The Equus Effect Program is both unique and valuable in terms of it's ability to deliver effective and long-lasting benefits to veterans because:

  • The content of the curriculum focuses on resilience and relationships skills that warriors returning from service in the military need in order to establish healthy relationships at home, work and school.
  • The relationships and understanding of the VA system, as well as two important veteran service organizations (IAVA and Team Red, White and Blue) promises a steady stream of veteran participants in this five-week curriculum.

Based on our experience over the past five years with this program, we believe that both the curriculum itself, our deep understanding of this population and the credibility we have established with these organizations will provide new facilitators with the opportunity to enjoy ongoing success.

In addition, we have developed strong relationships with clinicians who serve veterans at the VA's and Vet Centers in CT and now MA, so that those who deliver our curriculum can feel assured that veterans who wish to participate are ones who want to make positive changes and are also supported by professionals before, during and after their five sessions with The Equus Effect.


Proven and Growing Success - The Equus Effect is now being delivered in Sharon, Old Lyme, CT and Brewster, MA. We saw 21 veterans in 2013 and have now served over 150 veterans and clinicians in these three locations. As facilitators, you and your organization will enjoy the respect and support we have earned from key VA, Vet Center and other VSO decision makers. We have created a program that ensures lasting results and complements the efforts of clinicians in their work with veterans who want to move forward in life.

Deepen Community Connections - Not only does The Equus Effect program enable you to work with veterans, but the curriculum can broaden your reach into other populations in your community who work in highly responsible professions or services: first responders, doctors, nurses, clinicians and caregivers.

Enhance Work with Currently Served Populations - In addition, the application to any of the populations you already reach will most certainly be enhanced by the tools we have developed.

Our Approach to Training

Our mission: to help veterans gain the emotional and mental fitness skills they need to rebuild healthy relationships at home, work and school.

We are serious about the structure of our five-session curriculum and know that it works. We also know that results are long lasting and that we can provide potential facilitators with the tools they need (Facilitator's Guide and ongoing support) to make graduate facilitators and the program successful for the veterans and others with whom you work.

Prior to deciding whether or not this program is interesting and feasible for you and your facility, we are offering two webinars that will introduce the principles and tools that are unique to The Equus Effect. These will be offered on Wednesday, October 19 and Tuesday, October 25 from 7:00-8:30 PM. This will give you the opportunity to see if the program is right for you and will give you a chance to ask questions and learn more in follow-up interviews.

This training is open to 24 participants – two from each facility – and will be held at High Hopes in Old Lyme, CT from January 22-25, 2017.

The actual training includes:

  • 2 interactive webinars for delivery of didactic materials
  • A comprehensive reading and movie list
  • A four-day, hands-on training with trained facilitators and veterans to hone skills and identify areas for further instruction
  • Introductions to decision makers at local VA Healthcare System Hospitals, Vet Centers, clinicians IAVA and Team RWB team leaders near your facility.

Skill Development Benefits of this Training

In addition to providing a safe and supportive environment, we understand that working with veterans (and others in high risk/high responsibility professions) requires the following:

  • a deep understanding of the difference between facilitating and teaching
  • awareness of the nuanced role you can play in the 'journey home' for people who have been in combat or other high risk professions
  • willingness to adhere to the principles and practices of this curriculum-based approach
  • foundational understanding of Somatic Experiencing© work….a client-centered, body-based approach to helping veterans resolve issues that remain following military service through EAA/T
  • willingness to work with your own blind spots that can keep you from holding the appropriate space for veterans around regulating their physical, emotional and mental energy
  • building your capacity to assist and allow veterans to make their own meaning out of experiences. This is a skill and art based on self-awareness, listening and knowing how to ask sensory-based invitational questions.

The Equus Effect Training Program offers the opportunity graduates to gain a tremendous amount of knowledge and insight as well as access to these keys to long-lasting change for veterans so that they can really 'come home'.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Jane Strong to learn more or sign up for one of our two our introductory webinars that outline the principles and practices of this curriculum.

Training cost: $1,000 per participant following an application process and a minimum of two potential facilitators per organization.

Other Resources

You can also contact graduates who are now delivering the curriculum: Liz Adams at Emerald Hollow in Brewster, MA, Megan Ellis and/or Lauren Fitzgerald at High Hopes in Old Lyme, CT.

They have been delivering the curriculum since spring 2016 and can offer firsthand insight into the challenges and opportunities for personal and professional growth offered by the experience of taking the training and delivering this program.

Quotes from Graduate of The Equus Effect Training Program High Hopes (2015)

I've noticed that there are many programs put on by well-meaning people without a true understanding of what it means to serve in the military. As a veteran myself, I find them to be either patronizing or assume that all veterans are dysfunctional…as though the word "veteran" was a diagnosis in and of itself.
This program was much more meaningful and respectful than any other I've encountered, to both the population being served and the horses. It has substance without being exaggerated. It was simple but very powerful.
I now feel empowered to go out and deliver this curriculum, something I cannot say for any similar type of training I've been to in the therapeutic horsemanship industry.
I'm excited to use this new style of teaching (facilitating to be exact) and bring it to veterans in way that values us, the veterans and the horses. I'm also excited about the fact that this program can be replicated at other centers across the country and that these concepts can be brought to all those who want to serve veterans.
As someone who comes from a lifetime of teaching facts and how-to's, the more 'invitational' style of approaching exercises and activities, was completely different. The hands-on experience with real veterans as well as the comprehensive Facilitator's Guide gave me what I needed to teach this. – ME
I expected this to be similar to other veteran-focused trainings I've attended on line or in person. It was not. I was amazed at the facilitators' ability to help foster change and get veterans to think in a different way about themselves and their lives without having to say or do too much. – LF
I was amazed at how similar the techniques are to a lot of the most modern theories and interventions. I was also impressed with how clean and simplified it felt. Sometimes I find when people have something that works really well, they want it to seem complicated as if there's something unique about the facilitators that yields such success. I loved how the model humbles us as facilitators and acknowledges our equines for the amazing work they do. – LM

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The Equus Effect
37 Drum Road, Sharon, CT 06069
Jane Strong (860) 364-5363
David Sonatore (860) 364-5363

The Equus Effect is a registered 501-C3 corporation. All contributions are 100% tax deductible.