Train to Facilitate

Civilian Trainers and Veteran Trainers*


  • First, a desire to serve veterans or other populations who might benefit from experiential learning and repatterning of current attitudes and behaviors.
  • Second, the emotional maturity required to recognize one’s own triggers, the curiosity to understand oneself more deeply and the capacity to hold space for, empower and collaborate with clients, horses and co-facilitators.

The Equus Effect Program is both unique and valuable in terms of its ability to deliver effective and long-lasting benefits to veterans and other populations because:

  • The content of this curriculum focuses on resilience and relationship skills that warriors, and others making their way from one culture to another, can use to establish healthy relationships at home, work and school.
  • Our relationships with key decision makers in the VA system, veteran service organizations, treatment centers and other agencies that support clients’ process of moving forward in life, promise a steady stream of veteran participation in this five-week curriculum.

Based on our experience over the past five years with this program, we believe that the curriculum itself, our deep understanding of these populations 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 the many clinicians who serve these groups in CT, MA, MD, NY, NC and WA so that those who deliver our curriculum can feel assured that participants are supported by licensed professionals before, during and after their five sessions with The Equus Effect.

*Veterans who would like to continue to serve as mentors to other veterans and/or to train as facilitators, we offer our training program on an individual scholarship basis. Potential veteran facilitators must also have the capacity to stay grounded and clear in the face of issues linked to military service and to function as both compassionate AND objective observers.


Proven and Growing Success – In 2013, we worked with 21 veterans.  As of July 2019, we have seen over 300 and now work with men and women at 2 treatment centers in CT.

The Equus Effect is now being delivered in Sharon, CT, Old Lyme, CT, Brewster, MA, Port Deposit, MD, Brewster, NY and will soon be in Denmark, and Puerto Rico.  

We have created a program that ensures lasting results and complements the efforts of clinicians in a way that everyone involved feels successful and supported.

Deepen Community Connections – Not only does The Equus Effect program enable you to work with veterans and men and women in recovery, 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 offer.

Our Approach to Training

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.

To make sure that the investment you make in yourself and on behalf of your facility is worthwhile, we require prospective facilitators to participate in a three-day workshop to determine how well this material resonates with you. We also take this opportunity to learn more about each person in the group and assess whether or not you and your facility are a good fit for this work.  Our introductory workshop Inside The Equus Effect is required for qualification to attend our full facilitator training.  See Inside The Equus Effect. 

The Equus Effect Training is open to 12 participants.

Cost is $4000/person

Please contact Jane Strong at 860-364-9985 or email her for more information.

Skill Development Benefits of this Training

In addition to providing a safe and supportive environment, we understand that working with veterans, and others who have led (or do lead) lives that involve direct or vicarious trauma, 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-stress environments
  • Willingness to adhere to the principles and practices of this curriculum-based approach
  • Foundational understanding of Somatic Experiencing© work….which we provide. Somatic Experiencing (SE) is
    a client-centered, body-based approach to helping veterans and others resolve issues that remain following whatever type of trauma or stress through working with horses and learning how to manage one’s emotions
  • 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
  • Ability to step back 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…all of which we model and teach

The Equus Effect Training Program offers the opportunity for graduates to gain a tremendous amount of knowledge and insight, as well as access to these keys to long-lasting change for veterans, and other populations, so that they are empowered to become more resilient and develop a capacity for managing their own mental and emotional energy.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Jane Strong at 860-364-9985 or email her to discuss our Training Program fees and schedules for upcoming workshops.

Graduate Testimonials

You can also talk to graduate facilitators who are now delivering the curriculum. They 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.

Please reach out to Jane Strong at 860-364-9985 or email for their contact info.

Quotes from Graduates of The Equus Effect Training Program

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 a 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, I found that this 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
Main Office (860) 364-5363​
Jane Strong (860) 364-9985​
​David Sonatore (347) 439-1777
Jesi Sarno (413) 446-5698

FOR DIRECTIONS:  Please use Google maps with address above — see our Contact Page.  If using Waze app, set destination to Sharon Town Beach, Mudge Pond Rd., Sharon, CT.

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