Inside The Equus Effect

2024 Weekend Dates

 *May 18-19  — or —  June 1-2
maximum 6 participants

July 20 & 21 onsite
+ July 18 Zoom webinar 6:30-8:30 pm
maximum 12 participants

These are prerequisite weekends ahead of Facilitator Certification Training.  
*Inside The Equus Effect “Outside In” is also for those interested in Personal & Professional Growth.

Hosted at The Equus Effect Farm, 37 Drum Road, Sharon, CT

— see descriptions, payment info & logistics below —




The Equus Effect is a sophisticated, structured, and comprehensive experiential learning with horses program that is designed to have a lasting impact on a broad range of  clients. Our aim is to build participants’ capacity to have more successful and satisfying relationships at home, work and school.  Benefits include:


  • more effective communication
  • healthier boundaries
  • the ability to stay present and engaged in the face of conflict
  • increased compassion for others
David-Sonatore-and-one of The Equus Effect star horses, Dutch
  • responsiveness rather than reactivity to emotional triggers
  • greater sense of agency
    — tolerance for differences
    — inner strength
Students work with horses in the round pen as instructors facilitate

As such, the weekend workshops Inside The Equus Effect Parts I & II are designed to provide the following:

  • Part I: Conceptual understanding of our foundations, principles & practices
    — Direct experience of the program itself
  • Part II: The opportunity to gain key insights into various styles of facilitation and their impact on both the depth and breadth of clients’ experience
  • The essential role that each two-person team can play in creating a safe, yet challenging environment for clients to experience breakthrough insights that have a direct impact on the quality of their lives.

Those who wish to continue on to the four-module training program certification can also expect to gain first hand exposure to clients from the community.

Training is designed to cultivate strengths & reveal aspects of personal and professional qualities that make for successful facilitation of this work.

Self Awareness  |  Resourcefulness  | Inner Strength |  Creativity  |  Curiosity  |  Objective Compassion

Inside The Equus Effect Parts I & II
are intended for men and women in the coaching and healing arts, ESMHL professionals, therapeutic riding instructors, equine facilitated psychotherapy & learning practitioners, clinicians and individuals who are interested in their own personal and professional growth.

Whether a participant is interested in using these skills and capacities for direct use with clients — or whether one is simply interested in this dynamic, whole body approach to personal growth — the experiential and didactic materials offered by The Equus Effect team are relevant, useful and deeply impactful.

To this end, we offer these workshops to give participants the opportunity to learn about the science and skills that inform our approach as well as to experience for themselves the insights and new perspectives that this program can offer.

We believe that in order to succeed as professional facilitators of this curriculum, students must be able to create a safe and respectful space for participants to experience whatever they need in terms of insights, memories and emotional releases.  To that end, we invite any and all trainees to explore and experience for themselves all insights and issues that emerge as a result of these workshops.

We are here to ensure that the environment is safe to be vulnerable, and to move through barriers, to becoming a clearer channel, so that those you work with can go from …
surviving  >>>  thriving
 >>>  responding
 >>> spontaneous
 >>> creative

As we like to say, “You need to live it to give it”.

We also believe that the personal and professional applications of this work are endless.

~ No horse experience necessary and no riding involved ~


In order to qualify for professional training to certify as a facilitator with The Equus Effect, participants must complete both Inside The Equus Effect Part I and Part II.

ITEE Part I:  Theory and Practice — Outside IN

Part I offers a chance for men and women who are interested in becoming facilitators for The Equus Effect, as well as those who are simply interested in learning how to apply the principles and practices of this program to their lives.

In this segment of the pre-training program, participants learn about the key elements that are foundational to our work and how these inform both the experiential, didactic and processing aspects of our curriculum.

While The Equus Effect was conceived with the veteran experience in mind, we have found these elements to be both relevant and meaningful to a much broader audience.

Since we all face both unique and universal challenges in life AND since key elements of our curriculum are grounded in the science behind all human development and neuroplasticity, we know that the same principles we use with veterans can be applied to our own lives and to the experiences of many who want to get better at navigating life’s challenges.

Resources and Tools

  • Somatic Experiencing

    In an Unspoken Voice – Dr. Peter Levine
  • Polyvagal Theory 

    Clinical Applications of Polyvagal Theory, Listening to my Body: A Guide – Dr, Steven Porges
  • Natural Horsemanship Theory and Skills
    Seven Clinics, The Faraway Horses – Buck Brannaman, Horses Don’t Lie – Chris Irwin
  • Emotional Agility and Fitness Skills
    Emotional Genius
     – Karla McLaren,   Riding Between the Worlds, Linda Kohanov
  • Tools for Resilience
    The Body Keeps the Score – Bessel van der Kolk,  Waking the Tiger – Dr. Peter Levine


Part II provides students with the opportunity to look at what we each bring to the program as individuals who may wish to become facilitators or simply become more aware and more complete versions of themselves.  This module is designed to identify and build on natural strengths, as well as to identify areas where one might not be as clear as one would like.

We all have various attitudes and styles that inform our unique approaches to this program as facilitators.  In order to work with a wide variety of clients, understanding ourselves more deeply provides an excellent foundation for our ability to hold the space for others.

The Equus Effect program is designed to be taught by two facilitators.  It is essential to understand our own strengths (and triggers) in a way that complements those of our partners.  We have found this to be extremely useful in terms of seamless delivery of the didactic components of the curriculum as well as the willingness and capacity to  ‘have each other’s back’.

The most important reasons for this are:

Congruence & Collaboration  Participants are keenly aware of the relationship between  those  in positions of authority.  Credibility and modeling are key – for individuals to move beyond their comfort zones in order to explore new ways of  taking responsibility for their relationships at home, work and school.

Safety & Sensitivity  When working with horses, it is much safer to have two sets of eyes on situations that can change in a moment, or to be able to support someone who needs to take a break while the rest of the class moves on.

Professional Skill  And finally, when self awareness is taught in a systematic way that includes body language as well as how we spend our attention and energy, it becomes possible  to ask clients insightful questions that would otherwise be difficult to ascertain.

Again, we use both experiential learning and didactic material to help students recognize key habits of mind and behaviors that they can use for both personal and professional development.

Resources and Tools

  • The Enneagram

    The Enneagram – Helen Palmer,  The Wisdom of the Enneagram – Riso-Hudson
  • Internal Family Systems 

    Internal Family Systems Theory – Dr, Richard Schwartz
  • The Masterson Method
    Beyond Horse Massage – Jim Masterson
  • Inquiry Practices
    The Diamond Approach 
    – A.H Almaas

Training to Facilitate

In order to enroll in the four-module training program students must complete both Parts I & II because each module includes sophisticated concepts that build on each other.  Following Part I, we will arrange a conference to discuss goals and mutual fit for continuing to Part II and Facilitator Certification.

We want this work to be a win-win-win situation for you, The Equus Effect, and for your clients. We want it to meet the high standards and consistency we require, your goals for a successful practice, and ultimately, to exceed clients’ expectations for a uniquely enlightening and useful experience.

We truly believe that for facilitators as well as clients …

The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice
And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice.
There is little we can do to change what we fail to notice until we notice
How failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.
— R.D.Laing

Between stimulus and response there is a space
In that space lies our ability to choose a response
And in that response lies our freedom and growth.
— Viktor Frankl

See our Train To Facilitate page for more.

Programs for Veterans - Horse pressing snout into woman's belly

Logistics – Cost – Timing

To SIGN UP, please contact Kelly Hitt: or call / text (203) 613-1107.

Inside The Equus Effect  Parts I & II
are held at The Equus Effect farm:  
37 Drum Road
Sharon, CT
Saturdays, Sundays
10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Lunch included

Part I:
Cost  $900/person

Part II:
Cost  $900/person 

Payment by way of check is ideal for us due to processor fees with credit cards.  However, if you do need to use a credit card, please email to set up a time to take your payment over the phone.  

Please mail your check to:
The Equus Effect
Attn: Donna Larocque
37 Drum Road
Sharon, CT 06069

ACCOMMODATIONS:   Please email for more information. 

NOTE:  Completion of Inside The Equus Effect Parts I & II are required for qualification to attend the full training. See Train to Facilitate page.

~ If you’d like to discuss any or all of this, please reach out ~

Feel free to call Kelly Hitt at (203) 613-1107 — or email


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: