Become a certified Equine-assisted Support© Practitioner or Life Coach, and become registered with the Canadian Academy!
Find a practitioner in your area by scrolling down to the register!
Registration for 2023-2024 is now closed. Stay tuned for our next round!
Limited spots! Don’t miss out! You are welcome to put yourself on the waitlist for the next year.
If you a) have a professional background in a health-related field, education, energy work, or another listed occupation from the complete list (see below), b) have your own horse or have a confirmed opportunity to work out of a facility with a consistent horse or herd, c) have excellent non-judgmental professional communication skills with clients, d) an idea of which population or clientele to whom you would like to offer equine-assisted support©, then you qualify!
You do not need to bring your horse on-site!
This course is divided into 4 parts:
- Theoretical modules in the first quarter (in-person or Zoom)
- Practical modules in the second quarter (in-person only)
- Completion of case studies in the third quarter
- The final certification exam is at the end of the 4th quarter (email, in-person, and choice of being on Zoom for the exam).
*Please note that there is a mandatory in-person requirement for the practical part of the course.
The framework for this course is designed for the applicant to work on developing their program idea throughout the learning modules. For this reason, upon registration, you must briefly describe your idea or intention to create a specific service or program for your chosen population, a field of interest, and/or scope of practice. Your application will then be reviewed for approval.
If you meet the requirements, successful completion of the course automatically enrolls you as a registered practitioner with the Canadian Academy of Equine-Assisted Support© for the first year, if you choose to practice under the title of EASP© or EASLC©. Fees are included with tuition. Liability insurance is not included.
Tuition: $1889, which includes Academy registration fees or ($1700 if you choose not to register with the academy). Upon acceptance, a non-refundable 15% deposit of $283.35 is required to hold your spot. Full payment is required by August 31st, 2023, with no exceptions.
Inquire about cancellation and refund policies.
To apply, contact Marianne Disipio directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-828-0242
What sets the EAS© program apart from other equine-assisted programs?
*There are many excellent equine-assisted certifications out there! EAS© is now one of them!!
1) Only people with a specific professional background can now provide EAS© (see list), as a particular skill set and knowledge base is required. Depending on the applicant’s educational/professional experience, qualifying as an EAS© Life Coach is also possible.
2) To be accepted, you must know the clientele or population you want to work with when you graduate. Our program offers intensive mentorship to help you develop your own service through her base program. This guidance through your creative process is a unique feature of this program! We firmly believe in living out your purpose (or dharma) and are dedicated to helping participants fulfill this part of their journey! We all have skills, gifts, and passions. This program merges all three!
3) EAS© sessions are always divided into two parts (will vary if you work with kids). Participants are taught to combine evidence-based life/wellness coaching strategies with the “just right” equine-assisted activity. Through supportive guidance, clients can explore soulful self-care practices for coping with new and ongoing challenges.
4) There is a solid and unique soulful/spiritual component to the EAS© sessions. This offers the client a beautiful balance between traditional evidence-based strategies and more personally meaningful applications. Studies show that this is essential for making lasting change.
5) To maintain your registration with The Canadian Academy of EAS©, practitioners must meet yearly standards for quality assurance, follow practice guidelines, and adhere to the EAS© code of ethics. If you want more information, please contact Marianne Disipio directly at email@example.com.
6) You can take the course simply to complement what you are already doing with horses and not necessarily to practice as an EAS© Practitioner or Life Coach! Please note, however, that due to the copyright and upcoming trademarking of EAS© and Equigrounding©, you would not be able to use those terms unless you are practicing under the respective title and its implications for practicing. You could identify that you have a certification in EAS© when you list your education.
EAS© is a private service
EAS©, on its own, is a private service offering emotional support. It is not a mental health treatment.
If you are already practicing as a registered and licensed therapist in another profession (for example, Counselling Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, or Physiotherapist, etc.), EAS© may then be included in other therapies/services and may possibly qualify for funding. However, you would have to inquire further on your own.
It is important to note that you cannot call your EAS© service “therapy” unless you are an active therapist and your program is directly related to providing the therapy that falls under the respective college associated with the profession, under provincial law.
What you should know before registering
This course is quite specific in its values and may not be compatible with some registrants. Please note that we hold absolutely no judgment on others’ value systems; however, we wish only to attract compatible people for the program to stay true to the respective teachings in this course. Should you begin the course and unexpected compatibility issues arise for us in any particular area, we reserve the right to excuse you from the program and refund you if appropriate. Please ask for clarification regarding this issue if you have questions.
The approach in this practice is based on the profound belief and core value that all beings, including animals, have evolving purposes, the gift of choice, and equal rights for a respectful existence. It is reflected in the treatment and approach with the horses. (For this reason, it is ideal for those who are vegetarian or vegan or considering starting some lifestyle changes).
Although some components of Equine-assisted Support© and Equigrounding© fit under the category of alternative approaches/interventions, we recognize, include, and fully respect evidence-based practice and the role of traditional medicine and therapies in wellness. It is important that all registrants accept the biopsychosocial approach (which will be covered in more detail in the course) with the future professional intention for its application when appropriate.
Only those with a specific educational/professional background will be considered to include life coaching. This will also depend on whether or not the registrant wishes to be registered and the nature of the future program/service they intend to deliver. This will be done through a review by board members.
Other important considerations to examine before registering include having more of a universal sense of spirituality (versus set beliefs tied to a specific religion), solution-based communication, a professional, non-judgmental approach to dealing with clients, and an excellent ability to hold space for others. An acceptance of evidence-based practices is as important as soulful beliefs.
Please note that you will also be required to submit 3 character references and an interview on Zoom or in person.
List of approved occupations:
Must have a diploma, certification, or professional degree in one of the following occupations (current registration and license not necessary):
Speech Language Pathologist
Life or Wellness Coach
Aruveyda lifestyle specialist
If you have a related profession not listed above and would like to know if you qualify, please contact Marianne Disipio directly firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-828-0242
The certification is approximately a 62-hour commitment, which includes direct class time, the in-person weekend, homework, case studies, and the written exam.
- 20 hours of live interactive theoretical teaching online (or can be in-person if you are in Calgary)
- 10 hours of assignments directly related to the teaching modules
- 15 hours of in-person training with live clients and horses
- 15 hours of case studies
- 2 hours final exam
*must graduate with an average of 75% or over
Material covered in the online teaching modules:
The practice of Equine-assisted Support©:
- The definition of Equine-assisted Support©
- Supportive evidence-based research for all equine-based modalities
- The difference between emotional support and therapy
- Limitations of our intervention (who it is for and who is not a good candidate)
- Understanding our clients and who they are
- The purpose of our intervention
- Foundational principles of EAS©
- The model of intervention for Equine-assisted Support©
- The human need for soulful/spiritual meaning in one’s life and implications for intervention
Your role as a practitioner:
- Practice what you preach and get your life in order
- Your personal life story matters
- Comprehensive overview of all roles and responsibilities
- Limitations of your role and the importance of looking through a biopsychosocial lens
- Introduction to self-care and living according to your values
- What makes you feel alive; a look at universal sense of spirituality
- The nature of client-focused and client-led intervention
- Helping clients make lasting change
- The science behind making lasting changes and creating new habits
- A model for change (the required components)
The role of the horse in Equine-assisted Support©:
- The horse as your colleague
- How the horse helps with self-regulation in all populations
- Helping clients develop their insight/intuition in relation to their interactions with the horses
The Equine-assisted Support© horse:
- What makes a good Equine-assisted Support© horse
- Training your horse for the job
- A new look at herd dynamics and inter-horse telepathic communication
- How horses communicate spiritually with humans
- A new understanding of behaviours and their spiritual meanings
- Considering other meanings for specific behaviours in the context of your sessions
- The 5 Fs for good horse physical and mental health
- Ethical considerations for your horse
- The ins and outs of an Equine-assisted Support© session
- An introduction to Equigrounding© sessions
- Ideas for services to help your practice take off
- Code of ethics for practice
The biopsychosocial approach:
- An overview of a comprehensive intervention
- Gathering helpful biopsychosocial resources for your clients
- Knowing when to refer out to other professionals
Maximizing a sense of meaning in life:
- The need for soulful living
- Eastern approaches meet Western approaches
- The science behind wiring the brain for success
- Introducing soulful activities into your sessions with the horses
- Understanding the tagline “find your horsePOWER” and the importance of feeling alive
Structuring your sessions:
- Intake, interview, assessment, goal setting, planning, sessions, wellness plan, debriefing, homework, follow-up, discharge planning
- How to add that magical touch to your session by appealing to the sensory system
Creating your Equine-assisted Support© program:
- What makes you the perfect person to offer your program
- Building the foundation for the EAS© program you would like to offer
- Backing up your intervention with evidence-based research
- Creating horse-based activities, and corresponding soulful suggestions according to the supportive evidence
- Listing results your clients can expect from your intervention
- Mission statement, professional values
- Linking principles to the tagline “Find your horsePOWER!”
- Basic marketing ideas
In-person training with horses:
The in-person component of the course is done over a learning weekend that also feels like a retreat.
- Teaching of semi-structured and structured activities on the ground with horses for specific emotional support issues
- Exploration of soulful activities and how to integrate them into sessions
- Real practicum clients allowing for students to prepare and carry out both Equigrounding© and Equine-assisted Support© sessions from start to finish
The schedule is designed to give participants lots of time to plan their lives and complete the certification slowly. It is ideal for those who have other obligations and would like notice to fit the certification into their busy schedule.
There are 7 modules and a full weekend practicum.
September 2023-Thursday the 7th from 10 am- 2:00 pm
October 2023- Thursday the 5th from 10 am- 2:00 pm
November 2023-Thursday the 2nd from 10 am- 2:00 pm
December 2023-no classes
January 2024-Thursday the 11th from 10 am- 2:00 pm
February 2024-Thursday the 1st from 10 am- 2:00 pm
March 2024-Thursday the 7th from 10 am- 2:00 pm
April 2024-Thursday the 4th from 10 am- 2:00 pm
May 2024- Friday the 31st 6:00 pm-8:30 pm, Saturday June 1st, 10 am-4 pm, Sunday June 2nd, 10 am-3 pm
June-July 2024- case studies
August 2024- 1) Case studies due Thursday, August 21st at 9 am and 2) written exam via Zoom Thursday the 28th at 1:00 pm
THE CANADIAN ACADEMY OF EAS©
The profession of Equine-assisted Support© now has an Academy! Both the profession of Equine-assisted Support© and the Academy were developed by Marianne Disipio and are copyrighted. This means that it is registered with the government of Canada, and all rights are reserved. We have initiated the process of getting the Equine-assisted Support© practice and Equigrounding© technique trademarked.
Only those who complete the certification, adhere to the specific EAS© practice guidelines, and follow the code of ethics can use the title of certified EAS© Practitioners, and only those who register with the Academy can use the designation of EASP© Reg. CA. Those who also qualify as a Life Coach can add EASLC© Reg. CA (certified Equine-assisted Support© Life Coach). If you take the certification as a continuing education course to complement what you are already doing with horses, and not necessarily to practice under the title of EASP© or EASLC©, you do not qualify to register with the Academy.
The 2 main insurance companies for equine-assisted interventions in Canada have reviewed the course and recognize the practice. Graduating members who register with the Academy will be guided to apply for competitive rates. Rates vary according to the applicants professional background. Graduates must apply for their own insurance. Tuition does not include insurance.
The Academy is intended to be a helpful resource for its practitioners and to provide quality service to clients. Joining the Academy is optional; however, it does allow you to use the designation of EASP© Reg. CA or EASLC© Reg. CA. This offers more professional standing in the work you do.
To become registered with the Academy and use the EASP© or EASLC© Reg. CA designation, practitioners who have graduated from the EAS© certification course are required to follow the guidelines set by the Academy.
If you choose not to register with the Academy but follow the practice guidelines and adhere to the EAS© Code of Ethics, you can still use the designation of EASP© (certified Equine-assisted Support© Practitioner) but will not be able to include Reg. CA. If you use the designation of Life Coach, you must register with the Academy.
The Academy has a board of advisors.
Registered practitioners and coaches will be asked to have appropriate insurance for equine-assisted activities on the ground and liability insurance covering them under the profession they wish to offer their services. They will also require a license to work on their property (home-based business license) or out of a facility (speak to your facility to see what you would need depending on if you would like to work as an independent contractor or an employee at the facility).
Members will be asked to meet yearly practice hour requirements, show proof of continuing education participation, meet horse training hours, and agree to a simple annual review/audit. The Board of Advisors reserves the right to suggest improving practice guidelines; however, there are no legal disciplinary ramifications for not meeting the guidelines other than being asked to make specific helpful improvements before the registration is reissued. Practitioners are all independent and responsible for their own conduct, and the Academy does not involve itself in any legal cases of potential malpractice with clients. It is strictly guiding support.
The details of the Academy practice guidelines and the EAS© Code of Ethics will be presented in more detail at the end of the course; however, if you would like more info before registering or requesting an application, please contact Marianne Disipio directly at email@example.com.
The Canadian Academy of EAS© is a private educational body that plays the role of offering practice guidelines. It is not regulated under the Health Act or any laws. Currently, there are no equine-assisted interventions held at this level.
Being a registered practitioner or coach gives you the following benefits:
1) using the designation of EASP© Reg. CA or EASLC© Reg. CA, offers more of a professional status, as well as some assurance of a certain standard of service delivery to clients
2) accessing a variety of helpful free resources to improve your practice
3) option to attend continuing education rounds at no cost
4) ongoing support as needed and access to the board of advisors
5) being placed on the EAS© practitioner and coaches register for your city and province
Membership fee: $189/ year (This fee is already included in the certification fee; however, if you decide not to join the academy, it will be either deducted from your tuition or reimbursed at the end of the course).
To apply, contact Marianne Disipio directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-828-0242
Canadian Register of Equine-assisted Support© Practitioners and Life Coaches
Calgary and surrounding areas
Marianne Disipio, Equine-assisted Support© Life Coach, Founder, and Director
NW Calgary (Bearspaw)
Scope of practice: supporting moms of children with special needs, social/emotional skills strengthening© for children and teens, mental health recreational groups, seasonal equine activities
Other formal training; Occupational Therapy, Wellness Coaching, Reiki, Equine-assisted Healing, and Yoga Instructor
Marsha Johnson, PPSAC CA (AB), Soutien assisté par le cheval© (Practicienne provisoire et supervisée)
Programme d’intégration sociale Marsha et son troupeau! Multiples activités privées et en groupe pour femmes, couples, et enfants, incluant la mise à terre equine© (equigrounding©), offrant un milieu de rencontres pour briser l’isolement des nouveaux arrivants à Calgary.
Deb Smith, Equine-assisted Support© Life Coach
Scope of practice: supporting women experiencing compassion fatigue related to caring for others professionally and/or personally, as well as those who desire to reconnect with themselves after experiencing a critical change/transition, loss, grief, or death.
Other formal training: degree in nursing, certified death Doula, completed shamanic studies, Reiki, Animal Talk practitioner
Karen Bennett, Equine-assisted Support© Life Coach
Scope of practice: supporting children and youth with special needs and adults experiencing coping challenges related to PTSD, as well as providing training/education for human service/resource personnel who work with various populations who might benefit from EAS©.
Other formal training: certified educational assistant, equine-assisted learning facilitator, Roots of Empathy facilitator, Triple P facilitator
Board of Advisors
Montana is a counsellor and art therapist who is passionate about the healing aspects of art, animals, and nature. She is an avid animal lover and believes strongly in the power of horses to facilitate self-awareness.
Tea Di Lillo
Tea is a horse trainer skilled in the Relational Horsemanship method. She specializes in teaching effective and compassionate communication between human and horses. She has a diploma in equine sciences, and her areas of expertise include Working Equitation and colt starting/training/coaching.
Deb’s background is in nursing. She is an Equine-assisted support Life Coach who recently graduated with honours. Deb has additional experience in Animal Talk and Therapeutic Touch with horses.
Clarissa’s formal education is in massage therapy, and she also does coaching. Her focus has always been to help clients realize the importance of spirituality for fostering true well-being. Clarissa applies principles of ecotherapy in her practice and incorporates horse energy in her work.
Mildred is a mom of 3 teenagers, whom she reports have been her greatest life teachers in that they have given her the opportunity to learn about neurodiversity, perseverance, and love. Her youngest, with Down Syndrome and verbal apraxia, has truly enjoyed working with horses. Mildred’s formal education is in electrical engineering and architectural technologies.