Our flagship program is a peer-to-peer program with our facilitators, horses and other vets who work as a team to accelerate the journey home to family and community.   

Our four-session curriculum is designed to introduce the principles of natural horsemanship as a way to help vets gain the trust, respect and willingness to collaborate from those with whom they live and work. We and our equine partners demonstrate the value of using finesse vs. force and cooperation vs. control.

We also educate our veteran students with life-changing insight and information around managing their emotion(s). Our Emotional Agility presentation, based on the work of Karla McLaren, Linda Kohanov and our head instructor David Sonatore, LCSW, is approachable, engaging and incredibly useful.  

We believe that If veterans can learn to use emotions the way horses do – as information to help them stay alive, set healthy boundaries, support one another in times of need – there would be no need to stay stuck in the stories we often tell about what we might have done differently in the past or what may or may not happen in the future.

We all have a lot to learn from our horses about being present to what’s happening right now – especially those who never had the time or tools available to unwind and renew their reserves of emotional and mental energy.  

The day Apache made a connection with me and chose to follow me on his own, demonstrated that he trusted me. It helped me realize that I could trust myself … because if a horse chooses to disregard his own hypervigilance, and trusts, that means that I can do the same.

First Responders

First responders have an immense impact on their communities. We also know from first-hand experience that primary and secondary trauma can have a huge effect on them and their families. Post traumatic stress, anxiety and depression are realities faced by many men and women who serve and protect our communities. Our veterans programs are a perfect fit for this population. We believe that building the capacity for self regulation, making distinctions among difficult emotions and separating work life from home life — are all part of maintaining healthy relationships. First responders
report that they are able to think more clearly and make better decisions at work because of the resilience and renewal tools we offer through our program.

The Equus Effect believes that if the people who are called upon to respond to our community members in times of crisis are better equipped to handle the stressors of their jobs and perform at a higher level of safety and efficacy, the community as a whole will be better cared for and more resilient.  

Here are a few of the enduring benefits:

  • Renewed of energy and focus
  • Ability to recognize and address their own triggers
  • Aptitude for implementing approaches to emergencies that settle others down
  • Capacity to become better partners and parents.
I learned about some simple and quick things I could do to get grounded and clear my head before heading home after a tough day. What a gift for me and for my family.
First Responder

Veteran Mentor Program

Once a veteran has completed enough sessions to understand the basic principles of non-verbal communication with our horses, he or she is eligible to earn a Level I Certificate in Natural Horsemanship and join our network of veterans liaisons. This aspect of our program is about serving others and helping new vets get acclimated to the farm and comfortable working with horses. Our aim is to build an authentic community where vets can BE better together…not just DO better on their own.

Veteran Liaisons

Tim McCall
Corporal, USMC

Steven Troop
E-4 US Army

Christina Walls
Army Specialist – E-4 US Army

David Flounders
O-3E US Army

If you’d like to get involved with the programs we offer veterans free of charge, here’s how:

  • If you’re a veteran, Contact Us
  • If there’s a veteran in your life who’s struggling, let him or her know about us by sending us an email
  • If you’d like to support our work, find out how you can help

    — Or reach out and call Jane Strong directly at (860) 364-9985 —

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: