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Our Trainings and Certifications

Training & Certification Overview

The HERD Institute® offers Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy & Learning Certifications for mental health practitioners, coaches, educators, and training professionals. Each training workshop will focus on the philosophical, theoretical, and experiential process of incorporating equines into working with their specific target audiences. Through the help of our herd of horses, students will gain a deeper understanding of how to fully engage their participants. Workshops will include case study discussions and experiential exercises to demonstrate the theory. Equine-Facilitated Learning Trainings are offered in the USA and Canada.

Our Training In Action

Our Training Certification Programs

Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy Training (EFP)

Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy Training for Mental Health Practitioners.  This training is comprised of five 4-day modules, to be attended in person. Admissions is on-going and you may start with the next available module. 

Equine-Facilitated Learning Training (EFL) LEVEL 1

Level One Certification combines 2 modules of online learning and one 3-Day in-person Intensive, The program is designed to be accessible and affordable. You can enroll in the online modules at any time and then attend one of the 3-Day Intensives.

Equine-Facilitated Learning Training (EFL) LEVEL 2

Level Two Certification for coaches, educators, training professionals, and Equine Specialists. This level expands on and deepens the learning and teachings from EFL Level One, to advance your understanding of the principles of The HERD Model.

Why Horses?

It is now well evidenced that pets are good for our health. Animals are assisting in therapeutic activities in a variety of settings, from schools, nursing homes, hospitals and prisons, to rehabilitation for veterans. Therapeutic riding improves motor co-ordination and sensory awareness for those with cognitive and physical disabilities. Horses engage us on an empathic, compassionate, emotional level, and heighten our awareness of how we relate to those around us. At The HERD Institute®, we believe that the relational nature of horses can help to facilitate any transitional process, be it at work or at home. We offer Certification Programs in Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy and Learning for practitioners to work in a range of settings with individuals, couples, families, and groups.

Horses live in the present moment and bring themselves into relationship authentically. Horses are highly attuned to human emotions and challenge us to stay congruent with our feelings when relating with them. In return, they offer us non-judgmental and honest feedback, and teach us to be more aware of the connections between our mind, body, and emotions through our breath and body sensations. This allows us the opportunity to make contact with ourselves and our environment and relate to others in a different way.

What’s the difference between EFP and EFL?

EFP is conducted by a licensed mental health professional. EFL sessions are led by experienced group facilitators, with a background in personal development, corporate training, human resources, or coaching. The focus is on group and corporate education or individual coaching rather than personal therapy. Practitioners of EFL do not need to be licensed mental health professionals.

We believe that the skills required as an EFP practitioner are very different to those needed to be an effective EFL coach or trainer. Whilst there are overlaps in these skills, the focus and the intention of the sessions are distinct. For this reason, The HERD Institute® offers two separate certifications.


The HERD Institute® EFP Program operates a rolling admissions policy and accepts applications year-round for upcoming training workshops. There are no set dates for application deadlines. The training workshops are repeated in sequence, and graduation is based on completion of all modules.

The HERD Institute® EFL Programs are offered on set dates throughout the year, and comprise of 2 online modules, and one in-person 3-day workshop. Students may pick and choose whichever date and location combination is suitable for them upon acceptance.

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