During late 2006, the E3A founding members initially met to create an association to support individuals interested in applying the horse/human connection in an educational manner. They also recognized that there was a need in the field of Equine Assisted Activities to provide certification programing that would support practitioners pursuing non-therapeutic forms of this work such as coaching, corporate training, and those doing personal development and wellness. For this new certification process to be credible the founders felt it important to be able to verify both the knowledge and competency of those seeking certification. Thus over the first several years E3A created two levels of certification, Level 1 (knowledge based with three written self tests) and Level 2 (an advanced competency based arena certification based on a check list with 47 observable skill sets). Today E3A is one of the very few competency based EAL certification programs in the world.
It has been the vision and dedication of that founding group that has set the stage for the success of today's E3A organization where hundreds of members span the globe and where year-over-year growth continues. This success continues to be driven by a volunteer-based Board of Directors and advisory team, both of which include several of the E3A founding members.
Larry Bramblett, of Clermont, FL, former executive director of the Black Stallion Literacy Program, and a former superintendent of schools;
Tim Manson, corporate trainer and owner of Innovative Horizons in Killeen, TX;
Linda Pucci, Ph.D., psychologist and personal/business coach, Inner Resource Center, LLC, Maryville, TN;
Pam Salem, business owner and former horse breeder, of Horizon Farm Equine Growth and Learning Center, Seymour, TN;
Kim Shook, corporate executive, trainer and co-founder of Bella Terra Equine Adventure, Kalamazoo, MI;
PJ Stegen, non-profit management professional and corporate coach, former executive director for Horses for the Spirit, and owner/director of Horseshoe U, in Washoe Valley, NV.