PROFESSIONAL TRAINING & RESOURCES

Train with leading professionals in the field, and attain national certification with Pro EFW

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

All training workshops at Healing Hooves are now running in either a fully or partially interactive online format to allow for the continuation of services in the current climate where travel and larger group gatherings are not recommended. Our more advanced training courses include shorter, small group onsite workshops with COVID 19 protocol in place. 

Welcome to our Training Page!

Healing Hooves training programs and resources are nationally approved for certification with the Professional Association for Equine Facilitated Wellness, and recognised for continuing education with several other 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 training workshop.

Step One: Exploration Training

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

This small group experiential workshop explores 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 is the first step for anyone interested in learning more about EFW and AAT and/ or about incorporating animals into their work. While this workshop introduces the attachment work of Dr. Gordon Neufeld and its application to EFW / AAT (the underlying approach at Healing Hooves), and is designed to meet national certification requirements with Pro-EFW, its focus is broad, and the aim is to explore and introduce a wide range of approaches and theories within the EFW/ AAT fields.

Our exploration training is now fully available online over a six week period. This is an interactive course designed to meet all of the Pro-EFW learning objectives for this training. This introductory course comprises:

  • Theoretical information in each of the focus areas identified below, including reference to research, and review of information from the leading professional bodies;
  • Instructional information to help you apply the theoretical information to real life situations and your own situation and needs;
  • 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 on horses if you have access to them, with alternate options for those who do not currently have access to horses;
  • Personal reflections and guided journalling which you are required to submit to 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.
 
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 the online discussions and reflections above provides you with one of these hours, and is included in the total exploration fee.
 
Topics explored within the Healing Hooves exploration training include: 
  • Safety and risk management in EFW and AAT;
  • The human animal bond (and research supporting this);
  • Body awareness and self awareness (including ways to bring yourself and clients to a more grounded state);
  • Ethics (including ethics from the perspective of the horse/ other animal);
  • Importance of the relationship in EFW and AAT;
  • Introduction to a developmental and attachment based approach to counselling within EFW and AAT;
  • Exploration of other approaches to EFW;
  • Role of the horse/ other animal as a sentient being and partner;
  • Scope of practice;
  • Experiential exercises;
  • Mission, Vision, Values and Next Steps for your practice;
  • Industry standards, training and certification programs (including an overview of the Pro EFW program).
 
Step Two: Foundation Training
Our Foundation Training in EFW and AAT explore a Developmental and Attachment Based Approach to the field, and is the next step in the Pro EFW national certification program
 

This small group intensive training opportunity is for people who have already completed an introductory (exploration) training.  Offered through an eight week interactive online program followed by two days onsite in small groups, this training is firmly grounded in and explores the developmental and attachment based paradigm of Dr. Gordon Neufeld integrated into the Healing Hooves approach.  Aspects of centered riding, T-Touch, and Connected groundwork are incorporated, co-facilitated by advanced instructors in these fields. 

The learning objectives for Foundation and Focus training (combined) include:

  • Exploration of an attachment and developmental approach to working with people, and its application and relevance to EFW;
  • Introduction of how to apply this theoretical model to EFW work with different populations and different formats (e.g. individual sessions, group sessions, school programs etc.) in accordance with the participant’s scope of practice;
  • Development of facilitation skills in EFW sessions, including preparation, safety, and introducing, facilitating, and debriefing (with equines and humans) a range of EFW activities.
  • Exploration of aspects of Centered riding, T-Touch, Connected riding and Natural horsemanship, and their integration with EFW and Pro EFW philosophies and principals. This will include consideration of:
    1. Physical and emotional safety of client and horse, including additional considerations if riding is included into the approach;
    2. Selection and training of a horse for EFW;
    3. Assessing horses’ comfort level in the work;
    4. Determining when a horse is not suitable for EFW;
    5. Preparation of a horse for EFW sessions;
    6. Handling of the horse (by facilitator and client) during sessions;
    7. Debriefing of horse after sessions.
  • Review and expansion of participant’s individual “next steps” (from Exploration Training) in the formation of a preliminary outline for an EFW professional development plan.
  • Further exploration of the Pro EFW certification requirements and development of an initial draft of the participant’s Scope of Practice Statement.
  • Exploration of practical aspects of EFW including equipment, suitable horses and facilities, and insurance.
  • Opportunities for personal reflection and increased self awareness through EFW exercises and interactions with horses;
  • Further exploration of safety, risk management and ethical considerations.

Specific Attachment Based Topics Explored 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.
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 foundation training fee.
Step Three: Focus Training
Our Focus Training in EFW and AAT continues our exploration and application of a Developmental and Attachment Based Approach to the field, and is the next step in the Pro EFW national certification program after Foundation training
 

This small group intensive training opportunity is for people who have already completed both exploration and foundation training. Offered through a seven week interactive online program followed by two and a half days onsite in small groups, this training is firmly grounded in and explores the developmental and attachment based paradigm of Dr. Gordon Neufeld integrated into the Healing Hooves approach. Aspects of centered riding, T-Touch, and Connected groundwork are incorporated, co-facilitated by advanced instructors in these fields. 

The learning objectives for Foundation and Focus training (combined) include:

  • Exploration of an attachment and developmental approach to working with people, and its application and relevance to EFW;
  • Introduction of how to apply this theoretical model to EFW work with different populations and different formats (e.g. individual sessions, group sessions, school programs etc.) in accordance with the participant’s scope of practice;
  • Development of facilitation skills in EFW sessions, including preparation, safety, and introducing, facilitating, and debriefing (with equines and humans) a range of EFW activities.
  • Exploration of aspects of Centered riding, T-Touch, Connected riding and Natural horsemanship, and their integration with EFW and Pro EFW philosophies and principals. This will include consideration of:
    1. Physical and emotional safety of client and horse, including additional considerations if riding is included into the approach;
    2. Selection and training of a horse for EFW;
    3. Assessing horses’ comfort level in the work;
    4. Determining when a horse is not suitable for EFW;
    5. Preparation of a horse for EFW sessions;
    6. Handling of the horse (by facilitator and client) during sessions;
    7. Debriefing of horse after sessions.
  • Review and expansion of participant’s individual “next steps” (from Exploration Training) in the formation of a preliminary outline for an EFW professional development plan.
  • Further exploration of the Pro EFW certification requirements and development of an initial draft of the participant’s Scope of Practice Statement.
  • Exploration of practical aspects of EFW including equipment, suitable horses and facilities, and insurance.
  • Opportunities for personal reflection and increased self awareness through EFW exercises and interactions with horses;
  • Further exploration of safety, risk management and ethical considerations.

Specific Attachment Based Topics Explored 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.
Step Four: Integration Training

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

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 package. 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.
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 3 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 Foundation Training you are eligible to join our group mentoring program which we are piloting over the period November 2020 – March 2021

Group Mentoring Program: Pilot program for 2020/21

What’s Included
– 12 hours of group mentoring delivered by Zoom through eight 90 minute sessions
– Recognised by Pro-EFW as the equivalent of up to 3.5 hours of individual mentoring for certification purposes
– Recordings of each session available for two weeks after each session
– Access to a group page with resources, including review of relevant areas of theory, key diagrams, and links to videos
– Access to a discussion forum to ask questions, request topics for future sessions, and submit and review session evaluations.
– Option to submit one session evaluation per person which Sue will review and provide individual feedback on through the discussion forum. The session will then be discussed within a group mentoring session. This will meet the requirements for one of your four session evaluation required by Pro EFW plus 30 minutes of individual mentoring.
 

Eligibility
For now I am restricting membership to people who have attended at least one week of Foundation or Focus training.

Tentative Dates

The group page and resources will be available as soon as you sign up. Live zoom sessions will be scheduled for Saturday mornings at 10am MT on the following dates:
November 7, 21
December 12
January 9 and 23
February 6 and 27
March 13
Total Cost: $295 plus GST
 
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.

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 $35 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 15 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.

2021 Training Schedule, Fees, and Registration Details

 

Training Online dates Tentative Onsite Dates Standard (Pro-EFW recommended) rates HH early bird rates and deadlines
Exploration Training Jan 22 – March 5
6 weeks
n/a $650 plus tax $595 plus GST
Dec 1, 2020
Foundation Training March 12 – April 23
8 weeks
May 15-16 $1,600 plus tax $1,500 plus GST
January 30, 2020
Focus Training May 21 – July 9
7 weeks
July 16-18 $1,600 plus tax $1,500 plus GST
March 30, 2020
Discounted rate if register and pay for Foundation and Focus training together and attend both in the same series $3,000 plus tax $2,900 plus tax
January 30, 2020
Integration Training August 6 – Oct 1
10 weeks
October 8-10 $1,600 plus tax $1,500 plus GST
June 15, 2020
Note: HH Rates include the equivalent of one hour (per course to a maximum of 3 hours in total) of mentoring for Pro-EFW certification purposes if you complete extra reading and reflection opportunities provided and participate in all group discussions.

We may add a second set of dates, later on in 2021 for our Exploration, Foundation and Focus Trainings.  Any such dates will be added to this page and posted to our Facebook page.

How to Register

Online registration through our website will be available soon.  For now you can register by downloading and completing our registration form: Healing Hooves Training Early Registration Form 2021 and sending your payment, by EFT to sue@healinghooves.ca

Our waiver is required to be completed for all registrations and can be completed online: Training Waiver

 

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