as well as a Registered Provisional Psychologist. Around two years ago I began the process of certifying as an Animal Assisted Therapist with my canine co-therapist Rossi. As part of this process I was required to find a mentor/supervisor to help in this process. Sue McIntosh from Healing Hooves was recommended to me as a potential supervisor and one of the forerunners in Animal Assisted Therapy, specifically Equine Assisted Therapy.

Sue agreed to be my supervisor and we have been communicating through phone once a month for about a year around the ethics of Animal Assisted Therapy, specific intervention strategies when working with animals in therapy, particularly when it comes to working with my canine partner Rossi. Sue has been instrumental in providing me resources, validating and providing feedback around my private practice and in general been supportive in the journey of pairing my canine partner Rossi with my counselling practice. Through supervision with Sue, her passion in working with animals, clients and other professionals comes shining through. She is always willing to share her knowledge and recommend resources to help me become a well-rounded Animal Assisted Therapist and I am thankful to be working with such a kind, compassionate and knowledgeable therapist such as Sue McIntosh.

Angela Miller 
Certified Canadian Counsellor
Registered Provisional Psychologist.

Join a Supportive Training Community

When you train with us you join a community of professionals training and working in this field who collaborate with and support each other. You gain access to a huge body of resources and ongoing support from Sue McIntosh, a pioneer and leader in this field, and the Healing Hooves team.

Our students have lifetime access to training materials, a dedicated Facebook support group and regular support and mentoring through zoom meeting throughout the training journey.

Our training programs are approved for certification with the Professional Association for Equine Facilitated Wellness, and for continuing education with numerous professional bodies.

Our approach is firmly grounded in the developmental and attachment based paradigm of Dr. Gordon Neufeld and integrates key aspects of Centred Riding, Connected groundwork and T-TEAM.

Click on the headings below for descriptions of each step in your training journey!

Training Schedule, Fees, and Registration Details

You are welcome to e-mail us at sue@healinghooves.ca for more information and also to follow our Facebook page where all training updates are posted as soon as they are available.

2025 Training Schedule 

We are currently developing a revised plan for 2025 trainings with more flexibility in terms of onsite date options, more zoom support sessions and a ‘fast track’ option for people who’d like to complete the training in one year or less. There will be discounted rates for people who can sign up and pay for the full program in advance and payment plans available for those who’d rather not.  Our aim is to have a clearer route for you all in terms of your training journey, with as many of your certification requirements built in as possible while still allowing for lots of  flexibility to suit your individual needs, goals and finances! 

We will update this page as soon as we have this finalised!

2024 Training Schedule

Update – we will be in the UK at the end of October and are open to bringing a training to you and your facility/ group upon request!

E-mail us at sue@healinghooves.ca for more information

TrainingOnline dates Onsite DatesStandard (Pro-EFW recommended) rates
HH early bird rates  and deadlines
Exploration Training

Jan 20 – March 2 2024

Oct 1 – Nov 30 2024

n/a$650 plus tax

$595 plus GST
December 31, 2023
September 1, 2024

Foundation TrainingMarch 9 – May 4
8 weeks
June 1-2, 2024  OR
or July 16- 17
$1,750 plus tax$1,600 plus GST
Feb 9, 2024
Focus TrainingJune 3 – July 29
8 weeks
July 19-21, 2024$1,750 plus tax$1,600 plus GST
May 3, 2024
Discounted rate if register and pay for Foundation and Focus training together and attend both in the same series (i.e. same year and training cohort)$3,300 plus tax$3,100 plus tax
Feb 9, 2024
Integration TrainingAug 31 – Oct 26
8 weeks
Oct 4-6 2024$1,750 plus tax$1,600 plus GST
July 31, 2024
UK Trainings & Workshops    
Introduction to Equine Facilitated Wellness Jan 20 – March 2, 2024

Inverness April 5th

£225 onsite only
£450 onsite plus online
£175 onsite only
£400 onsite plus online
March 21, 2024
Care for the Carer – Personal Growth workshopn/a

Inverness April 6th

£195£145
March 21, 2024
Foundation/ Focus/ Integration trainingonline dates as per above (join Canadian cohorts)April 20-21 2024 in Inverness consistent with Canadian pricing consistent with Canadian pricing
Information Sessionn/aInverness April 4th£50 which can be 100% applied to another workshop online or onsiteFree if register by March 21, 2024

 

How to Register Online through our website:

There are three steps to register:

  1. Complete our online registration form:  Online Registration Form
  2. Complete our online waiver: Training Waiver
  3. Send your payment by EFT to: sue@healinghooves.ca
    For UK registrants we will send you a paypal invoice which you can pay using your preferred method.

Please note that in order to hold your space at a training, you need to complete all three of the above steps.  Completing the online registration form and/ or waiver without sending payment will not qualify you for an early bird rate or hold your space at a training.

Step One: Exploration Training

This Introductory training has no pre-requisites and is your first step in the Pro-EFW national certification program. Now delivered online. 

See 2023 TRAINING SCHEDULE, FEES, AND REGISTRATION DETAILS above for current dates, costs and early bird deadlines

In this small group experiential workshop you will explore the growing fields of Equine Facilitated Wellness (EFW) and Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT).  This workshop has been offered by Healing Hooves for more than fifteen years and it is your first step in learning more about EFW and AAT and/ or about incorporating animals into your work. While this workshop introduces the attachment work of Dr. Gordon Neufeld and its application to EFW/ AAT and is designed to meet national certification requirements with Pro-EFW, its focus is broad, and the aim is to introduce you to a wide range of approaches and theories within the EFW/ AAT fields.

In this interactive experiential training Sue will help you:

  • Explore how to incorporate animals into your work safely and ethically
  • Practice bringing yourself and your clients to a more regulated state, through and for an animal supported approach
  • Explore how to create and work within the triad of the client -animals – counsellor relationship, with the animal recognised and partnered with as a sentient being
  • Get hands with your own animals, or with Sue’s herd through videos, to personally witness and experience the power of this work
  • Gain an understanding of different approaches to working, training and certifying in the field and determine which is the best for you
  • Share your questions, reflections and learnings within a supportive small group and directly with Sue
  • Develop a plan for what comes next – your mission, vision, scope of practice and next steps
  • Complete your first step towards national certification
What to Expect

This is an interactive course designed to meet all of the Pro-EFW learning objectives for this training. The course comprises:

  • Videos from the Healing Hooves herd and team for you to watch introducing and demonstrating experiential activities
  • Experiential activities for you to try with your own horses/ other animals if you have access to them, with alternate options if you don’t currently have access to horses
  • Theoretical information in each of the focus areas identified below, including reference to research, and review of information from the leading professional bodies;
  • Instructional videos, support and resources to help you apply the theoretical information to your own situation and needs;
  • Personal reflections and guided journalling which you share with your trainer;
  • Discussion forums for you to ask questions, share your reflections and observations from experiential activities, and interact with your fellow students and facilitator.
All of our online training courses are self paced within a recommended timeline which is in place to try to keep us all on track and to make our discussions and interactions  as synchronous and helpful to you as possible. Within this timeline you are able to access the material and complete all of the course components whenever is convenient to you.  The course will remain open and fully available to you for an additional one month after the official end date of the course.  The only ‘scheduled’ times are the group zoom calls (usually two to three 90 minute meetings per course) which are recorded for later viewing (usually available for a one week period) if you miss them.
 
Time Commitment and Certification
Provided all assignments are completed and experiential components are completed with an equine, Pro-EFW recognise this as a 30 hour training meeting the requirements of Exploration training and the first step in their national certification program. The CCPA (Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association) and other professional regulatory bodies have consistently recognised this training for 30 hours of CEC (Continuing Education Credit) provided all assignments are completed but without the requirement for the experiential components to be completed with an equine.
 
As much of the course is self directed the actual time commitment will vary depending upon how long it takes you to review the material, how many of the optional resources you access and how much depth you go into with the journal responses, discussion activities and experiential exercises. On average the weekly time commitment has varied between 6 to 8 hours per week over the 6-7 week period. We also offer two to three group zoom meetings of 90 mins each which are recorded for later viewing. These are usually scheduled for a Saturday morning at 10am MT although if the cohort is large the group will be split into smaller subgroups at different times.
 
Mentoring
If you choose to seek certification in EFW with Pro-EFW, part of the certification requirements is ten hours of mentoring with a Pro EFW mentor. Full participation in all of the online discussions and reflections above (including all of the ‘optional’ reflection and discussion opportunities and attendance at group zoom calls) provides you with one of these hours, and is included in the total exploration fee.
Step Two: Foundation Training
At our Foundation Training you will explore a Developmental and Attachment Based Approach to EFW and AAT, and complete your next step in the Pro EFW national certification program
 
See 2023 TRAINING SCHEDULE, FEES, AND REGISTRATION DETAILS above for current dates, costs and early bird deadlines

 

Through an eight week interactive online program followed by two days onsite in small groups, you will participate in training which is firmly grounded in and explores the developmental and attachment based paradigm of Dr. Gordon Neufeld integrated into the Healing Hooves and Pro-EFW approach.  You will also learn aspects of centered riding, T-Touch, and Connected groundwork from advanced instructors in these fields. 

What to Expect

You will be participating in an interactive course designed to meet all of the Pro-EFW learning objectives for this training. The includes:

  • Videos from the Healing Hooves herd and team for you to watch introducing and demonstrating experiential activities
  • Experiential activities for you to try with your own horses/ other animals if you have access to them, with alternate options if you don’t currently have access to horses
  • Theoretical information in each of the focus areas identified below, including reference to research, and review of information from leading professional bodies;
  • Instructional videos, support and resources to help you apply the theoretical information to your own situation and goals;
  • Opportunities for personal reflection;
  • Discussion forums for you to ask questions, share your reflections and observations from experiential activities, and interact with your fellow students and facilitator.
  • Two days onsite with the Healing Hooves herd and team in a small group for you to further experience and apply the training material.
 
All of our online training courses are self paced within a recommended timeline which is in place to try to keep us all on track and to make our discussions and interactions  as synchronous and helpful to you as possible. Within this timeline you are able to access the material and complete all of the course components whenever is convenient to you.  The course will remain open and fully available to you for an additional one month after the official end date of the course.  The only ‘scheduled’ times are the two days onsite and the group zoom calls (usually two to three 90 minute meetings per course) which are recorded for later viewing (usually available for a one week period) if you miss them.
 
 
During Foundation and Focus Training Sue will help you:
 
  • Explore an attachment and developmental approach to working with your clients, and its application and relevance to your EFW/ AAT practice and plans;
  • Start to apply this theoretical model to your EFW/ AAT work with the different populations and different formats you plan to work with and within (e.g. individual sessions, group sessions, school programs etc.) in accordance with your scope of practice;
  • Start to develop your facilitation skills in EFW sessions including how to prepare for a session and keep things safe for all involved (including your animals!)
  • Explore aspects of Centered riding, T-Touch, Connected riding and Natural horsemanship, and how you will integrate these into your EFW/ AAT approach and with Pro EFW philosophies and principals. This will include starting to explore how to:
    1. Protect the physical and emotional safety of your clients and horses/ other animals, including additional considerations if you decide to include riding into your approach;
    2. Select and train your horse(s for EFW;
    3. Assess your horses’ comfort level in the work;
    4. Determine when a horse is not suitable for EFW;
    5. Prepare of a horse for EFW sessions;
    6. Handle your horses (yourself and your clients) during sessions;
    7. Debrief with your horse after sessions.
  • Review and expansion of your individual “next steps” (from Exploration Training) in the formation of a preliminary outline for your EFW professional development plan.
  • Further explore the Pro EFW certification requirements and development of an initial draft of your  Scope of Practice Statement.
  • Explore practical aspects of your EFW/AAT practice including equipment, suitable horses and facilities, and insurance.
  • Participate in oportunities for your own personal reflection and increased self awareness through EFW exercises and interactions with horses.
  • Further explore  safety, risk management and ethical considerations in your practice.
 

Specific Attachment Based Topics You will Explore During Foundation Training Include: 

  1. Attachment Roots:
    We explore how we attach, and why it is important that we attach deeply, securely, personally, and to the right people. From there we explore how and why this can go off course and how we can work with and through horses to identify where someone got ‘stuck’ and how to create an environment, context and process to help them get back on the right track.
  2. Quest for Significance and the Size of the ‘Invitation’
    A key attachment root is at the level of significance ,i,e. do we feel that we matter to those to whom we are attached? We explore problems that can arise in this area and how the horses and other animals can provide us and our clients with an invitation that invites us to rest emotionally, to ‘live out loud’ and to be congruent.
  3. Alpha Complex, True Independence and Emotional Rest
    We explore the difference between true and defensive ‘alpha’ presentations including the bully and the chronic caretaker and how to work with and through our horses to invite our clients, and ourselves, to experience emotional rest.
  4. Separation Complex
    We explore the significant impact that facing too much separation from attachments has on our clients, on our animals and on ourselves, the impact this has on behaviour, development, relationships and attachment, and how an EFW approach can help.
  5. Frustration
    We will explore a model for understanding aggression in terms of frustration and adaptive functioning, and how to assess and address problems in this area through interactions with and discussions about the horses.
 
Time Commitment and Certification
Provided all reading, reflection and discussion assignments are completed, the experiential components are completed with an equine, and both onsite days are attended, Pro-EFW recognise this as a 30 hour training meeting the requirements of Foundation training and the second step in their national certification program. The CCPA (Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association) and various other professional regulatory bodies have consistently recognised this training for 30 hours of CEC (Continuing Education Credit) provided all assignments are completed, and without the requirement for the experiential components to be completed with an equine.  As some of the course is self directed, the actual time commitment will vary depending upon how long it takes you to review the material, how many of the optional resources you access and how much depth you go into with the personal reflections, discussion activities and experiential exercises. On average, the weekly time commitment has varied between 3 to 6 hours per week over the 8 week period. We also offer two to three group zoom meetings of 90 mins each which are recorded for later viewing. These are usually scheduled for a Saturday morning at 10am MT although if the cohort is large the group will be split into smaller subgroups at different times.
 
Mentoring
If you choose to seek certification in EFW with Pro-EFW, part of the certification requirements (which are reviewed during the exploration training) is ten hours of mentoring with a Pro EFW mentor. Full participation in ALL of the online discussions and reflections above (including all of the ‘optional’ reflection and discussion opportunities and attendance at group zoom calls) provides you with one of these hours, and is included in the total foundation training fee.
Step Three: Focus Training

At Focus Training you will continue to explore and apply a Developmental and Attachment Based Approach to EFW and AAT, and complete your third step towards national certification with Pro EFW

 
See 2023 TRAINING SCHEDULE, FEES, AND REGISTRATION DETAILS above for current dates, costs and early bird deadlines
 

Through an eight week interactive online program followed by two and a half days onsite in small groups, you will participate in training which allows you to further explore the developmental and attachment based paradigm of Dr. Gordon Neufeld integrated introduced at Foundations training.  You will also continue to learn aspects of centered riding, T-Touch, and Connected groundwork from advanced instructors in these fields. 

What to Expect

You will be participating in an interactive course designed to meet all of the Pro-EFW learning objectives for this training. The includes:

  • Videos from the Healing Hooves herd and team for you to watch introducing and demonstrating experiential activities
  • Experiential activities for you to try with your own horses/ other animals if you have access to them, with alternate options if you don’t currently have access to horses
  • Theoretical information in each of the focus areas identified below, including reference to research, and review of information from leading professional bodies;
  • Instructional videos, support and resources to help you apply the theoretical information to your own situation and goals;
  • Opportunities for personal reflection;
  • Discussion forums for you to ask questions, share your reflections and observations from experiential activities, and interact with your fellow students and facilitator.
  • Two days onsite with the Healing Hooves herd and team in a small group for you to further experience and apply the training material.
 
All of our online training courses are self paced within a recommended timeline which is in place to try to keep us all on track and to make our discussions and interactions  as synchronous and helpful to you as possible. Within this timeline you are able to access the material and complete all of the course components whenever is convenient to you.  The course will remain open and fully available to you for an additional one month after the official end date of the course.  The only ‘scheduled’ times are the two days onsite and the group zoom calls (usually two to three 90 minute meetings per course) which are recorded for later viewing (usually available for a one week period) if you miss them.
 
 
During Focus Training Sue will help you:
 
  • Explore an attachment and developmental approach to working with your clients, and its application and relevance to your EFW/ AAT practice and plans;
  • Start to apply this theoretical model to your EFW/ AAT work with the different populations and different formats you plan to work with and within (e.g. individual sessions, group sessions, school programs etc.) in accordance with your scope of practice;
  • Start to develop your facilitation skills in EFW sessions including how to prepare for a session and keep things safe for all involved (including your animals!)
  • Explore aspects of Centered riding, T-Touch, Connected riding and Natural horsemanship, and how you will integrate these into your EFW/ AAT approach and with Pro EFW philosophies and principals. This will include starting to explore how to:
    1. Protect the physical and emotional safety of your clients and horses/ other animals, including additional considerations if you decide to include riding into your approach;
    2. Select and train your horse(s for EFW;
    3. Assess your horses’ comfort level in the work;
    4. Determine when a horse is not suitable for EFW;
    5. Prepare of a horse for EFW sessions;
    6. Handle your horses (yourself and your clients) during sessions;
    7. Debrief with your horse after sessions.
  • Review and expansion of your individual “next steps” (from Exploration Training) in the formation of a preliminary outline for your EFW professional development plan.
  • Further explore the Pro EFW certification requirements and development of an initial draft of your  Scope of Practice Statement.
  • Explore practical aspects of your EFW/AAT practice including equipment, suitable horses and facilities, and insurance.
  • Participate in opportunities for your own personal reflection and increased self awareness through EFW exercises and interactions with horses.
  • Further explore  safety, risk management and ethical considerations in your practice.
 

Specific Attachment Based Topics You will Explore During Focus Training Include: 

  1. Review of Attachment
    We review the information from Foundation training in relation to attachment, significance, frustration, independence and the impacts of facing separation from attachments. We explore the attachment root of Being Known and the area of Self Disclosure in more depth including the risks this presents.
  2. Emotion, Play and the Flight from Vulnerability
    We explore the critical roles of EMOTION for development, healthy relationship, healing and growth, the need for emotion to be both felt and expressed, and the challenges that arise when a ‘flight from vulnerability’ arises. We explore how to safely invite that emotion back – in our clients, their caregivers/ other key attachments, and in ourselves and the critical opportunities our animals, and PLAY, provide us in this area.
  3. Integrative Functioning
    We will explore what we mean by Integrative Functioning, why it matters and what happens when it is missing. W explore how to draw out ‘mixed feelings’ to prime and develop our clients’ integrative function through interactions with and discussions about the horses and other animals.
  4. Alarm
    We explore how the human alarm system is supposed to function, the various different levels of alarm dysfunction, what this looks like and what may cause it. We then explore a process for understanding and addressing/ reversing alarm dysfunction through attachments and interactions with horses and other animals.
 
Time Commitment and Certification
Provided all reading, reflection and discussion assignments are completed, the experiential components are completed with an equine, and both onsite days are attended, Pro-EFW recognise this as a 30 hour training meeting the requirements of Foundation training and the second step in their national certification program. The CCPA (Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association) and various other professional regulatory bodies have consistently recognised this training for 30 hours of CEC (Continuing Education Credit) provided all assignments are completed, and without the requirement for the experiential components to be completed with an equine.  As some of the course is self directed, the actual time commitment will vary depending upon how long it takes you to review the material, how many of the optional resources you access and how much depth you go into with the personal reflections, discussion activities and experiential exercises. On average, the weekly time commitment has varied between 3 to 6 hours per week over the 8 week period. We also offer two to three group zoom meetings of 90 mins each which are recorded for later viewing. These are usually scheduled for a Saturday morning at 10am MT although if the cohort is large the group will be split into smaller subgroups at different times.
 
Step Four: Integration Training

This is your Final Core training Step towards completing the Pro EFW National Certification Program!

 
See 2023 TRAINING SCHEDULE, FEES, AND REGISTRATION DETAILS above for current dates, costs and early bird deadlines

This small group training helps you start and/ or enhance your practice in the EFW/ AAT fields through consolidating your learning to date, identifying and addressing any gaps in that learning, and finalising your EFW scope of practice and certification requirements. Most importantly of all we give you lots of guided and supported practice working with the horses, clients and each other.  While the primary context in terms of certification requirements is the Pro EFW model, there will be flexibility to discuss other models that you may be working towards.

Offered through a six week interactive online program followed by three days onsite in small groups, this training is firmly grounded in and applies your understanding (from Foundation and Focus training) of the developmental and attachment based paradigm of Dr. Gordon Neufeld to your own approach and practice in EFW, within the Pro EFW approach and parameters.  Aspects of centered riding, T-Touch, and Connected groundwork continue to be  incorporated and applied. 

Mentoring 
If you choose to seek certification in EFW with Pro-EFW, part of the certification requirements (which are reviewed during each training) is ten hours of mentoring with a Pro EFW mentor. Full participation in the online discussions and reflections provides you with one of these hours, and is included in the integration training fee.
UK Training Options

 

We have been offering onsite training and personal growth in three UK locations since 2022 and our online trainings are open and accessible to students from wherever you live.

UK based trainings WILL count towards your certification requirements with Pro-EFW and we are also collaborating with HETI, HEIR, RDA and several other organisations in the UK to have them recognised by and coordinated with UK initiatives. See below for more details, and you can register for all of our workshops using our online registration form.

 
Healing Hooves will next be in the UK in October 2024!
 
 
Mentoring and Supervision

One of the certification requirements if you choose to follow the Pro-EFW certification program is to receive ten hours of mentoring. We can support you in meeting this requirement in several ways:

  1. All of our online training programs have mentoring components built into them at no extra cost. If you complete all aspects of the online program you could be credited with up to two mentoring hours over the course of your training journey with us.
  2. Both Sue McIntosh and Carolyn Miller, counsellors at Healing Hooves, are certified mentors with Pro EFW. Sue and Carolyn are both happy to provide individual mentoring, at discounted rates to Healing Hooves students, in person or by phone/ zoom.
  3. We can refer you to other Pro EFW certified mentors who may also be able to provide you with individual mentoring.
  4. Once you have completed Exploration Training you are eligible to join our group mentoring program 
 
Resources

Training Materials

As our trainings have moved online this has allowed us to develop a large collection of resources including written material, videos, example forms and more. All of our students have access to these materials throughout their training journey.

Materials are shared through our membership site so you will have access to these once you have signed up for a training!

Therapeutic Stories

We have published several therapeutic children’s stories featuring the Healing Hooves animals and sharing their stories. Grounded in attachment theory, each story covers a different theme including emotional expression, resilience, recovery from loss, forgiveness, and relationship conflict. They are also simply fun, engaging and amusing stories holding universal applicability to all children and their parents. Access to, and guidance on how to use, these stories in an EFW practice is built into our more advanced trainings. 

These stories are also available to purchase for $20 each or $40 for a collection of four stories. Contact Sue at sue@healinghooves.ca for more information.

Free Resources

Our blog includes many free resources that we encourage you to access!

Your Training Team

 

You are in safe hands at Healing Hooves – we have been training other professionals at Healing Hooves for over 20 years and our training team includes leaders in the fields of EFW and advanced instructors in horsemanship. We often also include more advanced EFW students in our team for earlier trainings.  This provides our more experienced students with a great review and facilitation experience and allows our newer students the opportunity to ask them about their training journey.

Your lead trainer will be Sue McIntosh – founder of Healing hooves and tri certified trainer with Pro EFW.  You can find out more about our full team – two and four legged – on our meet our professionals page.

Certification and Recognition of Training

We have been offering professional training at Healing Hooves for over fifteen years. While our training program is designed to meet the Pro-EFW core requirements, as per Canadian and International best standards for certification, Healing Hooves is independent of and separate from all professional associations developing and implementing certification programs.

Healing Hooves training workshops are recognized and pre approved by the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) and the Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW). They have also met continuing education and certification requirements for many other professional bodies for many years. A number of models for certification in the Equine and Animal Assisted Therapy fields are explored at Healing Hooves training courses, including the Pro-EFW Model.

Sue McIntosh – founder counsellor and trainer at Healing Hooves – is tri certified with Pro EFW as a practitioner, mentor and trainer in all three certification streams (mental health, learning and equine professional). Our more advanced trainings are specifically designed to meet the core training requirements of Pro EFW as set out in the following diagram from Pro-EFW:

We are frequently asked whether participants will be ‘certified’ after completing Healing Hooves Training. From the outset – and we have been offering training for over 15 years – we have resisted pressure to do this. We concur with and follow Canadian and international best standards on certification – International Standard ISO/IEC 17024 – that certification should come from independent and nationally recognised professional associations – and not from the organisations providing the training. This greatly enhances the credibility of the certification earned and better protects the interests of the people and horses we work with.

You can read more about this subject in our article, The Certification Conundrum. 

There are a number of professional bodies in North America that offer and/ or are developing such certification processes which the Healing Hooves training programs are recognised by and qualify towards. Key among these is Professional Association for Equine Facilitated Wellness. These are collaborative non profit initiatives involving a wide range of experienced professionals from all aspects of the field. At the Exploration Workshop we review the current status of the various certification options, including the Pro EFW model, and help participants determine the path which best fits their scope of practice and goals in the areas of EFW and AAT.

CURRENT ARTICLES AND YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

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