Four years ago, HERD Operations Executive, Sarah Morehouse, and I started dreaming about creating an in-person conference for our community. We wanted this to be a space of collective celebration of the work of our students and graduates, their commitment to their communities, and acknowledge the gift of our equine partners in these endeavors. Then, of course, the pandemic hit us and everything that we had planned was put on hold. Now, finally, the time has come for us to gather in-person to create this space. I cannot even begin to tell you all how excited I am.
Our team has been working hard behind the scenes to get things prepped for this in person conference. The theme is Sharing Space with The HERD. We want to offer a space of co-created experiences that focus on collaboration. Our vision statement proclaims that we “offer an inclusive environment that embraces an attitude of abundance to honor the potential of all our members”. This means that we need to challenge existing practices, change our mindset, and create a culture of collaboration over competition, moving away from the historical landscape of conflict and lean into cooperation, acknowledging our shared desires to make equine facilitated services more available to those who need it most.
To this end, our Sharing Space with The HERD Conference will include industry leaders from the various training providers of equine assisted services. Lynn Thomas from Arenas for Change (ARCH), Bettina Shultz-Jobe from Natural Lifemanship, Kathy Alm from PATH International, and Leif Hallberg, creator of the Embodied Awareness in Action™ program, and myself will be sharing the stage to discuss what collaboration looks like between us. I am grateful for each of these incredible leaders and practitioners for supporting and sponsoring this conference. I am looking forward to connecting more deeply in this space.
Our conference line-up can be found on our registration page. Among our speaker list, you’ll find educators from academic institutions that incorporate animal-assisted concentrations in their programs, equine professionals and veterinarians, and equine facilitated practitioners working with diverse client populations. I am delighted to be able to showcase so many of our HERD graduates and the work that they are doing as agents of change in their communities. With over 30 different presentations on offer, I’m already wishing that I could attend multiple sessions at the same time!
What are you waiting for? Register now!
Hope to see you there!