By Nicole Schanen
So was I.
NOW I know that becoming an E3A Certified Practitioner is the best decision I ever made.
If you’re reading this blog, you and I may have a few things in common.
- You love horses
- You have personally experienced their healing, transformational presence
- You want to help other people have that same experience
- You want to make the world a better place, for people AND for our four-legged friends
I came to horses later in life when I began volunteering at a horse sanctuary in southeastern Wisconsin called Stepping Stone Farms.
As I learned to care for, handle and be with the horses, I began to notice changes in myself. I felt safer in my body. I was more present. I learned to regulate my emotions to show up better for the horses when they were feeling unsure. I learned to lead through connection, trust and clear intention.
I also saw that many of the horses at the farm were older. Many could not be ridden.
I knew from my own experiences that it wasn’t necessary to climb on a horse’s back to benefit from their presence. I knew other people could experience this, too.
It could also generate revenue to support the horses on the farm.
I began researching Equine Assisted Coaching and Learning certification programs – and I found E3A.
I’ll be honest. I was nervous about taking this step. I’ve worked in communications for over 20 years. This was starting to look like a mid-life career change, a significant investment of time and money, and I was scared.
I talked to a friend who was familiar with E3A and she recommended taking baby steps. Take the intro class, and see if it resonated.
I did, and it did resonate. I then enrolled in the online Foundations course and made plans to attend the capstone arena training in Reno. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
My biggest takeaways from E3A’s certification program:
- I am so impressed at the breadth and depth of knowledge presented throughout the program. The online Foundations portion of the training was accessible, manageable AND comprehensive.
- The in-person Zoom meetings with the master trainer and other trainees during the Foundations course were invaluable. Those discussions really helped me integrate the online material in the course – and connect with other people who are doing this work.
- The Arena Capstone Training was AMAZING. We took a deep dive into practicing everything we learned during the Foundations course: practicing safety demonstrations, setting up activities with the horses, and debriefing the experiences. The integration of the Clifton Strengths into the training was powerful.
- I made some great new friends during this process, and also made a better friend with myself. I’m so excited for what comes next on this journey.
After completing the Practitioner Certification with E3A, I am 100% ready to go out into the world and offer Equine Assisted Learning experiences. In fact, less than a month after completing the training, the horses and I coached our very first client together on the farm. I know there will be many others, and I’m especially excited to start offering workshops in Spring.
If you feel called to do this work, I say, “Go for it.”
Show up for yourself, and life will show up for you.