Join Our Herd!

Our Equus Coach Training for Therapists program is now enrolling. 

Apply now for the Equus Coach Training for Therapists program. Begins March 2018.

Have a question about Equus Coach Training? Email us.

Not ready to apply, but want to receive future updates? Join the Interest List.


Coach Training Outline | Onsite Practicums |RequirementsApply Now | FAQs


Equus Coach Training for Therapists

Add equine-assisted coaching to your individual, couples, and family sessions. Assist your clients in deepening and healing their relationships. Transform their patterns with a hands-on, experiential modality—outdoors, in nature!

  • Embark on a profound journey of personal and professional transformation.
  • Learn to facilitate life-changing experiences with horses for your clients.
  • Gain the knowledge and skills needed to create your own thriving Equus Coaching business or enhance your current practice.
  • Join a loving and supportive community of like-minded entrepreneurs who care deeply about your success.

This March, join us in deepening your therapeutic skill set by learning how Equus Coaching—a unique form of equine-assisted coaching—can fundamentally shift the way you assist clients with personal development.

Plus, up to 88 contact hours of Continuing Education (CE) credit are available for this course for LMFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, and LCSWs.

Read more about CE accreditation here.

Equus Coach Training for Therapists Overview

The Koelle Institute’s Equus Coach Training is a transformative journey of personal and professional development unlike any other! In this comprehensive program designed exclusively for therapists and mental health professionals, you will gain the theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience to become a masterful Equus Coach, capable of facilitating life-changing encounters with horses. Our dedicated community of Master Facilitators and Equus Coaches will be there every step of the way to ensure you get the guidance, support, and encouragement you need to reconnect with your own true nature and learn to guide others masterfully through this powerful process.

This eight-month program offers thirty (30) online classes, two (2) onsite intensives, tools, exercises, and peer-to-peer practice with detailed feedback from instructors all along the way.  

Our Equus Coach Training program also teaches equine psychology and husbandry as well as core coaching concepts and requires its trainees to demonstrate their abilities in both areas before becoming certified as an Equus Coach.

Additional weekend practicums are offered through the institute to prepare you for your skills review and certification.  These weekends include volunteer clients and live supervision from skilled instructors to increase your competence and confidence.

After completing this course, you will have the horsemanship and coaching skills to add Equus sessions to your practice.  

Ongoing supervision, mentoring, and continuing education classes will be available to you by Master Equus Facilitators through the Koelle Institute.

Subjects covered in the training include:

  • Equine-Assisted Activities increase client engagement and progress by incorporating experiential activities with horses into your clinical or counseling practice
  • Equus Coaching Fundamentals – learn and implement core coaching principles as well as tools specifically tailored to humans learning and growing in partnership with horses
  • Equine Psychology, Husbandry, and Safe Handling – learn all about horses—even if you haven’t ridden or worked with horses before
  • Shifting Trauma Patterns incorporate powerful healing with horses into the work you do with clients who have experienced trauma
  • Business Fundamentals – basic steps for setting up a successful practice (or enhancing your existing practice) that includes working with horses and humans
  • Marketing – examine strategies to introduce your Equus sessions to your community


Note from Koelle

Are you ready for the journey of a lifetime?

Throughout my life, there have been many times that I have felt a deep sense of hopelessness. These periods have been characterized by a lack of trust in life — and in myself. Again and again, I’ve found solace in the wisdom of nature. Horses have offered me a powerful roadmap for restoring a genuine state of peace and playfulness within myself. Their fierce honesty and gentle guidance have revealed profound ways for all of us to explore, play, and reconnect with our innate wisdom and harmony.

It is a gift and a privilege to witness this incredible process occur in myself and others! When we begin to view our life patterns from a place of compassion and curiosity instead of judgment, we suddenly gain access to a vast world of creative possibility. We stop feeling alone and start to recognize that we are all an integral part of a thriving whole.

If you are ready to explore your own potential and help others connect to their own true nature, I invite you to join me and our incredible community of Equus Coaches for the journey of a lifetime.




Spring 2018 Equus Coach Training for Therapists Outline

If you are a mental health professional, have a passion for helping individuals to lead their best lives, and an interest in learning life lessons from animals, then this course may be for you.

When you combine powerful coaching tools with the feedback and wisdom of horses, you and your clients are in for some life-changing personal development work. Gaining the skills to offer your clients this coaching experience can dramatically help accelerate them through their stickiest of roadblocks.

No prior experience with horses is needed.

This is a thorough and comprehensive course that will provide you with all of the necessary tools to add equine-assisted activities to your therapy or counseling practice. When you apply what you learn in this course to your current practice, you will have the skill set to begin offering Equus Coaching sessions to your current clients.

  • This course has been designed to enable busy working adults to attend successfully.
  • There is no need to own a horse(s) or have horse property.  We’ll show you how to create a beneficial partnership with equine facilities.
  • All Equus Coaching sessions take place on the ground and do not involve riding.
  • This course is designed to prepare therapists to conduct one-on-one, couples, or family Equus sessions rather than group workshops.

During this course, here are a few of the subjects you can expect to learn:

  • Highly effective tools that will enable you to help your clients progress toward their goals
  • A thorough foundation of equine psychology
  • Basic equine husbandry (i.e., the equine digestive system, reproduction, equine health, good care practices, and safe handling)
  • Activities and exercises that will help you develop well-rounded horsemanship skills and competency on the ground
  • Advice and insights for setting up a partnership with an equine facility in your area
  • Knowledge of how to blend your current knowledge and skills with the feedback from the horses
  • The skills and awareness to help your clients witness the impact of their non-verbal language and energetic communication
  • How to help your clients transform the way they treat themselves and create authentic, healthy, open-hearted relationships with others

Coaching Groundwork

The course will include interactive teleclasses that take place via internet teleconference; these are designed to teach and provide supported practice space for the fundamental coaching tools that we will be using during the training and with the horses.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to the Course and Intention Setting
  • Understanding the Mind and the Mind-Body Connection
  • Using Metaphor, Dreaming, Creativity, and Symbology
  • Presence and Building Community
  • Peer-to-Peer Practice with Supervision and Feedback
  • Meeting Your Clients Where They Are
  • Shifting Trauma Patterns with Equine Activities
  • Ethics and Working with Difficult Clients
  • Equus with Couples and Families
  • Incorporating Equus into Your Current Practice
  • Check-in Group Support Calls
  • Client Case Studies and Discussions
  • Final Assessment Prep and Feedback on Skills
  • Marketing, Setting Up Your Business, Setting Up Your Sessions

We foster a highly supportive, nonjudgmental community environment to enable each student to flourish.  This course teaches a variety of unique skills and, with the nature of the horse work, we are always being asked to embrace a new level of awareness of our patterns of behavior and relationship formation.

In order to best support you on a deep dive into your own personal development before seeking to serve your clients, we have designed this training with a high level of instructor and facilitator support. Each training has two main teaching instructors per ten students plus many additional actively-supporting facilitators whom you will meet during your onsite training. This is a highly-talented, warm, and playful community committed to helping you authentically reconnect with your well-being, celebrate your unique journey through life, and create truly life-changing experiences for the clientele you wish to serve.

Program Logistics

  • All teleclasses will be 90-minutes long and live participation is highly encouraged
  • We know you have busy working lives so the teleclasses will be recorded in case you have to miss a class.
  • The Introductions and Overview class will be held on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 12 noon PST / 3:00 pm EST. The remaining teleclasses will be spread throughout 2018.
  • All classes will be held on Tuesdays @ 12:00 noon PT / 3:00 pm ET.
  • A more detailed schedule will be provided once you are enrolled in the program.



Equus Coach Onsite Practicums

Both onsite practicum workshops for the Equus Coach Training for Therapists will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona.

We will send you the driving directions and area lodging ideas once you have signed up for the course.

Equus Coach Primer:  Onsite Training Workshop #1
Location: Big Sky Foxtrotters Ranch

The first onsite is designed to help you get a leg up in understanding the equine world as well as to experience and practice the skills you will eventually be sharing with your clients. This onsite has two components:

May 17, 2018: Horsemanship 101

This day is optional. If you do not feel extremely comfortable with each of the horse-related skills listed below, we want you to attend this first day. If you do feel extremely comfortable with horses and feel skilled at the items listed below, you can plan on skipping this day and joining us on day two.

  • Catching
  • Haltering
  • Leading
  • Tying
  • Physical identification & analysis
  • Assessing weight
  • Taking vital signs
  • Detecting a horse’s age by reviewing its teeth
  • Identifying a horse’s coloring and coat markings
  • Handling feet
  • Basic grooming
  • General safety

May 18-20, 2018: Equus Coaching Foundational Skills

During this first onsite you will learn the basics of facilitating sessions with humans and horses. This onsite will be led by Koelle Institute’s Master Facilitators (Koelle will also be in attendance for this first onsite.) We will help you gain the necessary awareness and skills for how to work with horses and understand the wisdom of the language of Equus.  We will also be facilitating Equus Coaching sessions for you that will help you shift the areas in your own life where you are feeling blocked or unsure.  We believe strongly that in order to truly serve clients well we have to genuinely open ourselves to dissolving the patterns that no longer serve the life we yearn to create.  Only then can we help the client to cross the same bridge.  This onsite is three full days of skill-building, learning, laughing, exploring, playing, connecting and peeling away all of the cultural layers that prevent us from feeling free to be our wholehearted selves.

Equus Coaching Intensive: Onsite Training Workshop #2
Location: Big Sky Foxtrotters Ranch

October 4-7, 2018:  Equus Coaching Intensive

The second onsite is a 4-day Equus Coaching intensive and practicum where you will begin to practice your skills with your fellow classmates. You will receive plenty of feedback and support while developing your skills at working alongside your equine partners to better serve your clients.

Final Skills Assessment Review
Dates TBA

To receive your certificate of completion, you will be required to attend a third onsite gathering for an in-person skills review.  These practicums will be held at various times and in various locations around the country.  You will be eligible for certification after all assignments have been completed and have up to two years to attend a review to begin the certification process. This will allow a lot of time and space for practice and implementing what you’ve learned from the two onsites as well as from the group teleclasses.


Program Requirements

  • A current clinical license (LMFT, LCSW, LPCC, LEP, Clinical Psychologist)
  • A willingness to dive deeply into your own personal development
  • A desire to support others in their personal transformation
  • A readiness to work toward adding Equus to your current practice
  • The physical fitness necessary to actively work with horses
  • We recommend that you attend at least one in-person Equus workshop or a private Equus Coaching session with Koelle Simpson or another Master Facilitator trained by Koelle listed here.

No previous horse experience or coaching experience required.

Continuing Education Credits

Up to 88 contact hours of Continuing Education (CE) credit are available for this course for LMFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, and LCSWs.

San Diego CAMFT, provider #57330, is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for the Koelle Institute’s Equus Coach Training. San Diego CAMFT maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content.

Read more about CE accreditation here.


Application Process and Fee Schedule

To apply to the Equus Coach Training for Therapists:

  1. Complete the online application.
  2. We will contact you to schedule a phone conversation upon receipt of your application.
  3. Once accepted, payment will be required to hold a place in the course. There are payment plan options available.

Spaces are limited. Apply by March 15, 2018.

Program Fees & Tuition Logistics

  • The cost of the Equus Coach Training for Therapists is $8,750* and includes all teleclasses as well as the Equus Coaching Foundational Skills and Equus Coach Intensive onsite practicums.
  • The cost of the optional one-day Horsemanship 101 onsite is $595. This is required if you do not already have the horsemanship skills listed above.
  • Tuition does not include breakfasts, dinners, airfare, lodging, or transportation to or from the facility.
  • The cost of the Skills Assessment Review will be due based on the date and location you choose to attend.

We know that this program is a significant investment of your time and financial resources, and we take that to heart! We have carefully structured our curriculum to ensure you will be equipped with everything you need to become a successful Equus Coach. We offer one of the most comprehensive programs available, with a high instructor to student ratio, and a supportive community dedicated to your success. Please reach out with any questions or to speak with one of our certified Equus Coaches!

Registration for our Equus Coach Training for Therapists program is now OPEN.
Apply below for the Spring 2018 training, beginning March 2018.

Application deadline March 15, 2018.

Not ready to apply, but want to receive future updates?

Join the Interest List

*The Koelle Institute offers two installment payment options to help support you in your investment. Upon acceptance into the training, your installment options will include:

  • 10% Deposit: Upon acceptance to the course, you may select a payment plan or you may hold your spot with a nonrefundable 10% deposit. (Spaces are limited.) You will be asked to select one of the following payment plans by March 1, 2018.
  • Pay-in-full: $8,750 upon acceptance into the Equus Coach Training program, less 10% deposit fee where applicable. Please note that an additional $595 is due April 1, 2018 only if attending the optional Horsemanship 101 day. No payment plan for that day is available.
  • 3-payment Plan: For the Equus Coach Training program, you will make three (3) equal payments of $2,975 each. $2,975 is due upon acceptance into the program, with two (2) additional payments of $2,975 paid over the next two months, less 10% deposit fee where applicable (for a total of 3 months.) Please note that an additional $595 s due April 1, 2018 only if attending the optional Horsemanship 101 day. No payment plan for that day is available.
  • 5-pay Payment Plan: For the Equus Coach Training program, you will make five (5) equal payments of $1,837.50 each. $1,837.50 is due upon acceptance into the program, with four (4) additional payments of $1,837.50 paid over the next four months, less 10% deposit fee where applicable (for a total of 5 months.) Please note that an additional $595 is due April 1, 2018 only if attending the optional Horsemanship 101 day. No payment plan for that day is available.

Cancellation Policy: If you cancel your enrollment 60 days prior to the published start date of our Equus Coach Training, Equus Coach Training for Therapists, or Master Facilitator Training, the Koelle Institute for Equus Coaching will offer a full refund of your initial payment less an $875 administrative processing fee. We will offer a 50% refund on your initial deposit up to 30 days prior to start date. No refunds will be offered after 30 days prior to the start of the training. However, the Koelle Institute will apply these funds to a future Equus Coach Training, Equus Coach Training for Therapists, or Master Facilitator training program, to be used within one year.


Frequently Asked Questions

How does Equus Coaching complement psychotherapy or other talk therapy models?

Equus Coaching sessions can quickly and effectively create a great deal of movement or shifts in a client’s progress. Equine-assisted experiences can increase self-awareness and provide a place to practice new behaviors, new communication patterns, and self-confidence. Because horses are prey animals, they are constantly assessing their environment for safety. This gives clients an opportunity to become congruent (i.e., acknowledge and own their feelings of fear, anxiety, perfectionism, etc.) and witness how becoming so actually makes the horse relax. Horses have no expectations, stories, or mental baggage like humans and therefore are completely in the present moment. Several sessions with horses can completely transform the work you have been doing in the office with your clients.

How would this training program add to my current practice?

This course will provide you with the skills and knowledge to add Equus sessions to your current practice.  Many times clients get “stuck” in their progress while in therapy.  Getting your client outdoors, in nature, interacting with a non-judgemental, and completely honest four-legged partner in order to receive feedback in a safe and supportive environment creates an opportunity to shift deeply embedded patterns.

This training also offers classes specifically tailored to assist you in finding a facility, setting up your equine sessions, marketing your Equus business, and receiving ongoing mentoring support as your business grows.

What is Equus Coaching exactly?

Equus Coaching is a unique experience with horses that offers an individual the opportunity to gain a visceral understanding of how their inner dialogue affects their relationships and everyday life. Equus Coaching is a transformational experience that enables a person to shift from internal confusion and conflict to personal alignment and flow.

Equus Coaches work in a dynamic partnership with horses to create a playful, open, and authentic environment where clients can dramatically enhance their self-awareness. Horses are keenly intuitive and attuned to people’s slightest expressions as well as any changes in their energy or emotions. Therefore, they can help people identify and clear their internal roadblocks so that they can move forward into a more fulfilling life experience.

During an Equus session, clients receive clear and grounded biofeedback that connects them to their own inner truth. This environment encourages clients to synchronize with the natural rhythms and wisdom of nature while witnessing the ease with which they can step into their essential power.

Who can apply for the Koelle Institute’s Equus Coach Training for Therapists?

The Equus Coach Certification for Therapists program is open to any licensed mental health practitioner who is passionate about helping individuals lead their best lives and enjoys nature and animals.  This program was designed for busy, working therapists – and our blended learning model is the perfect way to enjoy both virtual and in-person connections. We’ve created a simple application program to help us get to know you better and help you assess if the program is right for you. Once we receive your application, we will set up a short, supportive phone call with one of our program advisors to help answer questions and address any concerns you may have. We know it’s a significant investment in your future and we want to help you make the right decision for your life and work.

Do I have to own a horse to participate in the program?

There is no need to own a horse or have horse property.  As part of the training, we will show you how to create a beneficial partnership with equine facilities so that you can get your work into the world and build a successful Equus practice.

Do I have to have prior coaching experience?

No prior coaching experience is required. As part of this program, we will teach you the fundamentals of personal and professional coaching that will add to your skill set as a therapist. If you are a therapist, you will enjoy learning our coaching model and tools and adding these to your practice so you can begin working with clients in dynamic partnership with horses. 

Do I have to have prior experience working with horses in order to apply?

No prior horse experience is required. However, we do strongly encourage you to have attended one of our Equus Demo Days, an in-person workshop with Koelle or one of our Master Facilitators, or to have worked one-on-one with one of our Equus Coaches prior to joining the training.

In addition, for those who do not have prior equine experience, we offer a separate optional Horsemanship 101 class as part of the training program to steep folks in general safety and horsemanship basics, such as catching, haltering, leading, grooming, and physical identification and analysis.

How is Equus Coaching different from EAGALA, PATH International, or other equine-assisted therapeutic programs?

There are other organizations that offer training for professionals who want to work with horses, such as Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) and Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA).  PATH practitioners provide equine-assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs—including physical, cognitive, mental and emotional challenges—and includes mounted activities on horseback. The EAGALA model requires two trained individuals at each session (an equine specialist and a licensed mental health practitioner) to support the client’s needs.

The Koelle Institute Equus Coaching model is one in which the skilled practitioner serves as both equine specialist and coach, and all activities are conducted on the ground. The Equus Coach Training program teaches equine psychology and husbandry as well as core coaching concepts and requires its trainees to demonstrate their abilities in both horsemanship and coaching before becoming certified as an Equus Coach.

This year-long program offers online classes, onsite intensives, tools, exercises, and peer-to-peer practice with detailed feedback from instructors all along the way.  The practicums offer volunteer clients and live supervision from skilled instructors.

After completing this course, you will have the horsemanship and coaching skills to add Equus sessions to your practice.  Ongoing supervision, mentoring, and continuing education classes will be available to you by Master Equus Facilitators through the Koelle Institute.  

I already am a trained professional who has equine experience or certifications in other equine-assisted therapeutic programs. Will this course be too introductory for me?

No. Regardless of your previous coaching and equine-assisted therapeutic training, the principles, techniques, and concepts you learn with the Koelle Institute will be unique. The coaching model and framework conveyed as part of the Equus Coach Training for Therapists curriculum is specifically designed to combine life coaching techniques developed by the Koelle Institute with a deep understanding of the feedback and wisdom of horses. In this course, you will learn how to facilitate private one-on-one sessions with clients that help them look at their own patterns and internal dialogue to see how those thoughts and tendencies impact their relationships and overall environment.

I am very comfortable around horses and have a lot of equine-related or horsemanship experience. Will I be unnecessarily spending time covering husbandry and horsemanship topics in which I am already well versed?

The Koelle Institute has a number of individuals with extensive prior equine experience who have participated in our training. The equine husbandry and psychology presented in this training are specific to understanding how these topics lay the groundwork for the transformative relationship between horse and human in a coaching encounter.


Curious about our methodology?

Here are just a few topics we focus on during an Equus Coaching session:

  • In our approach to Equus Coaching, we go beyond merely assessing how we are at setting goals and accomplishing our tasks or looking at our overall communication patterns. We believe that these sessions are a unique opportunity to support our clients to recognize the patterns of the verbal mind, to listen to the greater intelligence of the physical body, to integrate the wisdom of emotions, and to restore a sense of trust in their personal journey through life.
  • We support clients to become more aware of the cultural stories we tend to adopt as well as the inner dialog that keeps us feeling stuck such as: “I’m not good enough,” or “I have to get something right in order to be worthy.”
  • We support clients to observe the patterns that play out in how we treat ourselves.
  • We support clients to look at the various places where they may have shaped a limited identity of themselves while learning to feel safe to express themselves more fully.
  • We focus our Equus Coaching sessions not only on enabling clients to notice particular patterns causing them to feel stuck or confused but also on providing clients with the opportunity to practice integrating a new internal perspective while allowing the horse to provide them with honest feedback.
  • We incorporate the learning, research, and insights from Mind-Body Coaching, Somatic therapies and well-known personal development authors such as Byron Katie, Brene Brown, and life coach Dr. Martha Beck.


Don’t wait!



You're Invited to Keep in Touch

Receive free insights grounded in the inherent wisdom of nature (delivered right to your inbox) to guide you on your journey. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter.