The Equine Psychotherapy Institute

World Class Education
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Since we started in 2011, the Equine Psychotherapy Institute has trained hundreds of people. Below we are sharing just some of the beautiful feedback we have received from participants.


“My overall experience with The EPI and their model is one of utmost satisfaction and fulfilment both personally and professionally. From an administrative point of view, their staff are friendly, skilled and efficient professionals who promptly attend to all technical and administrative matters. They are dedicated to resolve any issues, present or arising, to everyone’s satisfaction in a professional and ethical manner.

From an educational point of view, the institute offers a high quality of education that encompasses personal and professional development and growth. Theory and practice are well balanced allowing for learning to be both an informative and experiential process. Trainers are person/horse-attuned, grounded professionals highly experienced in their respective fields. Meg’s genuine interest into understanding the inner world of another and their experiences of themself, others and their immediate and distant environment which she carries out with an attuned attention and respect to one’s needs, their boundaries and tolerance to psychological discomfort creates safe and trusting conditions for personal and professional exploration of oneself and one’s interpersonal relationships. It also provides a fertile space for psychological roadblocks to emerge and be safely held and contained.

The institute’s geographic location within a natural environment reflects their commitment to restoring natural ways of relating to oneself and another. Overall, it is a place of nourishment and nurturance personally and professionally.”


EAL/EAP, Foundation Training, 2020

“The 3 week EPI Training program is wonderful, but it’s only the beginning. The new learnings, concepts and experiences changes your life. The way I view things, my reactions to things, my understanding of myself will enable me to grow as a person and as a practitioner. My relationship with horses now grows as a partnership, as colleagues on a journey together, I’m excited!”


Victorian EAL/EAP Foundation Training, 2020

“Attending the EAL training was a massive growth point for me personally… I realised that all the personal work I had done on my own self-awareness, spirituality and other methods I had used had never really reached the depth of this work. The support I received was life changing. The professional learnings were also on a very deep level. As I needed to undo some of my current professional frameworks to allow the new information to be downloaded. The I- thou relationship particularly was actually very moving for me because I feel it is what I value in my professional practice although I felt through years of operating in other frameworks, I had moved away from it. It felt like a breath of fresh air to look at it from this view point, it felt authentic, caring, in tune and a very humanistic way of working with people. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to go through the training process from a very experiential hands on learning.”

Lara Baker

Cairns, Trainer/Consultant, 2018

“The EPI three-week intensive was a thoroughly rewarding and transformative experience. I left with new friends, an equine community and a solid theoretical, practical and experiential framework from which to platform into my own equine psychotherapy practice. The course is well balanced and in-depth, challenging, supportive, experiential and practical, and offers ongoing study and supervision to deepen learning and practice and connection with the EPI community. I was very impressed with what I learned both personally and professionally, and see that the EPI model marries very well with my training and practice as a psychologist.”

Emma Bleaney

Victoria – Block Training Group 2018

“I could not recommend this training highly enough. It is testament to the model, the institute and Meg as a trainer, that the training was so effective and engaging even when shifted to being online due to COVID-19. I felt both challenged and supported professionally and personally, and have come away feeling very motivated to start working in this field, knowing I have joined a community of very committed and supportive professionals. I loved how the course presented a whole philosophy with the EPI model on our experience and relationship with ourselves, with clients and with horses. I feel very moved to have had this opportunity to pause and build greater awareness in these areas.”


Victorian EAL/EAP Foundation Training, 2020

“My overall experience with The Equine Psychotherapy Institute and the EPI Model, is a striving for excellence and professionalism, accountability, and both personal and professional growth for anyone participating in the training offered. I still sit with the deepest gratitude for the weeks of intensive learning, and experiences with our horse partners that again, and again proved testament to the immense value of this work.”

Vicky MacKensie


“It took me a few years to get up the courage to apply for the course, I had completed my Masters in Counselling and knew what I wanted to do was be an Equine Assisted counsellor but I just didn’t know the best path to go down to do so. I looked at numerous other reputable courses but kept coming back to EPI model, it was empirically based and rich with theory. One weekend when I was about to make a decision on whether or not I should do it, I received an email from Meg saying there were just 2 places left! I booked, and called my husband to say I would be going away for 3 weeks and he would be home with my 3-year-old daughter. It was scary, and a huge investment for us financially at the time but I had no idea how it was going to change my life. I was met by the most diverse, supportive, like minded group of people and the three weeks that transpired were full of learning, growth and beautiful experiences that I will hold very closely to my heart. Not only did I learn all about the EPI theoretical framework but I learnt about myself, I am so excited about setting up my own business and helping others on their journey to self-discovery with the assistance of horses. Thankyou Meg, Noel and your beautiful herd.”

Stephanie Milburn

Victorian EAL/EAP Foundation Training, 2020, Counsellor, Foundation Training participant, and now certified EAP Practitioner, 2017

Conference Testimonials 2016

“Thank you, Meg and Noel, for such a fantastic conference. The diversity of the speakers brought richness that I was able to draw from, translate, and will apply to my EAL Practice….the centre is looking great…I love the new conference building.”

Rosie Wiles

EAL Practitioner

“The EPI Conference offers the opportunity to reconnect with other practitioners, hear about what others are doing, where they have come from and where they are heading in this work! It’s an invaluable opportunity to recharge and reassess where I am on my own journey…”

Larissa Judd

EAL Practitioner

“Loved the support, connection, and comradery with the institute. Great to be a part of this.”

Jeanette Russell

EAC Practitioner

 “Before enrolling in the EPI Training, I wondered if I had what it took to become a EAP; Did I have enough experience in my working life or as a horsewoman? Had I done enough personal and professional development to be able to get the most out of it? Did I have what it took to create my own business and follow my dream of helping children and young people and working with horses all at the same time? Absolutely! I found the EPI training thorough, comprehensive and pitched at a level I could relate to. The content was delivered in a very accommodating way and I didn’t feel ‘out of my depth’ or unsupported. Our training group was an extraordinary bunch of individuals, with varying backgrounds, ages and life experiences and together we created a safe, enriching and fun learning environment. Meg, Noel and their team are extremely experienced, knowledgeable, approachable and supportive. Highly Recommended.”

Nadine Delaney

Social Worker, Horse lover, Training Group 2015

“I have gained and learnt so much from all the training offered. It was rich and incredibly complex in theory and content, yet profoundly simple and freeing in application. Integrating this approach personally and professionally has provided me with freedom…trust…active curiosity…and creative intelligence to flow. It has been an absolute privilege and joy to begin this exciting journey (in equine psychotherapy and learning)”.

Cindy Biggs

Drugs and Alcohol Counsellor/Support Worker, UnitingCare, Victoria, 2012 Training group

“I have been interested in equine psychotherapy for many years and during this time have researched different approaches and attended different training models. In working as a psychologist for 11 years it was crucial to me that any model of animal assisted therapy was supported by strong foundational theory, practiced techniques, accountable professional integrity, and utmost respect for our animal counterparts. I found these ideals difficult to attain until I met Meg and Noel. The Equine Psychotherapy Institute Practitioner Training program offered me the opportunity to expand not only my room based clinical skills but to confidently and competently use Equine Assisted Psychotherapy in practice. The strong emphasis in theoretical learning, both in gestalt and horsemanship, combined with experiential learning in a supportive, experienced group, more than met my hopes for learning in EAP, and in my experience is highly unique in the EAP and EAL Training field.”

Melissa Johnstone

Psychologist, and horsewoman., NSW, 2011-2012 Foundation Training group

“I would like to thank you very much for the EAP Practitioner Training. The theoretical framework embedded in the training has enhanced my experience of understanding and working in relationship with horses and humans. Each intensive provided comprehensive theory, experiential opportunities, and supported supervision which aided my ongoing learning. Specifically, I enjoyed learning about Gestalt theory, Mindfulness, Body Sensing and I-Thou Horsemanship, much of which has overflowed into my room-based work. I found the clarity you have around ethical practice and your conscious teaching of safety and efficacy in the therapeutic relationship supports a ‘best practice’ philosophy. Finally, I love the journey I have begun in deepening my awareness of ‘self as practitioner’ inside and outside the paddock, and, I look forward to the Advanced EAP Practitioner Training program.”

Naomi Ross

Provisional Psychologist, Eagala certified practitioner, Victoria, 2011 Foundation Training group

“The (institute) training was one of the most personally and professionally difficult things I have ever done….and the most transformational. Quite simply, it has changed my life”.

Keira Arthur

Horse person, EAL Practitioner, 2014 Training group

“The EPI trauma Intensive was professionally empowering and enlightening. The content, although extensive and technical, was presented in an easy and pleasant way to understand. I have a much deeper understanding of trauma from both a practitioner and client point of view. Experiencing it in such a safe and supportive environment has expanded my own development as a person more than any personal/professional development course I have attended.”

Louise Atkinson

4 Star Parelli Instructor, Counsellor, EAP Practitioner, 2014 Training in Western Australia

”We’re all here to do the best we can to help others, and what I feel excited about also is really understanding and supporting myself with this model of training….the training has changed my life”.

Teena Woodall

Horseperson, EAL Practitioner, 2013 Training group

“Thank you, Noel and Meg, for offering the EPI Model trauma training (at the equine psychotherapy institute). The trauma intensive helped to consolidated a lot of the previous training I have done in this area. I have returned to work with this valuable resource and have found it has enriched both the work I am offering in the paddock and my room-based therapy. I also returned home feeling inspired and grateful to all the wonderful women I spent time with and the amazing work they are doing.
Much love and gratitude.”

Lisa Toman

Gestalt Therapist, EPA Practitioner, 2014

“The EPI Conference was a great opportunity to re-visit and refresh the work, network with other practitioners, and to be inspired by the work others are doing”

Sophie Lord

EAP Practitioner

“Professional model, beautiful environment, warm atmosphere, great food, and consistently well-presented topics. Thank you.”

Sam Naidu

EAL Practitioner

“I couldn’t have imagined the changes that have happened within me while being involved in the training with the EPI. The training was everything I had hoped for and so much more! This is such a valuable experience and I know I can easily turn it in to a career. The trainers are exceptional, knowledgeable and professional. The facilities are lovely and the food amazing. I recommend this training to anybody who is interested in improving not only other people’s lives but their own lives and those of the horses they are in contact with.”

Alissa Klein

Participant 2015 Training group

“After working as a provisional psychologist for 3 years, I was looking for an alternative therapy to explore and compliment my existing skill base. I came to Equine Psychotherapy Institute on the verge of serious burn out and overwhelm. I had been working very hard for years and slowly felt as if I was losing the spark of passion that had brought me to helping others. I had become disillusioned with bureaucracy and paperwork that seemed to pigeon hole clients, therapists and services with rigidity and inflexibility. I was lucky enough to work for an organisation that truly supported their employees and encouraged me to find an outlet that would reinspire my passion and love for the work. I wanted a therapy that had solid theoretical and evidence-based support that would combine my love of horses and people, and excited me both professionally and personally. I found that through Equine Psychotherapy Institute. I thought I was just signing up for a year long training program that would complement the work I did in my current role and potentially lead to providing an equine psychotherapy service through the organisation. It has been so much more than that. The experiential nature of the training program meant I was able to come to terms with being on the verge of burnout and was able to let go of a huge amount of grief I had been experiencing. This was along with profound learnings that beautifully complemented and deepened my room-based sessions I was currently providing clients. The training provided a solid theoretical foundation for the experiential work and was delivered in a framework of strong ethical practice. Both Meggin Kirby and Noel Haarburger provided a wealth of knowledge in psychology, social work and psychotherapy amounting to many years of experience between them that was reflected in the training delivery and support provided to students. I have now started my own business with full confidence that both Meg and Noel are available to provide supervision and support as I develop and grow my business. Even more than that, I am now as passionate as ever about helping others and have experienced a reinvigoration both personally and professionally. The training provided by Equine Psychotherapy Institute was a turning point in my life, and I am now creating the life I only dreamt about previously”

Linda Spencer

Clinical Counsellor and Life Coach, 2011 Training group

“I came to the training with a broad plan, to better myself…help others better themselves…and work with horses. My growth started right from day one with me learning to be aware of my feelings…learning about awareness…by the time I got home I knew I had changed, and who I thought I was and what I believed, was not anything like who I wanted to be. I used to think I was generally pretty aware, but now believe I didn’t really understand what being aware even was. I am working…toward being the person I have had a glimpse of being able to be.”

Ian Wilson

Horseman and Tradesman, NSW, 2012 Foundation Training group

“When I signed up for the training, I expected to leave with a head full of knowledge but I came away with a body full of experience. Thank you, Meg and Noel, for creating a truly memorable training experience”.

Melinda Rabbetts

Mental Health Social Worker, SA, 2011-2012 Foundation Training group

“After training in the 3 Foundation Intensives at the Institute in EAP/L, I felt too overwhelmed with the personal development side of the training (as I had never done personal development before in my life!) to continue. SO, I trained in another model of EAP/L hoping I might find something more suitable for me. However, after training in another model, it only made it crystal clear to me what an incredible model the institute was offering, so comprehensive, professional and how it went right to the core of how change happens for people!!!! Clients and myself included!!!! Now, I cannot get enough of it, I regularly assist at the Institute and just attended the Trauma Intensive which was not only fantastic, but also included cutting edge neuroscience based work with trauma clients.”

Lisa Nye

Mental Health Support Worker, Ponyland Assistant, 2013-2014 Training and Assistant in Training

“From this (trauma) intensive I feel I have gained the knowledge and the skills as a therapeutic practitioner to work much more effectively with clients have experienced trauma, and have PTSD.”

Sophie Lord

Psychotherapist, EAP Practitioner, Training Group 2012, Advanced Training group 2014

“From this (trauma) intensive I feel I have gained the knowledge and the skills as a therapeutic practitioner to work much more effectively with clients have experienced trauma, and have PTSD.”

Sophie Lord

Psychotherapist, EAP Practitioner, Training Group 2012, Advanced Training group 2014

Leadership Training Testimonials

“Superb, A Unique Life Experience 10/10”
“Amazing day, Great Teachers 10/10”
“Great Sessions, Clear Goals, Good Feedback 10/10”
“Organised, Personable, Well Planned, Professional and Engaging…SO refreshing from ‘death by PowerPoint 9/10”
“Unique, New and Fresh Perspective on Age Old Techniques. Kept me Engaged 10/10”
“Facilitator was Particularly Engaging and Knowledgeable, Very Intelligent”
“It was Awesome, Thank you So Much 12/10!” “I will tell everybody I can!”

Chandler Macleod

“Most Valued…being outside, completely different from every other course I have been on 10/10”
“Very different and Very Effective Delivery 9/10”
“The tools that I can now leverage in everyday life to be more grounded and think about deeper relationship…8/10”
“It was a Great Experience, Very Different from Classroom Training on Leadership. It has been very Impactful. Great Facilitation. 9/10”

Silver Chef Group Executive Team

“I have gained a greater insight into how I operate and why. In fact, it’s been a very calming experience for me that I have replicated since that day both professionally and personally allowing me to achieve greater things in the ever-increasing intensity of our busy lives”

Telstra Global Executive Team