Expand Your Equine Facilitated Knowledge & Grow Your Practice; August 19 – 21, 2011, Silverdale, Washington

May 30, 2011 by  

Equine Assisted Coaching, Equine Facilitated Learning & Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy
with Kathleen Barry Ingram, hosted by Drea Bergquist Bowen


Would you like to learn more about integrating your life skills, experience, and education for a successful and fulfilling equine facilitated learning practice? Drea and I have noticed that facilitators/instructors sometimes have difficulty differentiating between Equine Facilitated Learning, Equine Assisted Coaching and Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy. Our intention with this workshop is to assist others to understand when these types of facilitation overlap; when discernment is necessary; how to combine some of the practices and principles unique to each; and how to assess your specific skill set and gifts to identify your individual practice.

The balance and integration of science and spirituality, and wisdom and psychology in your life and your practice will also be part of our conversations and support during our time together in Washington. The latest research on the brain and the limbic system will be presented and discussed as well as how it all supports the efficacy of our work with the horses.

This workshop will give you the opportunity to connect with like minded people! You can also schedule some individual time with Kathleen, Drea and the herd.

Total Cost for Friday – Sunday: $500 (includes lunch Saturday and Sunday, snacks and beverages)
Nonrefundable deposit: $100 payable to Drea Bergqusit Bowen

To pay by Pal Pal invoice with credit card contact Drea at: drea.b.bowen@gmail.com
To pay by check mail check to: 12620 Willamette Meridian, Silverdale, WA 98383

Special Additional Workshop Thursday, August 18, 2011: Why Equine Facilitating Learning?: A Day for Mental Health Professionals.  Contact Drea for details (drea.b.bowen@gmail.com).

About Silverdale and the Ranch:

Drea’s ranch is located just 10 minutes from Silverdale, where you can find hotels on the water, Silverdale Water Front Park, shopping, a brand new YMCA, and great food all within walking distance of your hotel.

Silverdale is located on the beautiful Kitsap Peninsula, surrounded by Puget Sound; the Olympic Mountains to the west and the Cascade Mountains to the east. Summer is an amazing time of year to visit. If you wish to extend your stay there are a tremendous number of things to do in Silverdale. Darkness does not fall until 10:00 PM, leaving plenty of time to play after our day together. Kayaking (Drea has 2 and can round up more if needed), hiking, a ferry ride to Seattle, a visit to the Olympic Peninsula, or a ferry to Victoria, BC are a few suggestions.

Getting to Silverdale:
The Seatac Airport has a shuttle to the Silverdale Hotel and arrangements for a ride can be made if you choose to stay at the ranch.

Accommodation Suggestions:
Silverdale Beach Hotel – located on the water front, offers a restaurant and lounge.
Oxford Suites – boasts a water view and offers a lounge.
Oxford Inn – located one block from the water.

Drea is offering a sleep-in horse trailer with a queen air bed and electricity that could accommodate 1 person. $20 per night. Use the facilities in the house.

Drea has a 27’ Sea Ray that can accommodate 2 people; it will likely be in the water at the marina, a 15 minute drive from the ranch. The marina is magical in the summer, with the Purple Martins are so busy that time of year. The boat has a kitchen and bathroom, the marina offers a deli and showers. $40 per person.

Drea is also offering space in the back yard with easy access to the bottom floor bathroom for those who wish to pitch a tent. $10 a night with the option to coordinate food for breakfast.


Do You Speak Horse or Human to Your Equine Co-Facilitator?
by Drea Bergquist-Bowen

Those of us drawn to equine facilitated learning and psychotherapy come to this field for our own reasons and with our own special set of experiences and level of horsemanship. I started my EFL journey with a solid knowledge of horses and a knowing of how my relationships with my herd had, without question, changed my life. I was searching for the explicit knowledge to understand why this work is so meaningful and powerful and a skill base to help others experience what I had experienced with my herd.

Being a passionate student of equine behavior, social bonding in particular, I have noticed that the same concepts that are so transformative for humans in their work with horses, work in reverse for the horses when we are aware of that potential. The more I thought about this, the clearer I could see how each of the horses in my herd had changed their own neural patterns and behaviors as they found their way to trusting and bonding with me. In the process of building a trusting, respectful social bond with the horses in my herd, I absolutely had been doing this work for my horses just as they had for me. I think of it as human experiential learning.

Horses are not unlike humans, they manifest ingrained neural patterns based on their life experiences. Very few of the horses we work with will be free of the consequences of conforming to a human world where most people don’t speak their language. For horses the challenges can come from the effects of unnatural and painful training methods, from living as a tool for a human’s competitive ego, being kept in an environment that is unnatural, and from being misunderstood as a species. Every horse on my ranch, except for the two who were born here, have required a diligent effort on my part to lead with my heart, honor their boundaries, and build a dependable bond based on getting to know each other, then like each other and ultimately to trust each other. The remarkable thing about helping horses reconnect with their authentic self expression is how willing they are to shed those traumas and patterns when working with a human who understands the nature of the equine species and who is 100% committed to creating a safe social bond that is based on their nature.

I have noticed in my travels and training that, in many instances, the horse – our partner facilitator, is not considered in the way that I feel truly honors and cares for their contribution to this work. I don’t think this is a purposeful oversight. With our focus on learning the intricacies of helping people we may not have had been presented with the imperative of getting to know the intricacies of the equine just as well. Whether we have come to this work with a lifetime of horse experience or none at all, there is so much to learn about this most amazing animal.

Our work is grounded in connection, relationship, empowerment, and learning to trust and honor our unique gifts and I believe this applies equally to our relationship with our equine partners. Just as we have to be committed to our own personal growth and development, to acknowledge our gremlins, and to bring our best authentic self to our work with our fellow human beings, I believe we also must commit to becoming adept at understanding the equine species so that we are confident, comfortable, and feel safe at all times. From there we can create a safe, emotionally rich and rewarding working environment for each horse, as an individual.

We all have different circumstances with regards to the horses we work with in our equine facilitated learning/coaching/therapy practices so the extent of our relationships with those horses will be a bit different for us all. Ideally, working with horses that we are able to create a strong social bond with is optimal in my opinion. When that is not possible, our deep understanding of the horse as a species is critical to offering them the support they deserve for doing the work we are asking them to do.

I feel that understanding the equine species, who that animal is in nature – collectively as a herd and individually as male and female, how a horse navigates in a healthy emotional and physical state and what it looks like when they are not, and believing it is our responsibility to be just as aware of their base line as we have to be for our human clients is essential and it is part of my path of advocacy for the horse in this work. I am passionate about helping facilitators know the difference between sessions where a gain for the human was taken from the horse versus a gain that came from a mutually shared experience. It is my pleasure to help people truly understand the animal that I love wholeheartedly so that they can enjoy the incredibly deep, heartfelt, social bond that equines are capable of. With a clearer understanding about the richness in relationship that is possible for us with our equine co-facilitators we have the opportunity to go from being good facilitators to Inspired Facilitators. And you know the horses are going to teach us a few things about ourselves along the way!


Meet the ‘Heart of the Herd Ranch’ Herd – In order of their arrival

Montana12 year old red dun flashy, mare heart throb, quarter horse/Morgan gelding. We rescued each other when he was three. Our journey has been unlike any other and characterized by perseverance. Committed to understanding his challenges we have come from extreme aggression to the partner I trust with my most vulnerable clients.

Homer – 23 year old sorrel quarter horse gelding. IHe is a Lamborghini with his athleticism and forward drive. He is a lot of horse and he has taught me volumes about patience, seeing and feeling the horse inside, and gratitude. He is the rock of my herd, my go to guy, and I aspire every day to be the kind of leader he is in the herd.

April – 24 year old red bay appendix quarter horse mare – the stories I can tell about the thoroughbred side (it has to be the thoroughbred) of this mare will touch my heart and make me laugh until I cry until the end of my days. I paid a good bit to rescue this mare with no intention of keeping her. No one liked her. Human or horse. She was a beautiful soft doe eyed empty shell. She is sweet and spicy and the epitome of the stereotypes about mares. Committing to her and watching her find her way out of her darkness has been humbling and amazing. Today we are heart girlfriends!

Skye King – 6 year old sorrel quarter horse gelding. I flew to Montana to look at a broodmare band with my eye on Annie, Holly or Blondie. I flew home having purchased a 2 year old gelding. Our journey together has been very interesting and he is the one in a million horses that every horse owner wishes they had. He has grown into quite an amazing young man and everyone adores him.

Holly – 8 year old sorrel mare. Words cannot express the depth of bond this mare is capable of. She is the lead mare of my herd. She IS the sacred lead mare of fantasy and lore. We are soul sisters and I have had to earn every fiber of our connection. I am so blessed to have her in my herd to witness and be a student of and to stand beside.

Sierra – 3 year old sorrel mare. Holly’s filly. Funny, feisty, sweet, spicy, athletic, coy, lead mare in training. It is has been my privilege to raise her with Holly. I welcome getting her under saddle next year and anticipate some rides of my life!

Johnny – 3 year old red bay gelding. April’s colt. Regal, smart, sensible, incredible mover, loves to run, high play drive, brave and is going to challenge me to take my horsemanship to the next level. He is blessed with both of his parents stunning good looks.

Rasa – 7 year old red roan quarter horse mare. We are just getting to know each other. She came with a lot of emotional scars and trauma. She is coming out of her shell and is on of the most expressive mares I have ever known and we are just barely at the tip of the iceberg. I am thrilled that she is part of the herd. She is low mare and wants the mares above her to know what is going on.

Annie – 7 year old sorrel quarter horse mare. Also a new mare that came with a lot of emotional trauma. She has been slower to trust and let a connection happen. We are making progress and I am just starting to get a feel for the heart that she has. Rasa and Annie are extreme cases of the kinds of horses we may find in our practice experience and sharing their rehab is part of my mission.


“I am a better human being for having opened my heart so that I could feel my horses and that has translated into every area of my life. At the end of the day, this journey will define my life and the success that matters most to me: learning how to nurture wholehearted -loving relationships and having the courage to live from my authenticity so that I can bring my best self to the service of all beings.” Drea




Balancing Relationships through The Way of the Horse; September 16-18, 2011, Dusseldorf, Germany

May 30, 2011 by  

How do you find balance in all of your relationships?  During these 3 days, the horses can help you to better understand your emotions and the messages behind these emotions.  Get to know your own boundaries and experience and feel your boundaries in a whole new way with humans and horses.  Specific exercises are designed to help you learn more about your body’s innate wisdom and the body language of others.

How can you be more authentic in all of your relationships?  By learning more about our survival patterns and beliefs, which often unconsciously guide us, we can live from a place of authenticity in the present moment.  The horses – as consummate teachers -mirror and demonstrate when our feelings and thoughts inside match our behavior outside and allow us the opportunity to heal and move into a place of thriving, not merely surviving.

Please join us for this non-riding workshop. Previous horse experience is not necessary. The workshop will be held in English with German translation when needed.  This is an approved Epona beginning workshop, www.eponaquest.com.

Kathleen will be available for individual sessions 3 days prior to workshop and 2 days following workshop dates.

Cost:  495€    Snacks and vegetarian lunch will be provided each day.

For more information about the workshop, overnight accommodations and to register contact:

Eva Marie Balzer
Coaching for Humans and Animals
Stockweg 143
45481 Mulheim

Phone: +49 (0)2102 5283278
Email: kontakt@evabalzer.de


Private Sessions: Connecting the Pieces with Kathleen Barry Ingram and Sun Tui, June 20th – July 8th, 2011

April 21, 2011 by  

These private intensive workshops afford the opportunity for an individual or partnership (personal or professional) to deepen awareness of personal issues, core feelings and areas of bodily tension that inhibit the ability for us to reach our fullest true potential. Experience the spiritual and scientific biology of emotions to elicit an Authentic Sustainable Relationship in all areas of personal and professional life. Workshops might include elemental horse related activities, a sweat lodge, and swimming. Daily sessions will begin with Tai Chi with the Herd and conclude with personally tailored Horse Way TM Map Meditation.  All activities are designed to explore and integrate an expansive, yet grounded, mind set capable of endless compassion, innovation, energetic adaptability and creativity.

A bio dynamic organic lunch and nutritious snacks will be tailored and served to your tastes. Overnight Accommodation available.

Sun Tui is the founder and director of IFEAL and is an Advanced Epona Approach Instructor. She teaches Horse Way Tai Chi and Integral Body Mind NLP Therapy.

To register: www.IFEAL.me

The Zone of Intuitive “Knowing,” A 4 Day Group Intensive; East Sussex, England: June 14 – June 17 2011

April 21, 2011 by  

Explore the subtle energetic connections between all of life through the scientific, psychological and spiritual dimensions of Equine Facilitated Learning and Psychotherapy with the Epona Approach™

Horses, as consummate teachers, can show us how to re-discover, connect and develop our “knowing” selves.  The Zone of Intuitive “Knowing” comes directly from the ‘brain in the gut’ and the ‘brain in the heart’.  This workshop includes experiential exercises with horses that engage our innate abilities to use our organs of perception.  We can choose to enter the Zone of Intuitive “Knowing” through direction from these powerful centers of intelligence in concert with the intelligence centered in the brain.  When fully grounded we are able to extend our self-awareness into all aspects of daily life and live authentically each moment with tangible success.

The Zone of Intuitive Knowing group intensive will be held at Cansiron Farm in East Sussex, England and is suitable for business and life coaches, counselors, psychotherapists, healing therapists (any discipline), teachers, business managers, trainers and consultants, all horse professionals or ANYONE interested in human growth and development. This is a non-riding workshop and can be used as a qualifying workshop for IFEAL Facilitator Training incorporating The Epona Approach™.
To register: www.IFEAL.me

2011 Calendar of Events

December 13, 2010 by  

2011 is bringing new opportunities for all of us and I will continue to teach in training programs in Canada at www.horsespiritconnections.com with Wendy Golding, Andre Lepiteaux and their amazing herd of horses.  I will also be working with the team in United Kingdom at www.ifeal.me with Suntui, Barbara Murray and Shelley Carr and the wonderful AHHO herd.

March 15-19: Sacred Pause in Tubac, Arizona the-sacred-pause-flyer-20111


December 13, 2010 by  

In 2011 Kathleen is offering individual advanced mentorship opportunities for interested and qualified professionals seeking the latest psychological and scientific information supporting the practice of Equine Facilitated Learning. Each mentorship is personally designed to meet the needs of the student.  For more information on this please contact Kathleen directly.

Efficacy of EFL Supported by Latest Brain Research

February 7, 2010 by  

Efficacy of EFL

Supported by Latest Brain Research


I can’t tell you how often I have witnessed a client coming out of a quiet session with a horse and heard them say, “It was magic! I felt like myself for the first time My heart just opened and these tears came flowing out—but they felt free, open —you know not jammed up in my throat”. I could go on and on about what people felt in the presence of the horse and what other people witnessed, but I think you get the point. Guess what, it is not magic but is a process scientists now can actually name which happens only in relationship. What the client and others felt, saw, and experienced is the limbic connection of two beings. Relationship does affect the revision of these pathways in the brain through the processes of limbic resonance, limbic regulation and limbic revision or restructuring.  . 


 The book, A General Theory of Love is an excellent source for much of the research on this subject. Some of the information contained in this book about how a therapist’s relationship with a client is the determining factor in long term healing; this can be applied to how and why equine facilitated learning works. 


Look at some of the direct quotes from this book about the limbic connection and see if you agree.“The first part of emotional healing is being limbically known [limbic resonance]—–having someone with a keen ear catch your melodic essence…a precise seer’s light can still split the night, illuminate treasures long lost, and dissolve many fearsome figures into shadows and dust.  Limbic regulation happens through relationship.But people do not learn emotional modulation as they do geometry or the names of state capitals. These concepts are stored in the neocortical brain. People and animals absorb the skill from living in the presence of an adept external modulator [the horses with congruent and authentic facilitators], and they learn it implicitly.”[1]


I can’t begin to tell you how passionate I have become about some of the newest brain and body research and information coming from very reliable and dedicated scientists and clinicians. Most of my professional life, I have practiced as a clinician whether I am conducting a session as a psychotherapist, coach, mentor or teacher. The many “miracles” I have been a part of fills me with awe and hope for the ability of people to learn new things, change and have better lives. The work that I do with the horses has transferred to everything I do and teach since these brilliant beings are so good at helping people come back to their true selves. Leigh Shambo     has coined the term we use consistently now called the “homerun”.  A core value at HEAL is this “homerun”—the ability to immediately anchor increased connectivity human to human. This is actually what is often missed when someone has an experience with the horses and we believe that the limbic revision happens when the facilitator helps the client to fully embrace and integrate this new way of being into the human world, the “homerun”.    


The book, The Brain That Changes Itself[2] has some of the best information on the neuroplasticity of the brain. Neuroplasticity of the brain is the term used to describe the capacity of our brain for creation of new neural connections and for growing new neurons in response to experience. In the process of experiential learning with the horses, the experience itself which is vey new for most people, i.e., being with a horse without doing anything can actually assist the client in forming and developing new neural connections. I often give a simple explanation like this: The horses help the humans to see, feel, and believe in the possibility that the old super highway way of being and responding to a familiar person, stimulus, thought or action can be replaced by a new path—much like the road less traveled.  Most of us can visualize this and if we believe in change we can be open to this new neural connection and perhaps the old super highway—which helped people to survive but is keeping them from thriving will eventually become grass and dirt and the new path will become a newer, quicker highway to an expanded vision of life. 


In Daniel Siegel’s latest book, Mindsight, he eloquently and factually supports the efficacy of experience in relationship to help people grow and change. He believes that most people come into the world with the brain potential to develop mindsight, but the neural circuits that underlie it need experiences to develop properly[3]. He describes mindsight as our seventh sense and tells a story of a ninety-two year old man who was able to overcome a painful childhood to emerge as what he calls a mindsight maven. Siegel believes, as do I, that it is never to late to stimulate of growth of neural fibers that enable mindsight to flourish. How exciting is that!


The horses and good facilitators both with listening hearts can really help people be open to the possibilities of change and with limbic revision guide them towards the probability of a new life. One of the consistent ways of doing this is what I call holding the sacred space of possibility.This is a space, nestled between two heart beats, where two beings breathing together co-create the possibility for lasting and sustainable change.





















[1] “General Theory of Love” Lewis, Amini and Lannon

[2] “The Brain that Changes Itself” Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontier of Brain Science by Norman Doidge, M.D.

[3] “Mindsight” The New Science of Personal Transformation by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.

The Way of the Horse: Kathleen’s Youtube Interview, 2009

January 4, 2010 by  


Watch this interview with Kathleen produced through Horse Spirit Connections, Toronto, Canada in February 2009.


November 2, 2009 by  




9 Women graduated from the 2009 program and will be presenting the HEAL MODEL™ to a world-wide audience along with the 2008 graduating class. (look under 2008 Class in Events for information about these facilitators).  Leigh, Kathleen and David Young are so pleased that the following individuals will be taking the work and facilitating people and horses towards a more fulfilled and satisfying life.




EVA BALZER:  Animal Healing & Coaching for Personal Development:Masters Degree in Business Administration   GERMANY            

Eva & Jola

Eva & Jola

Animal Healer: Acupuncture; Osteopathy; Animal Communication; Reiki I & II; Family Therapy

Contact Information: Germany Tel+491722320836;kontakt@evabalzer.de www.evabalzer.de www.zentaura.de




SANDRA BOE: Founder & Program Director, Boots ‘n Breeches Therapeutic Horsemanship; Advanced NARHA Instructor  WASHINGTON STATE   “As a therapeutic riding instructor, I have seen the amazing transformative power that happens when you connect in relationship with a horse.  I have experienced it myself in my own personal journey as I have coped with multiple sclerosis since 1998.  I know I am as well as I am because of my work with the horses.  As an EFL practioner, I hope to offer the opportunity to engage in healing relationships with our equine partners.” 

Sandra Boe

Sandra Boe

     Contact Information: Tacoma, Washington

 sreid@harbonet.com, www.bootsnbreeches.com


MATNEY COOK: TLC Horsemanship: Safe & Gentle coaching for both horses and humans who walk the path towards true connection through self-aware horsemanship.  WASHINGTON STATE

What were dreams for me a year ago are now a rality because of this life changing HEAL program.  Not only have I learned the skills that enable me to step into my soul’s purpose, I’ve also gained the confidence to facilitate others on their journey to authenticity.  I am so grateful to Leigh and Kathleen for helping me to hear the horses calling and learn to believe in my own magic.”


Matney Cook

Matney Cook

Contact Information:  Washington State
Tel: 360-420-5520
EMMA DINNAGE: Heart of the Herd: EFL with my horses and yours; Spiritual Healing for humans and horses and all animals; Animal Bereavement; Flower Essences and Essential Oils.  UNITED KINGDOM
” I have experienced and trained in various energy healing methods over the past 5 years and am a student member of the NFSH (National Federation of Spiritual Healers).  I have studied Touch for Health Kinesiology and am currently working towards a diploma in Zoopharmacognosy at the Ingraham Academy in the UK”                                                            
Emma Dinnage & Charlie

Emma Dinnage & Charlie

Contact Information: United Kingdom                                           
ROBIN KRUEGER: NARHA EFHMA membe; Board Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center. WASHINGTON
” Training in EFL facilitation enables facilitators to help others experience their own authentic self.  But it begins with one’s personal journey to a place of individual authenticity.  The challenge of arriving and holding consciousness in that space is the greatest gift we can give one another, especially in such a demanding and rapidly changing worls.  It works.”  
Robin Krueger

Robin Krueger

Contact Information: Washington State
ANN GLAZE: Small Business Advisor- Specializing i Process Improvement and Communications; B.S. in Business Adminstration, Computer Science: 30 years of experience in managing people, programs and processes.  Offering EFL workshops to support client’s desire to change. WASHINGTON
Ann Glaze

Ann Glaze

“Not fully understanding why the call to take this course was so strong, I trusted that heeding the call would make sense over time.  The work has always made such sense to me and has had a significant impact on me personally, vut I was not sure how it might fit into my work as a small business advisor.  I see now that the horses allow us to see ourselves more clearly and to release old patterns of behavior that hold us back.  Clarity and process improvement are core principles of my business practice.  What better way to help business people think about things differently than to partner them with a horse?  The willingness to risk change is what this work is all about”
Contact Information:  Washington State
Tel: 253-209-6358
CHARMAINE LANE: Bsc Animal Science; Master Practioner of NLP and Hypnosis: UNITED KINGDOM
EFL Sessions; NLP and Hypnosis
Charmaine Lane

Charmaine Lane

“Being a part of the 2009 HEAL program has been one of the best decisions I have made.  Following my heart, part of me had no idea what to expect or quite how soon something I would like to do one day, is now becoming part of my reality.  Throughout the last year of my life, I have been remembering what has been hidden in me all along, and trusting myself more and more.  I now feel I am ready to share the wisdom of the horses with other people using the exercises and tools from the HEAL MODEL™.  This program has empowered me to take my knowledge and inner knowing out into the world and start making a difference in other people’s lives.”
Contact Information:  United Kingdom
Old Stables Park Farm
Chelwood, Bristol, BS39 4NH
United Kingdom
Tel: 07830070680
DONNA MARTINO:  Certified Reiki II Practitioner; Certified Medicosult Health Technician
EFL Individual Programs; Reiki; Magnetic Resonance Stimulation for Horses and Humans. COLORADO
Donna Martino & Kah-Ching

Donna Martino & Kah-Ching

” I have always loved horses and wanted to help people, but did not know how to put the two together.  The HEAL program has helped me to discover my gifts, my passion and a neq purpose in life.  This year has been an exciting journey with the very first EFL workshop I attended in Scottsdale in February, to a private intensive with Kathleen and Lisa Dee in April, and culminating with the HEAL Facilitator Training Program in June and October.  Now it is time to bring the magic home to my own program by helping empower women through their own journey of self discovery with the horses”.
Contact Information:   Colorado
Parker, Colorado
Tel: 303-880-7144
MAAIKE de HOOP:  Adolescent Home for Youth at Risk: PORTUGAL
“We take adolescents that have problems into our home for a couple of months and teach them how to get a “grip” on their lives again.  The horses play an important role in this process.
Maaike, Tammy and Tanyka

Maaike, Tammy and Tanyka"This year has been life changing. I got to know myself a lot better and I became more whole. I learned to trust my intuition, my body and my inner wisdom. Horses are great healers and I leanred how to facilitate and hold the "sacred place of possibility" for others. I want to share the wisdom of the horse with others. Kathleen and Leigh created a safe place for everybody to open up and bloom. I learned so much and am really thankful for the place and the amazing people.Contact Information: PortugalQuinta do Colaco, PortugalTel: 00351275561538Tel: 00351916100048maaikeinportugal@mac.comwww.howdoyoudo.nlEmma & Charlie

October 2009 Horses are Challenging us to WAKE UP!

October 2, 2009 by  

Newsletter article for www.horsespiritconnections.com

Horse Spirit Connections present “The Way of the Horse” and interview with Kathleen Barry Ingram, see it on You Tube!

Will Rogers said, “There is nothing better for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse”. I would take this one step further and say also the insides and the outsides of a horse since they teach us so much about being in the present moment and coming from a congruent place in our hearts. My privilege for the past 10 years has been to learn from these consummate teachers about myself, life and relationships. I began my journey with horses as therapists at Sierra Tucson, a hospital in Arizona specializing in addiction treatment, where Reed Smith hired Barbara Rector to engage equines in the treatment team for the new adolescent center in the early 1990’s. At the time I was the corporate director of marketing for this world renowned center and you can read more about this story in the article titled “Unexpected Grace”.

In 1992 I began my private practice in psychotherapy and I worked with Barbara Rector and Ann Alden, it was at one of their workshops that I met Linda Kohanov. Linda and I developed and taught the Epona Approach™ for eight years. We taught nine Epona apprenticeship classes together, many workshops, and experienced the incredible growth of this approach working with our equine colleagues. I have immense gratitude for all that Linda and I experienced, learned and developed over those years. What I lovingly call the “straw bale/ porta potty days” with our first workshops in late 1999 to Epona’s move to the magnificent facility at Apache Springs Ranch located in Gardner Canyon in Sonoita, Arizona; we met, taught and engaged with people and horses from all over the world.

In 2008 I began my current journey which has taken me to England, Ireland, Belgium, Vermont, Florida, New York State, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Canada. One of the most consistent observations I have had is that the horses world-wide are speaking to each other. Rupert Sheldrake’s concept of the morphogenetic field; Candace Pert’s research on the molecules of emotion; and Larry Dossey’s description of the nonlocal nature of mind has demonstrated that all of the horses are communicating with each other and are taking us to new levels of personal and interpersonal awareness. They are literally helping us to wake up!

I have been conducting advanced workshops with others, some of whom were my students, and also am teaming up with people like Wendy and Andre and teaching what I call the psychological/spiritual/scientific foundations underlying equine facilitated learning in various training programs. What I have noticed as a theme is the people I am teaching and training are asking for guidance and direction for their life work based on their own intuition, self-awareness, and personal knowledge gleaned from life challenges; and turning possibilities into probabilities. Some come as students to learn this work with horses and people in advanced human development, others come for their own personal growth, and some come as a group to learn leadership from a collaborative point of view. The horses, as always, infuse people with wisdom, courage, vision and strength. As our role models, they teach us to offer support when appropriate, wait for the right moment to intervene and not take anything too personally.

One of the key components developed at Epona is something Linda created called the “Emotional Message Chart”. Horses teach us to use emotion as information and that no emotion is good or bad. Psychologist Barbara Fredrickson’s ground breaking book, “Positivity”defines, records and validates her research and findings over a period of 20 years regarding the importance of balancing Positive Emotions with Negative Emotions. She has found that a ration of 3:1 positive to negative is needed to balance our emotions. She says, “Negative emotions are necessary for us to flourish, and positive emotions are by nature subtle and fleeting; the secret is not to deny their transience but to find ways to increase their quantity. Without a balance of positive to negative emotions, she has found that people get pulled into a downward spiral, their behavior becomes lifeless, rigid, and predictable and they begin to feel burdened. It is also important to note that she is not advocating suppression of any emotions but rather balancing them. All positive emotions have one thing is common, which is they are reactions to our current circumstances and are not a permanent state. Why is this so important to note and remember? Positive emotions tend to be more fleeting than negative emotions and happiness is the overall outcome of many positive emotions. She says that positive emotions are triggered by our interpretations of our current circumstances and are felt not only in the body but also tell us what we need emotionally and mentally for the future. This helps us to broaden our minds and outlook and to build what she calls the “broaden and build effect”. Positive emotions are a narrower band of feelings and not an overall judgment about life. A study cited in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in November 2008 called “Open Hearts Build Lives” looked at the effects of loving-kindness meditation on people’s resources and attributed the benefits not to learning loving-kindness meditation but to the daily increase in positive emotions that the participants got from this and they concluded that over time positive emotions literally change who we are. I often refer to the psychological concept of a “corrective emotional experience” which happens consistently in the work with horses. When the identity of the facilitator/horse is confused with past figures from childhood, the horses help correct negative thoughts and feelings about certain circumstances or memories by responding positively in the present. This experience helps the client to develop new “neural pathways” in the brain with positive emotions which eventually replace the “super highway” reaction based on past experiences.

We and the herd of horses at Horse Spirit Connection invite you to take this journey with us and begin to live from your true essence. We are often asked how does this work with horses enhance and develop us as Spiritual beings. Michael Singer’s book, “The Untethered Soul” gives one of the best definitions of Spirituality I have seen:

Spirituality begins when you decide that you’ll never stop trying. Spirituality is the commitment to go beyond, no matter what it takes. It’s an infinite journey based upon going beyond yourself every minute of the day for the rest of your life. If you’re truly going beyond you are always at your limits. You’re never back in the comfort zone. A spiritual being feels as though they are always against the edge, and they are constantly being pushed through it. (p 124) “The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer

The essence of spirituality is letting go of this false sense of self, this façade, and this need to have others behave predictably. It is being in the vulnerable, unknowing part of you. It is taking the risk to Chart Your Own Course. You decide to take the journey by constantly letting go, not clinging, and being a witness to your thoughts, your feelings, and your state of mind. Living authentically from this soulful place is the way to true freedom.

What would it be like to live in the Undivided Self, to use the power of the undivided self to create, to live and to participate fully in life and to Chart Your Own Course? What would it be like to view all people and experiences as new opportunities to see with the heart and the mind?

What I have noticed with my travels is that there is always one common thread. That thread is each horse’s innate ability to take in and honor the essence of the individual exactly where they are in that present moment. We know that being in the present is really the only place where actual change can happen. We have also seen that the experiences with horses allows the individual to “implicitly know” what is important for a full life and also gives them a glimmer of what that could look like.

Seeing with the heart allows us to be in present moment awareness and to live from our authentic self. Your heart is an instrument made of extremely subtle energy. When you “feel” music, see the beauty of a flower, or bird song, you can hear it and see it, but the feeling comes through the filter of the heart. The heart controls the energy flow of opening and closing to others. The heart closes when stored energy, feelings, or unfinished business block the opening of the heart. Barbara Fredrickson and Marty Seligman, former president of the American Psychological Association and founder of positive psychology, among others have taken the scientific rigor developed in traditional psychology, based on the medical model and directed it towards understanding human potential Seligman challenged the field to look at what makes a person healthy rather that what makes them sick. Fredrickson says that one way to increase positivity is to be aware of the present moment, because she says most moments are positive. She says we miss many opportunities to experience positive emotions by thinking too much about the past and the future, rather than being open to what is. “Living in my head got me through difficult times when I was younger and helped me become a great student. But I think it disconnected me from my heart”. I would encourage Barbara and others to join us in nature, to enjoy the present moment, and learn directly from the heart of the horses.

Kathleen Barry Ingram, MA

September 2009 ©

Authentic Horse Human offers EFP/FEEL Training Program

May 13, 2009 by  

EFP/FEEL Facilitator Training Diploma Incorporating The Epona Approach™   United Kingdom

Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning, FEEL

Instructors:  Dr Barbara Murray, Advanced Epona Approved Instructor

                       Sun Tui, Advanced Epona Approved Instructor


For full Information regarding the FEEL Training Program in the UK

Contact: Sun Tui www.authentichorsehuman.org  044 (0) 1342 822682  cell:    0044 (0) 790 24 6058  

Kathleen is teaching during Module 1 and Module 4

Module 1     23rd – 27th August 2009
EFP/FEEL Facilitator Training Foundation Skills
Led by Kathleen Barry Ingram co-creator of The Epona Approach ™


Module 4    Summer 2010
EFP/FEEL Facilitator Integrated Skills Assessment
Led by Kathleen Barry Ingram co-creator of The Epona Approach ™


Sun Tui, Barbara & Kathleen   Spring 2009

Sun Tui, Barbara & Kathleen Spring 2009