Skip to main content

Events - Event View

This is the "Event Detail" view, showing all available information for this event. If the event has passed, click the "Event Report" button to read a report and view photos that were uploaded.


Friday, October 25, 2013, 9:00 AM until 12:15 PM
BOK Ranch, in the Woodside Horse Park
3674 Sand Hill Road
Woodside,, CA  94062
Registration is recommended
Payment In Advance Or At Event




When: October 25, 2013, 9:00AM to 12:15PM

Registration is at 8:30 AM

Where: BOK Ranch, in the Woodside Horse Park

3674 Sand Hill Road, Woodside, CA 94062

CE Units 3-Pending Approval

“There’s something about the outside of a horse that’s good for the inside of a man” Winston Churchill

In the past 30 years or so, there has been a movement and refinement of the idea that horses can help to heal humans from psychological wounds. Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy is the practice of enlisting the help of a suitable horse in the psychotherapeutic process with an individual client/patient or group. It is a therapeutic process which is informed primarily by the body language of both the horse and the client, attended to at all times by the therapist. Rather than coming from a human-centric place, in this modality we strive to practice the etiquette and psychology of the herd.

Clients take a journey within themselves with equine partners as their guide. Intuitively present, horses relate back instantaneously, similar to a bio-feedback machine, what they need from their human counterparts. Clients learn how to be truly present in the moment, take cues from their horse partner and adjust nonverbally. Through a variety of exercises participants are able to practice new behaviors for dealing with real life situations.  

The process of being with horses, huge animals that can be quite imposing, in a psychotherapeutic way, is healing and can be transformative. Currently, there is a huge paradigm shift in thinking in the field of psychology towards an emphasis on affective neuroscience and affect regulation by Schore, Siegal, Bromberg, Porges, and many others.

In an equine session, the tactile experience of touching the horse, moving with the horse and being close in

proximity with the horse has a regulating effect. Persons who struggle with trauma symptoms such as hyper-vigilance, for example, can benefit from the affect regulation that occurs while being with the horse. 

Today’s presentation will be an overview of how this mode of psychotherapy works with a client or group.

Learning objectives. At the end of the training the participant will be able to:

  • Describe the mode of action that makes Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) an effective intervention for many clients as well as some basic techniques to facilitate sessions with individuals and groups.
  • Demonstrate how working towards a relationship of trust and respect with a horse can improve a person’s relationship with themselves and with others.
  • Describe the specific areas of concern or issues that can be addressed using this modality.
  • Describe the basics of horse/human interaction, the concepts of predator vs prey behavior, the body language of each species, and how this is interpreted and misinterpreted by each as well as how this applies to work in the moment.
  • Describe what it means to be a good leader to your horse and how this is important for clients to learn.


9:00 to 9:45-Introduction of the topic and a brief history of Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy. Description of the specific model used by Dr. Broder, integrating the equine principles of Chris Irwin with Jungian theory and practice. Discussion of the types of psychological issues that can be helped by utilizing EFP.  Overview of predator behavior vs prey behavior and how this is important. Overview of Horse/Human interaction and body language.

9:45 to 10:30- Hands on horse interaction time. Grooming lessons introducing the importance of relationship and tactile interaction between horse and human.

10:30 to 10:45 Break

10:45 to 11:45 Being a good leader- Participants will be learn how to interact with a horse using their body language and the energy they project. They will learn to create proper boundaries between themselves and their horse. Emphasis will be on the moment-to-moment interaction between horse and human and what that can reveal about a clients way of being in the world. Dr. Broder will discuss the ways to work with various disorders including PTSD and ADHD using an equine partner, as well as utilizing a multi-session approach for processing grief and loss.

11:45 to 12:15 Debrief of all components, questions, comments and evaluations.

Facilitator Bio

Sally Broder, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist with offices in San Francisco and Los Altos. Her areas of expertise are helping patients with substance use disorders/addictive behaviors and traumatic disorders. She is a treating clinician for the National Football League helping football players with substance related issues. She is the president of Chiron Concepts, Inc., a training firm that specializes in teaching law enforcement personnel (and others) to recognize and properly respond to mental health disorders such as Schizophrenia and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Dr. Broder is also a contributing member of The Coming Home Project, a non-profit organization providing pro-bono services to military personnel and their families. (Go to here for more information.)

In addition to her work with adults and adolescents in her offices, she conducts individual equine facilitated psychotherapy sessions in Woodside, Ca at BOK Ranch. (Go to here for more information.)

She is certified by Chris Irwin as an EAPD (Equine Assisted Personal Development) certified instructor. (Go to here for more information.) Dr. Broder directs equine therapy programs for treatment centers in the Bay Area. Presently, in partnership with the Presidio Riding Club in Marin, California, she directs a free equine therapy program for veterans. (Go here for more info)

Dr. Broder began working professionally with horses at the age of 15 when she went to work for a trainer of the ultimate show horse, the American Saddlebred. She learned in these early years the power and beauty of horses as well as their capacity to heal and forgive. Even then, she was developing her thoughts about how to transmit this message to other humans. Personally, she has owned horses since the age of 13 and presently owns and rides American Saddlebreds.


Brandt, K. (2004) A Language of Their Own: An Interactionist Approach to Human-Horse Communication. Society and Animals, 12 (4): 299-316

Hallberg, L. (2008) Walking the way of the horse: Exploring the power of the horse-human relationship. IN, IUniverse

Held, C. (2006) Horse Girl: An Archetypal Study of Women, Horses, And Trauma Healing. Doctoral Thesis, Pacifica Graduate Institute.

Irwin, C. (1998) Horses don’t lie:What horses teach us about our own capacity for awareness, confidence, courage and trust. New York: Marlowe and Company

Irwin, C. (2005) Dancing with your Dark Horse: How Horse Strength Helps Us Find Balance, Strength And Wisdom. New York: Marlowe and Company

Isaacson, R. (2009) Horse Boy: A Father’s Miraculous Journey To Heal His Son. London: Viking/Penguin Books

Jackson, S. (2006) The Horse in Myth and Legend. Stroud, Glos: Tempus Publishing Ltd

Karol, J. (2007) Applying a Traditional Individual Psychotherapy Model to Equine-facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP): Theory and Method. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 12: 77-90

Kohanov, L. (2001) The Tao of Equus: a woman’s journey of healing and transformation through the way of the horse. Novato, CA: New World Library

Kohanov, L. (2005) Riding Between The Worlds:  Expanding Our Potential Through The Way Of The Horse. Novato, CA: New World Library

Kohanov, L. (2013) The Power of the Herd: A Non-predatory Approach to Social Intelligence, Leadership, and Innovation. Novato, CA: New World Library

Lentini, J. and Knox, M. (2009) A Qualitative and Quantitative Review of Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) with Children and Adolescents. The Open Complementary Medicine Journal, 1: 51-57

McCormick, A. and McCormick, M. (1997) Horse Sense and the Human Heart; What Horses Can Teach Us About Trust, Bonding, Creativity and Spirituality. Florida: Health Communications Inc.

CPA is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. SCCPA maintains responsibility for this program and its content.