Master Class

Equuscience Master Class:

A trauma-informed and evidence-based lens on horse-human relationships

Herd of horses in the mountains in Iceland

Each module is between 3-4 hours in length and starts at 8am Pacific / 9am Mountain / 11am Eastern.

Module 1: Neurophysiology and Neurochemistry

January 21, 2023

  • Series introduction
  • Trauma and interspecies social justice as a lens
  • Comparing horse and human brains
  • Brain anatomy and function
  • Live dissection of horse brain
  • Neurotransmitters as chemical messengers
  • Brain map and model for understanding nervous system states

Module 2: Neuroception and the “Ponyvagal” Theory

February 18, 2023

  • Neuroception and the felt sense of safety
  • Oppressed bodies and their felt sense of the world
  • The role of the vagus nerve
  • The dials: A 3-branch nervous system
  • Safety, danger, life threat
  • Arousal, activation, and blended states
  • Safety and survival responses map

Module 3: Neuroplasticity and Trauma

March 25, 2023

  • Research on adversity in humans and horses (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

April 22, 2023

  • 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

May 27, 2023

  • The window of tolerance and the “faux” window maps
  • Flooding and overriding beyond thresholds
  • Titration and thresholds map
  • Activation and deactivation cycles
  • Somatic awareness
  • Tracking sequences
  • Equestrian-related trauma

Module 6: Interspecies Integration

 June 10, 2023

  • Applying this material to horsemanship methods and learning theory
  • Moving beyond behaviourism
  • Setting the conditions: The humane hierarchy
  • Supporting safety to cultivate curiosity
  • Healing ourselves, healing our horses
  • Trauma-informed horsemanship principles
  • Referrals and recommended resources

Module 7: Case Applications

August 12, 2023

  • 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

Register Soon

You can join us live or watch the recordings after the fact at a time that works better for you. You will also get access to handouts and articles to keep as reference materials.

REGISTRATION LINK COMING SOON! For Black, Indigenous, and other persons of colour who experience marginalization due to race, please contact us to discuss scholarship opportunities.

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