Workshop Description

In the world of Equine-Assisted Mental Health and Equine-Assisted Learning, Leif Hallberg, M.A., LPC, LCPC needs no introduction. An internationally-acclaimed author, consultant and therapist, Leif explores the myriad benefits that can be gained from respectful, mindful interactions between horses, humans and the natural world.

Designed for equestrian coaches, horse enthusiasts, life-skills coaches, corporate trainers, educators, and mental health practitioners, Leif’s Creating Nature-Rich Equine Experiences in EAL offers a unique approach to equine-assisted learning and horsemanship that complements a variety of existing EAL training models, and fosters collaboration and cooperation between diverse practitioner groups.

Most who work with horses and people (in any capacity) have experienced the power of the horse-human relationship, and likely recognize the potential to use this relationship to teach important life or “humanship” skills. However, understanding how to safely and ethically bring these skills to diverse populations and settings can be challenging. This workshop provides the ideal opportunity to explore these questions and develop new skills while inspiring a greater sense of professional confidence.

Participants will have the opportunity to deepen their own relationships with horses and the natural world while also considering the diverse groups who could benefit from these nature-rich equine experiences– including riding lesson students, school groups,  corporate groups, or mental health clients.

You Will Learn

  • How to design nature-rich equine activities that enhance “humanship” skills – or the ability to be more present, aware, thoughtful, authentic, and connective.
  • The theory behind equine-assisted learning and how this service can be used ethically and safely with many different populations.
  • The essential differences between education, learning, coaching, and therapy.
  • The common mental health issues, conditions, or learning differences that challenge people’s ability to connect with each other, their horses, and the natural world (and what can be done within your area of expertise to help).
  • The concepts of experiential learning, outdoor education, and biopsychosocial health and how these concepts can be applied to interactions with horses.
  • The role of equine ethology, communication and behavior in horse-human interactions.
  • “Compassionate equitation” skills as presented in The Compassionate Equestrian: 25 Principles to Live by When Caring for and Working with Horses by Dr. Allen Schoen and Susan Gordon.
  • Principles of biophila or the innate human connection to the natural world and the benefits of nature-rich experiences.

What to Expect

  • Hands-on learning and personal experiences with horses, each other, and the natural world.
  • A focus on horse skills and building authentic, respectful connection.
  • Time for discussion, individual reflection, and group process.
  • A focus on personal awareness and practicing “humanship” skills.
  • Self-directed learning experiences.

Length of Workshop

5 Days (Wednesday 1-5, Thursday 9-5, Friday 9-5, Saturday 9-5, Sunday 9-12:30)


March 13th-17th – C-Horses, Galston NSW, Australia – SOLD OUT

Recommended Reading

Hallberg, L. (2018). The Clinical Practice of Equine-Assisted Therapy: Including Horses in Human Healthcare. Routledge.

Louv, R. (2012). The Nature Principle. Algonquin Books.

Schoen, A & Gorden, S. The Compassionate Equestrian: 25 Principles to Live by When Caring for and Working with Horses. (Trafalgar Square Books, 2018).

For More Information

Contact Leif at to learn more or to host a Creating Nature-Rich Equine Experiences workshop.