The Equus Effect®

Somatic Engagement with Horses

Our Mission

To provide veterans, first responders and others who live and work in high stress environments with practical tools to build healthy, authentic relationships through purposeful engagement with horses.

Our Work

Our approach to Experiential Learning and Coaching includes engagement with horses that focuses on the body’s natural response to stress and trauma.  We believe, as do experts in the field of neurobiology and trauma, that our reactions to traumatic events and chronic stress remain in the nervous system until they are metabolized and discharged.

Somatic Experiencing (SE)®, is the foundation and basis of the exercises we teach. Developed by Peter Levine, Ph.D., it is the result of the multidisciplinary study of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics.  With more than 45 years of successful clinical application, this approach to the restoration of balance and well-being to the nervous system is gaining awareness and recognition by leaders in the fields of psychology and medicine.

Our didactic material, the reflective aspects of our work with horses and ground-based natural horsemanship techniques, help participants regain agency and emotional agility.

We focus on restoring nervous system regulation. It is a body-oriented model that helps heal trauma and chronic stress from the bottom up — and from the inside out.

We do not focus on ‘treatment goals’.  Rather, the specific aim of our work is to help warriors from all walks of life uncover and dissolve barriers that live on in their systems long after they return to their homes and communities.

We have graduated over 1000 men and women from the VA Healthcare System, Vet Centers, Treatment Centers, Law Enforcement Agencies and Hospitals in Connecticut, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Washington State through our four-session curriculum.

No horse experience necessary.  No riding involved.

Our Vision

A country where men and women in uniform and others who are transitioning from  high stress environments have the opportunity to enjoy mental and emotional freedom.

Our Values

We never charge veterans, military families, first responders and frontline health workers for our services — relying on the generosity of donors and foundations who want to see these brave men and women go from surviving to thriving.  

We offer programs to other populations in stressful situations at home, work or school through fee-based workshops that address the needs and concerns of those groups.  And we also work with people interested in personal and professional growth through our sustainable programs.

“The Equus Effect In Action”

— veteran graduates’ testimonials featured —

Producer/Director: CB Wismar | Director of Photography: William Benjamin Willis

“Coping with Covid-19”

— first responders & health-workers speak about The Equus Effect —

Producer/Director: Tory Estern-Jadow | Cinematographer: Even Estern

22 veteran suicides a day
PTSD affects 7.7 million adults, or 3.5% of the U.S. population
25.1% of teens ages 13-18 years old are affected by anxiety or depression disorders
by adulthood 1 out of 5 women has been sexually assaulted; 1 out of 33 men
“We don’t seek the painful experiences that hew our identities, but we seek our identities in the wake of painful experiences. We cannot bear a pointless torment, but we can endure great pain if we believe that it’s purposeful. Ease makes less of an impression on us than struggle. We could have been ourselves without our delights, but not without the misfortunes that drive our search for meaning.”
Andrew Solomon 

Are you interested in helping us?


The Equus Effect® is a registered 501(c)(3) corporation. All contributions are 100% tax deductible. 



Navigation apps do not work to our street address!!!

PLEASE SET GPS to Sharon Town Beach, Mudge Pond Rd., Sharon, CT. 

Drum Road is a Y-intersection directly across from entrance to the beach. 

The facility is about 3/4 mile on the left.

Park in front of the red barn on the left or on the far side of the red cottage on the left.

NOTE: Please do not park or turn around in driveways on the right side of the road.

Call or text (203) 613-1107.

The Equus Effect

37 Drum Road, Sharon, CT 06069

Main Office  (860) 364-9985

Jane Strong, SEP, IFS Trained 
Executive Director
Co-founder, Lead Facilitator
(860) 364-9985

David Sonatore, LCSW  
Program Director
Co-founder, Lead Facilitator
(347) 439-1777

Kelly Hitt  
Communications Director
Outreach Coordinator
(203) 613-1107

For general information: