Join Our Herd!

Our Equus Coach Training program is now enrolling. 

Apply now for the Spring 2018 training, beginning February 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

Deepen your relationships. Transform your patterns. Change your world.

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


Equus Coach Training Overview

The Koelle Institute’s Equus Coach Training program is a transformative journey of personal and professional development unlike any other! In our comprehensive program, 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 skillfully through this powerful process.

We believe in a highly-supportive, non-judgmental learning environment that allows each student to flourish. Whether you are already a seasoned life coach, a competent horse person, or someone with no experience at all, we pride ourselves on providing one of the most unique and comprehensive curricula available.

Subjects covered in the training include:

  • Equus Coaching Fundamentals – core life coaching principles as well as tools specifically tailored to humans working in dynamic partnership with horses
  • Equine Psychology, Husbandry, and Safe Handling – as they pertain to the unique interactions and transformative relationships between horses and humans that are the foundation of Equus Coaching
  • The Energetics of Communication and Authentic Leadership
  • Business Fundamentals – basic steps for setting up a successful Equus Coaching practice


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.


**Listen to Koelle share more about her personal journey and answers questions about the upcoming Equus Coach Training. Download Call Audio.**


Spring 2018 Equus Coach Training Outline

If you have a passion for helping individuals to lead their best lives and a passion for learning life lessons from animals, then this course may be for you.

When you combine the powerful tools of life coaching 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 experience can dramatically help accelerate them through their stickiest of roadblocks.

No prior experience is needed.

This is a thorough and comprehensive course that will provide you with all of the necessary tools to become a very effective Equus Coach®. When you apply what you learn in this course to your practice, you will have the skill set to begin offering one-on-one private Equus Coaching sessions to your 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 other equine facilities.
  • All Equus Coaching sessions take place on the ground and do not involve riding.
  • This course is designed to prepare students to conduct one-on-one private Equus Coaching sessions rather than group workshops.

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

  • Highly effective life coaching tools that will enable you to help your client reconnect to their own true nature.
  • 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 life coaching skills with the feedback from the horses in order to become an Equus Coach®.
  • The skills and awareness to help your client 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 — designed to teach and practice the fundamental coaching tools that we will be using during the training.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to the Course and Intention Setting
  • Understanding the Mind and the Mind-Body Connection
  • Dreaming, Creativity, and Symbology
  • Presence and Building Community
  • Peer-to-Peer Coaching Practicums
  • Meeting Your Clients Where They Are
  • Ethics and Working with Difficult Clients
  • Incorporating Equus into Your Coaching Practice
  • Check-in Group Support Calls
  • Client Case Studies and Discussions
  • Final Assessment Prep and Coaching

We believe in 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 own patterns of behavior as well as how we form relationships with others.

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 Equus Coach onsite has one main teaching instructor per ten students plus additional actively-supporting facilitators whom you will meet during your training. This is a warm, playful community that is committed to helping you authentically reconnect with your own well-being, celebrate your unique journey through life, and help you create a truly life-changing experience 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 Thursday, February 8, 2018. The remaining teleclasses will be spread throughout 2018.
  • All classes will be held on Thursdays at 10:00 am PT / 1:00 pm ET.
  • A more detailed schedule will be provided once you are enrolled into the program.

Learn More

Listen to the Koelle Institute’s Master Facilitators and Instructors Jennifer Voss and Erin Cutshall answer questions on a recent call about the Spring 2018 Equus Coach Training.  Download Call Audio.



Equus Coach Onsite Practicums

This year we have decided to hold the Equus Coach Training in lush and beautiful East Tennessee.  Our onsite gatherings will be at the South Knoxville location of Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding (or STAR, for short).

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: Knoxville, TN

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:

April 12, 2018: Horsemanship 101

This day is optional. If you do not feel extremely comfortable with each of the skills listed below, we want you to attend this first day. If you do feel extremely comfortable with these skills, you can plan on skipping this day and joining us on the next day.

  • Catching
  • Haltering
  • Leading
  • Tying
  • Physical identification & analysis
  • Weight
  • Vital signs
  • Detecting a horse’s age by reviewing their teeth
  • Identifying a horses coloring and coat markings
  • Basic grooming
  • Handling feet
  • General safety

April 13-15, 2018: Equus Coaching 101

During this first onsite you will learn the basics of being an Equus Coach®. This onsite will be led by Koelle Simpson and her team of Master Facilitators. 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 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: Knoxville, TN

August 30-September 2, 2018:  Equus Coaching Intensive

The second onsite is a 4-day Equus Coaching intensive and practicum where you will begin to practice your Equus Coaching skills with your fellow classmates. You will receive plenty of feedback and support from your Master Facilitator Instructors 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 willingness to dive deeply into your own personal development
    • A desire to support others in their personal transformation
    • The physical fitness necessary to actively work with horses (no previous horse experience or life coaching experience required)
    • 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.


Application Process and Fee Schedule

To apply to the Equus Coach Training program:

  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 January 18, 2018.

Program Fees & Tuition Logistics

  • The cost of the Equus Coaching Course is $8,750* and includes all teleclasses as well as the Equus Coaching 101 and Equus Coaching Intensive onsites.
  • 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 includes lunches, drinks, and snacks at STAR in Knoxville, TN.
  • 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 program is now OPEN.
Apply below for the Spring 2018 training, beginning February 2018.

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

Join the Interest List

*The Koelle Institute offers to 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 January 5, 2018.
      • Pay-in-full: $8,750 upon acceptance into the Equus Coach Training, less 10% deposit fee where applicable. Please note that an additional $595 is due 60 days before first onsite only if attending the optional Horsemanship 101 day. No payment plan for that day is available. 
      • 3-payment Plan: For the Equus Coaching Course, 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 is due 60 days before first onsite only if attending the optional Horsemanship 101 day. No payment plan for that day is available.
      • 5-pay Payment Plan: For the Equus Coaching Course, 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 60 days before first onsite 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 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 or Master Facilitator Training program, to be used within one year.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is Equus Coaching exactly?

Equus Coaching is a unique experience with horses that offers individuals 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 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 internal roadblocks so that they can move toward a more fulfilling life experience.

During an Equus Coaching 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 program?

The Equus Coach Training program is open to any adult who is passionate about helping individuals to lead their best lives and enjoys nature and animals.  This program was designed for busy, working adults 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 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 Coaching practice.

Do I have to have prior coaching experience?

No prior coaching experience is required. As part of the Equus Coach Training program, we will teach you the fundamentals of personal and professional coaching. If you are already a coach and have participated in another coach training program, you will enjoy deepening your coaching skills and adding tools specifically tailored to 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?

Equus Coaching is designed for cognitively and physically healthy individuals who are seeking support in their own personal growth. Clients have a desire to better embody genuine personal leadership, improve the quality of their relationships, enhance their creativity, and/or explore a deeper level of connection to their essence. Equus Coaching activities are conducted on the ground (no riding).

Equine therapy has a slightly different focus. Equine therapy, often conducted through organizations such as Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) or Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA), tends to focus its therapeutic approach on the physical and mental rehabilitation of a challenged patient. 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. Some practitioners are able to work with a patient’s health insurance to help cover the cost of services.

The Equus Coaching model is one in which the coach serves as both equine specialist and coach. This 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 areas before becoming certified as an Equus Coach.

I already am a trained coach 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 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. How much time will I have to spend on the basics of equine husbandry, horsemanship, or equine philosophy?

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.

I am a therapist, social worker, or licensed mental health professional. Do you offer continuing education (CE) credits for this program?

We are currently developing an Equus Coach Training program exclusively for therapists, social workers, and licensed mental health professionals that will offer continuing education credits to help you meet your annual CE requirements. This certification course is currently under development and scheduled to launch in the spring of 2018.

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

If you are interested in learning more about this program when we are ready to launch it, please add your name to our first-to-know list.

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 shift in a client’s progress. If a client has been working in therapy and would benefit from an experiential component to assist the client’s progress, licensed mental health professionals may consider equine-assisted activities as an adjunct or complementary modality.  There are several ways to collaborate: a) the therapist may refer their client to an Equus Coach for one or more sessions, b) the therapist may wish to observe the Equus Coaching session and be present to support the client, c) the therapist may wish to co-facilitate the session with an Equus Coach, or d) the therapist may wish to become a Certified Equus Coach in order to offer their own Equus Coaching sessions to complement the psychotherapy or talk therapy (see section above about Equus Coach Training specifically for therapists beginning in 2018).



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 weaknesses.  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.


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