Equuscience Master Class:
A trauma-informed and evidence-based lens on horse-human relationships
Back by popular demand!
**New dates below!** Sarah and Dr. Peters are excited to be running their master class again in 2023. This educational course offers an accessible overview of a number of important topics grounded in the latest neuroscience and research, along with best and promising practices from the fields of psychology, trauma treatment, and ethology, to help you better understand you and your equine(s). Learning to recognize how adversity and trauma impact the brain, nervous system, behaviour, relationships, and overall functioning, as well as concrete tools, frameworks, principles, and next steps to help start the process of transformation for you and your equine(s) are the main goals of the program. Trauma in humans, trauma in equines, and the particular intersection of the two (equestrian trauma) will be explored through a compassionate lens that brings in awareness of somatics, attachment, psychophysiology, and interspecies neurobiology.
- Note: The start date of the master class has been moved from January 2023 to May 2023.
- The modules run approximately 3.5 hours in length each, on Zoom, once a month (roughly 25 hours total), allowing time for you to review the material between each module.
- The modules start at 8am Pacific / 9am Mountain / 11am Eastern on the dates below (all modules except one take place on a Saturday; the other is on a Sunday). Please cross-reference with a time zone conversion tool to ensure you know which time and date the modules will be where you are located.
- Upon registration, students will receive a welcome email with instructions as well as the link to the Zoom meeting room. Please check spam in case you don’t find this email (it will be sent to the email address that you used to create your PayPal account).
- You may attend the modules live or watch the recordings after the fact at a time that is more convenient for you. You have access to the video recordings for 3 months after the end of each module.
Who is this for?
This master class is geared towards a general audience. Horse, donkey, mule, and hinny lovers of all walks of life have taken the course, as have equestrians in various disciplines. Also, professionals in different scopes of practice, such as horse trainers, natural horsemanship instructors, clicker trainers, riding coaches, equine bodyworkers, equine-assisted psychotherapy and learning facilitators, animal communicators, veterinary health providers, therapeutic riding instructors, and so on are also welcome!
- Curious about integrating this material more deeply in your work? Professionals in the professions listed above are welcome to register for the EQUUSOMA®: Horse-Human Trauma Recovery training and personal growth program (2 years / nearly 200 hours), licensed through Somatic Experiencing® International. We offer two inclusion scholarships per cohort. Please visit our website for more information.
BIPOC scholarship program:
For Black, Indigenous, or other persons of colour who are interested in this program who face marginalization and inequity due to race / racialized trauma, please contact us to inquire about our scholarship program: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Payment is by credit card, and the link is at the bottom of the page to register. Registration is on a first come, first served basis. We cannot offer payment instalment plans because payment in full is required in order to reserve your spot in the course. Payment by credit card allows participants to pay off the course registration in instalments in a customized way that works for their respective situations.
Module 1: Neurophysiology and Neurochemistry
Saturday May 27, 2023, 8am Pacific
- Series introduction
- Trauma and interspecies social justice as a lens
- Comparing equine and human brains
- Brain anatomy and function
- Neurotransmitters as chemical messengers
- Brain map and model for understanding nervous system states
Module 2: Understanding the Nervous System
Saturday June 10, 2023, 8am Pacific
- Threat detection and the felt sense of safety
- Oppressed bodies and their felt sense of the world
- Activation and threat response cycle
- Arousal, activation, and blended states
- Mapping sustainable, survival, and conservation physiology
- Titration and thresholds map
Module 3: Neuroplasticity and Trauma
Saturday August 12, 2023, 8am Pacific
- Research on adversity in humans and equines (ACEs and AESEs)
- Epigenetics and gene expression
- Impacts of imprints: Early trauma, health, and behaviour
- Captivity conditions and coping: Management strategies
- “Vices”: Misjudging survival adaptations
- Adopting a trauma lens on resilience
- Creating optimal conditions to support desired outcomes
Module 4: Co-Regulation and Attachment
Saturday September 23, 2023, 8am Pacific
- From auto-regulation to co-regulation
- Self and other: Neuroception and relationships
- Attachment theory and research in humans and horses
- How early trauma affects horsemanship methods
- Relationship challenges: Re-enactments, projection, and gaslighting
- Transference and counter-transference in equine settings
- Resonance and coherence
Module 5: Window of Tolerance and Self-Regulation
Sunday November 19, 2023, 8am Pacific
- The window of tolerance and the “faux” window maps
- Flooding and overriding beyond thresholds
- Management strategies
- Somatic awareness
- Tracking sequences
Module 6: Interspecies Integration
Saturday December 9, 2023, 8am Pacific
- Applying this material to horsemanship methods and learning theory
- Moving beyond behaviourism
- Setting the conditions: The humane hierarchy
- Supporting safety to cultivate curiosity
- Equestrian trauma
- Healing ourselves, healing our equines
- Trauma-informed horsemanship principles
- Referrals and recommended resources
Module 7: Case Applications
Saturday January 13, 2024, 8am Pacific
- Featuring a selection of case examples submitted by participants
- Reviewing cases through the lens of the material learned in the master class
- Practical application of the material
- Respecting the limits of your scope of practice
- Shifting towards greater embodiment of the learning