Equine Assisted Learning Training

To Apply for our Life Changing EAL Training Program NOW

  1. Read the ‘EAL Training’ page (you are on already), carefully, as it has all the information you need to know about the training content, process, fees certification requirements etc.
  2. Check the ‘Training Calendar’ page, to confirm you can attend all 3 Intensives in the Practitioner Training Foundation Program.
  3. Email equinepsychotherapyinstitute@gmail.com to request an Application Form. Complete and email back.
  4. Once your place has been confirmed, you will receive a Welcome Letter, this will give you information to support you in arranging Accommodation, Transport, Required Reading, and other information to support preparation and planning for your successful Training experience.
  5. Begin your Training journey, and know that you are 1 step closer to beginning your dream career as an Equine Assisted Practitioner, and will be supported for the life of your training and practice.

Transformational Training

Foundation EAL Practitioner Training Program – 126 hours

The Institute offers one of the most comprehensive and theoretically sophisticated Equine Assisted Learning Training Models available internationally. You will learn psychotherapy principles and practices for the purpose of 1. Keeping your clients emotionally safe in EAL sessions 2. Offering best practice by continually reflecting on your ‘Self as Practitioner’ and addressing how your feelings, needs and patterns may shape, strengthen or limit your EAL services 3. Ensuring you are skilled in basic facilitation processes required to deliver safe, effective and life changing experiential learning with horses for the purpose of skills building, personal development or professional development (such as team building or leadership). Equine Assisted Learning Programs are offered as “non-therapy” services.

This Training Program will change your life, personally and professionally.

We Train Two Groups of Students/Practitioners:

  1. EAP Pathway – Students who are already Registered Psychotherapists, Counsellors or Mental Health Practitioners such as Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Mental Health Social Workers and Mental Health Nurses, who are ‘in relationship with horses’ (whether a beginner or very experienced horse-people), and are wanting to offer Equine Assisted Therapy or Psychotherapy services. This group has Mental Health Qualifications and Registrations.  These students train and certify as ‘Equine Psychotherapy Practitioners’, offering EAP, EAT, Equine Therapy and Psychotherapy sessions.
  2. EAL Pathway – Students who are passionate horse-people, may have qualification in teaching, coaching or management, have a keen interest in helping others grow and change, and are wanting to learn more about powerful processes and experiential learning with horses. This group do not have Mental Health  or  Counselling qualification or registration. These students train and certify as ‘Equine Learning Practitioners’ offering EAL programs, experiential learning, social-emotional skills building, personal development and professional development programs. These practitioners do not offer ‘Therapy’ or ‘Psychotherapy’ services. EAL services are “non-therapy” services.

EPI Model Foundation Practitioner Training Program


  • 3 Intensives – each of 5 Day duration (15 Days – 120 hours) – Intensive 1, 2 & 3.
  • Students receive a Training Manual.
  • Light Vegetarian Lunch is provided in each training Intensive.

Foundation Training Intensives

Intensive 1 – Awareness, Mindfulness and How to practice with Clients and Horses
Growth through Awareness with horses

Intensive 2 – Relationship, Contact, Relational practice and How to practice with Clients and Horses
Relationship and growth through contact with horses

Intensive 3 – Experiments, Creative Processes with Clients and Horses and Business Planning
Growth through safe and creative relational experiences with horses. Business sense in EAL.

You will learn

  • Overview of the EPI Model
  • How to work holistically, with body, feelings, behaviours
  • The ‘how’ and ‘what’ in EAL processes – the EAL Facilitation Process
  • I-Thou Horsemanship, Horse Psychology and Herd behaviour, Horses in EAL processes
  • Applications with individuals, couples, families, groups, children, corporate work (in advanced specialisations), working with people with disabilities
  • Theory of Change including how people grow and change and how change happens in equine-based processes
  • Professional Ethics and Horse Welfare in EPI Model Equine Assisted Learning Practice.

Training Learning Objectives

  • To understand the theory and practice of EPI Model
  • To understand and apply experiential and creative principles and practices
  • To understand ethical issues and professional standards of practice and safety practices with horses and clients
  • To develop here and now assessment, process and closure skills
  • To create appropriate and graded experiments to offer clients based on assessment, client presentation and feedback, with professionalism and sensitivity
  • To understand and be guided by self-awareness and ‘self as practitioner’, understanding the impact of practitioner core themes, patterns and countertransference issues
  • To understand horse psychology, herd behaviour and appreciate the relational dynamics that horses bring to the process
  • To understand the relationship between practitioners and their horses and the impact on safety and efficacy of the work for clients, horses and practitioners
  • To understand and practice I – Thou Horsemanship.
  • To develop a commitment to continuing personal and professional development.
  • To begin EAL practice with support and supervision!


Intensive 1 – 5 Days Transformational Training $1500 plus gst

Intensive 2 – 5 Days Transformational Training $1500 plus gst

Intensive 3 – 5 Day Transformational Training $1500 plus gst

Optional Pre-payment for Foundation Training (Intensive 1,2,3 inclusive) – $4200 plus gst

Supervision Sessions – $120 plus gst (paid at time of session)

EPI Model EAP Certification/ Institute Membership will require

  • After successful Completion of the 3 Intensives (15 Days), students will complete a further –
  • 4 Hours Skype/Phone Supervision Sessions (to be completed within 12 months of beginning Training)
  • 3 Integration papers of 500-1000 words (are submitted at the end of each Intensive)
  • Final Assessment – Open book exam including theoretical, practical, personal questions and case study (submitted within 12 months of beginning training)
  • Horsemanship Video – horse handling and I-thou horsemanship skills (submitted within 12 months of beginning training).

The EPI Model is informed by

  • Psychotherapeutic Theory and Practices – Mindfulness Psychotherapy, Gestalt Psychotherapy, Trauma Therapy, Attachment and Developmental approach in Psychotherapy and Relational Practice
  • Contemporary Neuroscience
  • Skilled Facilitation, Group Process, Coaching Process
  • The Way of the Horse Psycho-education – where horses are modelling health and wellbeing.

The EPI Model EAL is an ethically driven, theoretically comprehensive experiential learning program, where horses truly inspire, facilitate, assist and connect with participants for the purpose of  social-emotional skills building, personal and professional development and growth.

Having completed our Practitioner Training you will feel personally transformed and confident conceptually, practically and emotionally to facilitate authentic and grounded equine work with clients. This is our focus and goal to train, support and supervise students to be and feel competent, with their unique talents, environment and relationship with horses. The journey begins…

The Training journey is

  • An Experiential and Process oriented training
  • Personal work is an important foundation for the learning process
  • Theoretically grounded
  • Practitioner and Practice Oriented
  • Research focused – we have developed an EPI Evaluation and Research tool for certified practitioners to use
  • Integrating the Horses as co-facilitators, assistants, teachers and supports for building true Awareness and Contact
  • Relational and Relationship-based learning
  • Includes Liberty, Ground-based and Mounted experiences with horses for the purpose of supporting awareness, growth and healing.

Post Training Support

  • After completion of training Students / Practitioners will
  • Join relevant EPI Network Groups
  • Join EPI Closed Facebook Group
  • Access EPI Supervision
  • Access EPI Model Psychotherapy as needed for ongoing support and professional development.
  • Access ongoing Professional Development opportunities – Advanced Training, Conferences etc
  • Access to EPI Model Evaluation tool and research your program support
  • Have lifetime access to the EPI Community of Practitioners

Practitioner Training Dates

Please Visit Calendar page.

Advanced Training Intensives / Specialisations

Advanced Trainings are offered every year to Practitioners and Students who have completed the Foundation Training Program, and choose to specialise or extend their learning and practice. These may include –

  • Trauma and working with the body, affect and cognitive processes
  • Attachment and developmental work
  • Working with couples and families
  • Working with corporate groups and organisations
  • Working with children and adolescents
  • Working with cognitive processes with beliefs
  • Working with addictions
  • Working with the Inner Critic and Shame dynamics


After Application forms are received and your place has been confirmed you will receive a Welcome Letter outlining accommodation ideas, transport ideas and other information about the Daylesford region. You will be supported to find suitable, local accommodation within your budget/preferences.

Time and Venue for Training

9.00am – 5.00pm daily

The Equine Psychotherapy Institute

459 Telegraph Rd, Mt Prospect. Victoria.

The Institute is 12 minutes from the town of Daylesford.

Application Form

Please email The Institute regarding training and receive your Application form. Preference will be given to people intending to complete all 3 intensives in Foundation Training and Certification.

Deposit / Fee Payment and Conditions

Once the Application is received and confirmed you will be required to pay non-refundable $200 deposit, which will be deducted from the total training fees. For example $200 will be deducted from the $1,500 training fee for Intensive 1 and the remaining $1,300 will be required 4 weeks prior to day 1 of training. Or if opting for Foundation Program pre-payment, $200 deposit will be paid for 3 week foundation program, and $4000 will be due 4 weeks prior to commencing Intensive 1.

Full Payment is required 4 Weeks /1 month prior to training, unless negotiated otherwise. Training fees are non-refundable. However students who have made payment and cannot attend the training dates as initially contracted will be offered a place in future Training Programs / Dates (within a 12 month period). In the case of an emergency, accident or illness, students are encouraged to contact the Institute directly to arrange reimbursement.

This training program is designed to support you as a practitioner to be personally and professionally competent in working with horses and humans for the purpose of human growth and development, where the horses are honoured as teacher and co-facilitator. We will support and challenge you to grow and feel ‘held’ as you grow into grounded and authentic practitioners. Our Program sets a high standard for students, practitioners and the wider community.

Senior Trainers

Meg Kirby, Author, Creator and Founder of EPI Model, Mental Health Social Worker, Gestalt Therapist/Psychotherapist, I-Thou horsewoman.

Noel Haarburger, Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Gestalt Therapy Trainer, and Trauma Specialist and Assistant with Somatic Experiencing Australia.

Meg and Noel are experienced trainers, psychotherapists, group facilitators, consultants and registered mental health professionals whom live and learn with a herd of 12 horses as part of their extended family.

All enquiries and applications are very welcome

0425 371 729