The Equus Effect®

Somatic Experiencing with Horses

Our Mission

To provide people in uniform and others in high-stress environments with essential tools to meet life’s challenges and build their capacity for 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 chronic 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 work in high stress environments have the opportunity to enjoy the physical, mental and emotional freedom they work hard to protect for our country, our communities and our families.


Our Values

We never charge veterans, first responders and frontline health workers for our services.

We rely on the generosity of donors and foundations who want to see these brave men and women go from surviving to thriving.  

We do however, offer this program to others in stressful situations at home, work or school through special, fee-based programs that address the needs and concerns of those groups.  

We also work with people interested in personal and professional growth — with tools that restore goodness to their bodies, minds and spirits.

“The Equus Effect In Action”

— See video featuring four of our veterans —

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

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 logo

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

IMPORTANT INFO ON DIRECTIONS TO FARM

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

WHEN USING NAVIGATION APPS, it’s imperative that you set destination to Sharon Town Beach, Mudge Pond Rd., Sharon, CT.  Drum Road is directly across from entrance to the beach. Follow until you see a red barn on left and white cottage with our sign.  

And please always park on left side of the road in front of barn — or where you may see parking signs.

The Equus Effect

Address
37 Drum Road, Sharon, CT 06069

Main Office  (860) 364-5363

Jane Strong  
Executive Director
Co-founder & Lead Facilitator
(860) 364-9985

David Sonatore  
Chief Knowledge Officer
Co-founder & Lead Facilitator
(347) 439-1777

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

For general information:
kelly@theequuseffect.org

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