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Is Your Membership Up-To-Date?
As you read through all of the exciting news and information in the July newsletter, please take a moment to make sure your E3A membership is up-to-date. Certified practitioners who want to advertise themselves as being E3A Certified are required to    maintain current E3A membership. Please visit the E3A website, call our office at (775) 376-2530, or contact Margaret at if you need to renew!

Ginny and Gia
As I write this final President's Letter for the E3A newsletter, I find I have mixed emotions about the end of this journey. I joined the E3A Board in 2012 with the hope that I could somehow contribute to more people experiencing the phenomenal training that E3A offers. My E3A certification changed my professional life and I credit the success of my business to my association with E3A. My recent trip to co-facilitate a leadership workshop in Qatar was the direct result of my connection with another E3A practitioner.

In 2014, the Board was in need of a new president. I had not planned to step in to that role as I was in the midst of trying to figure out what direction my EAL business was going. But no one else on the board was able to take on the role of President at that time so I volunteered. At that time, E3A did not have any paid staff so I took on the role of de facto Executive Director in addition to being Board President. Many people do not realize that up until last August, all of the work that was needed to keep E3A going was completely done by the volunteer board. Past Board Presidents also had to act as de facto Executive Director. In that role, I and my predecessors had to learn to manage and use the membership and event system; manage all aspects of the day to day operations of E3A; lead the board; oversee committees; manage communications to and from E3A via monitoring of the E3A e-mail and phone; coordinate with other board members to ensure marketing plans were in place; create marketing materials and promotions; monitor finances; and continue to look ahead at how to strategically move E3A forward.

Many wonderful things have happened for E3A in the past 2 years and I'd like to think that my role as President had some impact on that and that I am leaving E3A better than it was when I became Board President. But none of it would have happened without the amazing board members who serve E3A with me. And our members who remain dedicated to the success of E3A are the ones who really make E3A the "home for people doing EAL." I have met so many wonderful people through my association with E3A and I am eternally grateful for all the support I have received from our board and members during my time as President.

As I step down from the Board, I would like to say "Thank you" to my Executive Committee: Lissa Pohl, Kathy Milbeck and Marie-Claude Stockl. These strong, smart, professional women have taught me a great deal and helped me to become more confident in my own leadership. "Thank you" also to the rest of the Board for your continued work and support: Janis Cooper, Lesley Elchuck, Joe Urban, Susan Urban, Cheryl Bess and Linda Pucci.

Most of all, thank you to the E3A members for allowing me the privilege to lead this great organization. I look forward to the exciting things that are in store for E3A and finding my new role in the herd.

Congratulations to the new E3A President: Marie-Claude Stockl!

Trust the horses and trust the process.


Ginny Telego, E3A Board President 
   2016 Calendar-at-a-Glance
The courses offered during each month are shown below. Click on each month to go to the E3A calendar for the details about locations, dates, times, and pricing.

C2/C3 Bundle Pricing: Register for C2 and C3 classes together and get a $250 discount!

July 2016
C1 (Teleclass): Introduction to Equine Experiential Education Facilitation Method
E5 (Teleclass): Introduction to E3A Personal Development & Wellbeing (PDW)

August 2016
C1 (Teleclass): Introduction to Equine Experiential Education Facilitation Method
C2 (Kenwood, CA): Foundations of Equine Experiential Education Facilitation
C3 (Kenwood, CA): Advanced Equine Experiential Education Facilitation
E6 (Kinsgley, PA): Creating Personal Development & Wellbeing EAL Workshops

September 2016
C1 (Teleclass): Introduction to Equine Experiential Education Facilitation Method
C2 (Santa Fe, NM): Foundations of Equine Experiential Education Facilitation
C3 (Santa Fe, NM): Advanced Equine Experiential Education Facilitation
NM9 (Teleclass): Community Network Meeting: How to Build Your EAL Business From Start-up to Success: The Top 5 Things You MUST Do

October 2016
C1 (Teleclass): Introduction to Equine Experiential Education Facilitation Method
C2 (Kingsley, PA): Foundations of Equine Experiential Education Facilitation
C3 (Kingsley, PA): Advanced Equine Experiential Education Facilitation
C2 (Vancouver Island, BC): Foundations of Equine Experiential Education Facilitation
C3 (Vancouver Island, BC): Advanced Equine Experiential Education Facilitation

  E3A Member Spotlight
Starr and Joe McAlexander, Co-Owners and Directors
Alison Selby, Staff Member 

More experienced students are given the opportunity to develop their leadership skills by mentoring younger students just out of the starting gate.
Long before the founding of Spirit Song Youth Equestrian Academy (SSYEA) in Anna, Texas, Starr and Joe McAlexander owned and operated Two Point Meadows Riding Academy, a horsemanship school at their small ranch in Murphy, Texas.  From a humble beginning in 1997, Starr assisted 5 young members of the U.S. Pony Club who needed mounts.  Starr met Alison Selby through her affiliation with the Pony Club; and a friendship and partnership developed through their common vision of helping youth, especially those at risk.
As our school horses began to "mature," it became apparent that we had to relieve them from the imbalance of beginning riders and the enthusiasm of hunter/jumper riders.  These horses were willing participants during their prime, engaging in highly demanding disciplines, but were no longer physically able to perform at the levels required for those activities.  Collectively, we believed that there had to be other avenues to incorporate these horses' years of experience partnering with humans.  Observing this horse/human connection, we explored how that connection could be used as a lifeline to youth who were losing their way.  That exploration led us to equine-assisted learning and organizations promoting this type of personal development.  Ultimately, after much investigation, we joined E3A where we continue learning more about the prey/predator paradigm and the horse/human connection to equip our students with the life skills necessary for them to navigate the issues and challenges they face.
An E3 participant gaining confidence with a SSYEA horse partner.
By incorporating the instinctive and sensitive nature of our repurposed "schoolmasters" in unmounted activites, our students are better able to see how their attitudes and actions affect themselves and others; they are better able to align their behavior and responses to their arena of life experiences based on what happens in the horse arena.  Applying the Five-Question approach and the Awareness, Alignment and Action model we learned through E3A, our instructing, coaching, and facilitating techniques continue to reach new levels.  Currently, we provide youth camps where we concentrate on teaching life skills.  Our Facilitators/Coaches and equine partners spend time with the participants, discovering what is on each of their minds and what is in each of their hearts.  We employ fun and meaningful, targeted Equine Experiential Education activities, using carefully selected equines uniquely suited to each participant's needs.  For example, these activities assist us to rebuild confidence in students diagnosed with dyslexia and other learning differences.  In the last two years, we have had the privilege of conducting two successful programs specially designed for children who live in another culture and country, Singapore.

We are also actively engaged in the
Building life skills experientially with the goal of teamwork.
community, hosting programs for youth adjudicated by the court to perform community service.  And for the past four years, we have hosted Equine-Assisted Vacation Bible School camps in partnership with our local church.  SSYEA has ongoing, weekly horsemanship and riding lessons that include debriefing sessions designed to assist students of all ages to set goals, to recognize and utilize their strengths, and to assess their progress.  The Equine Experiential Education techniques that we continue to accumulate and utilize in all our activities have created a meaningful and engaging approach, producing beneficial changes in the lives of our students.

Starr and Joe McAlexander are co-owners and directors of Spirit Song Youth Equestrian Academy, located in Anna, Texas, 50 miles north of Dallas.  Starr has been an English Centered Riding Instructor since 1997, is a former U.S. Pony Club Education Director for the Dallas Pony Club, and Horse Management Judge for USPC Regional rallies.  Joe is a Registered Professional Engineer, bringing to our team his years of experience in corporate/people management and motivation.  Along with staff member Alison Selby, LMSW, Starr and Joe received their E3A Level 1 certifications early in 2016 and are working toward their Advanced Certifications. SSYEA is home to 20 horses/ponies and one adorable black donkey.
E3A Master Trainers Travel to Qatar
E3A Master Trainers Travel to Qatar to Facilitate Equine Assisted Leadership Workshop

Qatar EAL Team: Cecile van der Wilden, Lissa Pohl, and Ginny Telego
Lissa Pohl and Ginny Telego, both Master Trainers with E3A, along with Cecile van der Wilden of Pyramid Horsemanship out of The Netherlands, headed to Doha, Qatar in May to facilitate a one-day Herd Dynamics for Leaders Workshop for Director level managers in the Qatar Foundation. Lissa, owner of In Good Spirits, LLC, was contacted in April of 2015 by Mats Troedsson, a colleague from the University of Kentucky's Gluck Equine Research Center who is setting up a world class veterinary hospital at the Al Shaqab (a large equestrian center in Doha that has over 600 horses on the premises and is part of the Community Development wing of the Qatar Foundation). Mats wondered if Lissa could be a resource to the Qatar Foundation, which is interested in connecting its people with their cultural horse heritage and is exploring ways in which the EAL model can effectively make this connection.

QF EAL Workshop Shaza Boundary Making
"It was a lot of hard work to get this workshop off the ground, but our professional team of competent facilitators and horse handlers put on an excellent training that received rave reviews!" said Lissa. "It was a great opportunity for all of us to learn more about Middle Eastern culture and build our confidence in doing EAL work on an international level."
Ginny commented "It was an amazing experience that proved just how powerful EAL work is for any group of leaders.  It confirmed for me to trust the horses and trust the E3A process." Everyone on this team would go back to work in the amazing facility, with the wonderful horses and the warm-hearted and curious folks at the Qatar Foundation.

Al Shaqab Equestrian Education Center
  Tips for Keeping Your EAL Session from Turning into EAP 
Tips for Keeping Your EAL Session from Turning into EAP
by Linda Pucci, Ph.D.
At some point in your Equine Assisted Learning sessions, a participant is likely to experience powerful emotions and may want to dive into therapy topics. Your job as an EAL facilitator is acknowledge their experience without delving into everything that happened to them. That is the job of a therapist. As an EAL facilitator, your job is to coach them into the present and future when that happens.
1.          Know what a "therapy topic" looks and sounds like.
Typically, the participant will reference some event that happened in the past and about which they have strong emotions. They may make references to depression, anxiety, trauma, PSTD, or may want to talk about their past experience(s). They may display intense emotion that has nothing to do with what is going on right now. Many people have an identity or story they tell about themselves and the bad experiences they have had.
Your job as an EAL facilitator is not to join them in "therapy land." Even if you are a licensed therapist, unless you are doing Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, with informed consent, you should not be practicing it during an Equine Assisted Learning context. To do so is unethical, and in some states, illegal. If they have signed up for an Equine Assisted Learning experience, you do not have informed consent.
Have a therapist to whom you can refer them if you think they have a need for ongoing therapy. Tell them, in private, that you know someone who is a therapist who you trust to help them. Your recommendation of someone you know can serve as a bridge into services they need. One advantage of working as a team of facilitators is that you can pull a person out of the group if necessary to talk privately while your teammate continues to work with the group.
2.          When debriefing the EAL experience, avoid using the "F" word ("feeling").
Don't ask your EAL participants "How did it feel when the horse...?" If you ask feeling questions, you open the door for the client to focus solely on their emotions. It isn't that emotions are bad, but you are inviting them to primarily focus on intense emotions that may be more appropriate for a therapy context.
An example:
Facilitator: "How did it feel when the horse ran away from you?"
Participant: "It reminded me of when my mother abandoned me when I was 7." (sob, sob, sob).
Oops. You now have a client who has melted down, perhaps in front of her coworkers in a corporate training. Even though she may be comfortable sharing intensely personal information, her co-workers probably don't want that much information in a corporate training. Make sure you don't open the door. A participant may go into those past experiences anyway, which we'll talk about how to handle in a minute.
If you want assistance in seeing what happens when you open the "therapy" door, you may want to attend C2: Foundations of Equine Experiential Education Facilitation and C3: Advanced Equine Experiential Education Facilitation. In C3, we typically have a student facilitator deliberately ask questions that are likely to lead a participant (or several) "down the rabbit hole" into therapy territory. This allows everyone to experience what happens to the group as a result of the questions, and helps them learn how the facilitator can coach them out of it.
3.          Focus on the Five Question Model that E3A uses to facilitate the EAL
The five questions are
    • What happened out there with the horses?
    • Why do you think that happened?
    • Where else does that happen (in the context your EAL session is in)?
e.g. in the office or on your team for corporate training; in the classroom, with your peer group for educational settings; in your relationships, in your life, in your family if you are doing personal development.
    • Why does that happen? What's that about? What did you learn from this exercise that applies to your context?
    • What are you going to do differently next time (in that context)?
If you are unfamiliar with the Five Question Model, you may want to take the C1 teleclass: Introduction to the Equine Experiential Education Facilitation Method and read the book Open to Outcome by Micah Jacobson and Mari Ruddy.
By following the model, you can get people to an "aha" and to an action plan to take back to their context (office; school/peer group; or personal development context), and minimize the potential for getting into therapy topics.
4.          Move them out of the past and into the present and future.
When a person goes into a past negative experience, move them forward by asking "How will you use what you learned from that experience to help you as you move forward at work (or whatever context you are training in)?" Avoid the temptation to dive into their past with them. Acknowledge their experience without glorifying it. "I'm sorry that happened. What can you do to move forward in your life in spite of that experience?"
One of the greatest gifts horses model for us is living in the moment. Share that gift with your EAL participants, especially if they are tempted to focus on the past.
5.          Accept that intense emotion may be part of the process.
Normalize the fact that the experiences with the horses may bring out strong emotions and powerful learning. The connections people make during the activities and the debrief may be unexpected and can seem overwhelming. Everybody has baggage, including you. Participants may cry. Make sure they are able to have their experience without judgment from others. Stay in charge. Allow time and space for processing. Utilize a coaching approach to help participants uncover their resilience and strengths. You may need/want to take the focus off an individual by bringing the discussion back to the group. That may also help the participant feel supported by the group.
Linda Pucci, Ph.D. is a personal/business coach with over 37 years of experience helping people and businesses change. She formerly worked as a psychologist, so she is very clear about the differences between coaching and psychotherapy (and EAL vs. EAP). Linda was a founding member of E3A, is a Level II E3A Certified Advanced Practitioner with a Specialty in Corporate Training, and is a Master Trainer. She serves regularly as a business coach/consultant to equine-based businesses. For more information, contact her at 865-983-7544 or email  

Leveraging Your Local Chamber of Commerce
Leveraging Your Local Chamber of Commerce 
by Janis Cooper, Owner/Operator EQnimity, E3A Facilitator and Equine Facilitated Learning Coach

Within your business strategy, is your marketing focused outside your local area or within it? In either case, check out your local Chamber of Commerce to support you in growing your equine business.

If you're not familiar with it, a Chamber of Commerce is generally found within each town or city. It's a collection of businesses whose charter is to further the interests of its members, and their businesses, as well as the community, province, state, or even nation.   Most Chambers provide an ample opportunity for its members to network and become involved in their community in new ways, at the same time increasing their business exposure.

Each Chamber of Commerce operates differently, so you'll want to be sure to check out what your local chapter provides and what their fees are (ask about quarterly vs annual payments, also). As a point of reference, my local Chamber of Commerce collectively serves 5 small rural communities and as a member, I'm entitled to attend chamber events hosted by a larger county-wide Chamber. My Chamber offers monthly social networking events, provides educational workshops, offers an events calendar, and more.

What are some of the ways the Chamber might benefit your business?

1. Networking - Attending monthly networking events can be invaluable in meeting new people and exposing your business to those who may not otherwise know about it. In my case, I live in a year-round tourist destination, so I've been able to connect with Innkeepers through Chamber events to discuss joint packaging offers
2. Website - Once a member, you'll likely be listed on your local Chamber website where you may be able to put together deals/packages, include images for your business, and have a link to your website. Don't forget to ask about whether you can use their logo on your website too!
3. Event Listings - Many Chambers have an event calendar where you can list your event for free. Our local newspaper pulls from the Chamber calendar to list upcoming events in the weekly paper. No added work on my part!

4. Brochures - Be sure to ask if you can leave copies of brochures at your Chamber of Commerce office/visitors center.

5. Business Workshops - A variety of topics can be covered, ranging from marketing your business and learning social media, to financing, and more. Why not offer one yourself on a topic you're a subject matter expert in?
6. Business Demos - Consider inviting your local Chamber members and/or the Executive Director and staff to experience first-hand your Equine business. There's no better way for people appreciate it, and once they have that under their belt, they are sure to share it with others. It's a win-win for everyone!

Get out, get marketing, and go grow your business. Check out your local Chamber of Commerce tomorrow!
Join E3A!
If you are not a member of E3A, we'd like to invite you to join us.  There are many benefits to being an E3A member, including free Community Network Meetings, great people to network and exchange ideas with, and some opportunities that are only open to our members.  Check them out at  under Membership.   

Want to be more involved?
We have plenty of volunteer opportunities. Call us to let us know how you want to help. Remember, every horse in the herd plays a role in the herd's success...What part will you play in OUR herd? 

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