What are Useful Certificates for Equine Assisted Therapy?

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And the Secret I’ve Kept …

I thought about joining an accrediting organisation for Equine Assisted Therapy the other day. I can appreciate Equine Assisted Learning is largely unregulated and it felt right to offer my support to the EAT governing body. On our Intelligent Horsemanship courses for 14 students, we’ll generally have 2 or 3 students interested in EAT and I feel it’s the right thing to do or the other IH teachers and I to keep up to date with everything that’s going on in that field.

I was flying along filling out the form when it came to the point of ‘What relevant qualifications do you have for Equine Assisted Therapy?’  Well …  I did put together the original Monty courses and was involved in the early Monty Roberts courses for the Armed Forces and service people with Post Traumatic Stress.

However, I wasn’t sure ‘what are the relevant qualifications to have in Equine Assisted Therapy?’  I’ve got a lifetime of experience as the founder of Intelligent Horsemanship and I have the present Mental First Aid at work and Equestrian First Aid but I thought I’d go way back in my filing cabinet and  … what do you know?!  Is the Pony Club C certificate useful?  Possibly not at this stage but THEN …  I do remember the frequent weekend visits to Imperial College, London, but had forgotten many years ago I qualified in Hypnotherapy AND Psychotherapy!  I even practised hypnotherapy for a short time but then my horsey life took over.

I wrote about hypnotherapy in my book ‘Perfect Confidence – Overcoming Fear, Gaining Confidence and Achieving Success with Horses’ – the complete book is available online for IH Members.

The date on this ‘Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy’ Certificate is Some Tiime Ago as you can see.  It was at a time when I needed to work on myself (well that never stops but I guess I mean I particularly needed to work on myself). I was shy (I think that’s called being Social Anxious nowadays) and I knew there was a good mental mindset for winning equestrian competitions and I wanted to learn more.

I have an extraordinary amount of books on horses, psychology, self improvement, mindset and now I’m a podcast fanatic (at least that takes up less room).  It seems funny now, but at the time, I kept the various courses fairly secret as I felt sure I’d be judged as ‘weird’. Now of course the value of these studies is taken as self evident*.  And … being weird, that’s fine too.

PS I’ve included an unofficial certificate I received when I studied teaching. It came with a bottle of champagne and I guess it means the ‘shyness’ eventually went away as well.

*“Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first stage it is ridiculed, in the second stage it is opposed, in the third stage it is regarded as self-evident.”—Schopenhauer

Thank you to Sarah Christina who added this on my Kelly Marks and Intellligent Horsemanship Facebook page.

Therapeutic equine work is split into different types – but for the types you are looking at, where it is psychological rather than physical, the main 2 types are EFL (equine facilitated learning) and EFP (equine facilitated psychotherapy).

EFP requires a therapy or mental health qualification, usually level 5 or above, EFL doesn’t. The reasons behind this is EFL looks at someone’s emotions and social and emotional skills at the present and where they want them in the future, EFP also looks at processing past trauma and events too therefore needing the therapy/ mental health qualifications. I’m an EFL who works with children with mental health needs

If you would like to come on a Five Day Course or Perfect Manners weekend to start you off on the body language and horse and human safety aspects (and so much more) do go to …

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