Fall 2019 has seen a whirlwind of recognition and new opportunities for the Eponaquest approach to equine-facilitated learning and therapy. Author/Eponaquest founder Linda Kohanov kicked off the season with a six-week European tour in September/early October. Several workshops for the public surrounded her first-ever Eponaquest instructor training in the French champagne making region near Reims. “The staff and I actually lived for a month in a historic house right next to the vineyards during grape harvesting season,” Linda marvels. “And we worked at a lovely nearby farm with amazing horses.” (More photos and details at the end of this newsletter.)
Upon returning to the US, Linda was featured in an artfully produced video on her work, part of the Pioneer Tour series hosted by Broadway producer and philanthropist Nelda Sue Yaw.
This ten-minute mini-documentary offers scenes from Linda’s home base ranch in Amado, Arizona with stunning views of the surrounding desert, mountains and, of course, members of the Eponaquest herd. Here’s the link: https://www.nelda.com/pioneer-tour-linda-kohanov/
“I was thrilled that a professional camera crew captured the beauty and serenity of this land and the soulful horses who have over years become experts at helping people become more effective and fulfilled in their professional and personal lives,” Linda says. “Nelda experienced the work last year and decided to include Eponaquest in her series as a result. It all started when she brought her company’s team out for a four-day leadership training. She was then inspired to come back for a family intensive with her husband and children. It was wonderful to work with them all.”
Linda’s husband, Grammy-nominated composer/recording artist Steve Roach was also included in the Pioneer Tour series: https://www.nelda.com/pioneer-tour-steve-roach/.
“I’m grateful to Jenn and Erik Freeman for introducing us to Nelda and acting as producers of her Pioneer Tour series. It is an imaginative, informative and generous way to highlight the contributions of people who are doing positive things in the world. I highly recommend watching all twelve interviews in Season I, which you can access through the links above.”
As a result of the video’s release, Linda decided to add a flexible workshop option for people to sample the innovative Eponaquest activities and tools at her desert ranch before she undertakes another series of advanced workshops, apprenticeship programs, and a European tour this spring. No horse experience or previous interest in horses necessary. You have the option of attending a two-day introductory portion of the workshop January 4 and 5, or staying for all four days, January 4 through 7. The last two days will feature skills associated with her latest book The Five Roles of a Master Herder: A Revolutionary Model for Socially Intelligent Leadership, as well as key skills associated with her latest program: Sentient Communication®.
“I found an open weekend in January to offer a fun sort of crash course that covers many of the skills unique to Eponaquest,” Linda says. “This is my only opening in early 2020 for people to visit our scenic Arizona ranch and work with my most experienced equine colleagues. These horses, some of whom have been with me all their lives, truly have a gift for teaching humans. The first two days are more personal development oriented, and the last two days head into the realms of exercising nonverbal communication, intuition, and leadership skills that will be useful in both personal and professional development contexts. From my perspective, everyone can benefit from a more compassionate, balanced approach to leadership. Parents, after all, are leaders, as are teachers, clergy, counselors, social and political activists, managers, of course, and anyone who wants to bring a new idea into the world. Horses model a nonpredatory approach to power that draws on the wisdom and strength of the entire herd to protect the vulnerable and adjust to unexpected changes in the world around them. Now more than ever, the Way of the Horse has much to teach people who want to build a society where all members are valued and empowered.”
For more information on the January Way of the Horse workshop, and to register: https://eponaquest.com/workshop/way-of-the-horse-authentic-heart-centered-wisdom-for-self-reflection-personal-well-being-and-professional-success-3/
Integrative Medicine Brings the Connection Focused Therapy® model to Doctors and Patients
In November, Linda was invited to be a part of the adjunct faculty for the University of Arizona’s Integrative Medicine Elective Rotation (IMER) for fourth year medical students and residents. This international program, established by the bestselling author and integrative medicine pioneer Andrew Weil, sent 18 physicians to Linda’s ranch for experiential learning activities with horses.
“Our participation in the program has a dual purpose actually,” Linda says. “The program director Devorah Coryell wanted us to create an experiential learning module to teach medical professionals how to be more effective in communicating with and calming patients. It was fascinating to see how the physicians lit up with the horses, and how quickly they learned some new skills for establishing a more effective therapeutic presence. The second purpose was to provide an overview of how these innovative professionals can prescribe equine-facilitated activities to patients and their family members. It was great timing. Over the last year, psychologist Dr. Rebecca Bailey and I have taken our Connection Focused Therapy® program to a whole new level. Through research that she and I have been directly involved in, as well as through her innovative understanding of the polyvagal theory of the mammalian nervous system, we have created a sequence of equine-facilitated activities and in-office techniques that create real breakthroughs for people facing significant life challenges. The polyvagal theory, developed by Stephen Porges, also offers profound insights into why equine-facilitated therapy is so effective.”
“We are honored to be the first training for physicians in this polyvagal-infused Connection Focused Therapy,” says Devorah Coryell. “The mission of IMER is to be at the forefront of academic research-based integrative education. Having Dr. Bailey and Linda Kohanov share the CFT model with us powerfully supports our mission.”
Rebecca and Linda will be leading several workshops in 2020 on the Connection Focused Therapy model. This multi-faceted, research-based training is for therapists, medical professionals, and horse-facilitated learning/therapy professionals. It is also open to parents and educators who work or live with people who face significant life challenges, including trauma. The February 4 to 8 workshop has filled.
And for the first time ever, Rebecca and Linda will lead a Connection Focused Therapy training in Europe. The five-day workshop will be offered in English with German translation. For more info and to register for this April 28 through May 2 event near Stuttgart: https://eponaquest.com/workshop/healing-the-herd-connection-focused-therapy-for-therapists-and-other-professionals-working-with-trauma-survivors-and-families-in-crisis-2/
Linda and Rebecca are also offering a summer training in Minneapolis area July 17 to 21. For more information: https://eponaquest.com/workshop/healing-the-herd-connection-focused-therapy-for-therapists-and-other-professionals-working-with-trauma-survivors-and-families-in-crisis-3/
Back to Europe in 2020
In April and September, Linda will return to Europe where translations of all five of her books have drawn increasing interest among French, German, Dutch and Czech speaking audiences.
“I’m so excited that we are doing Eponaquest instructor trainings now in France with both English and French translation,” Linda says. “The first week of the training took place in the stunning champagne region near Reims, where we not only worked with an amazing herd of horses, we got to experience what life is like during the grape harvesting season. We also toured a champagne making facility. It is an amazing, multi-step process to create champagne!
“The French apprentices will come to my home base in Arizona for the second week of training in January, then I will return to France for the final week of the training in April. We also have plans for another instructor training class starting in September 2020. Special thanks to Christophe Dreyer, who is the program manager for the French Eponaquest Apprenticeship, to our phenomenal translator Lorriane Tilbury, to Amelie Van De Woestyne and her horses at the Crinieres Rouges farm, and to Cecile Gilbert-Kowano and Claire Labeye, who are both supporting this apprenticeship class and expanding the work throughout the country through the Eponaquest France nonprofit.”
“While I’m in Europe, I will also lead some workshops for the public in collaboration with my instructor colleagues in several countries. Stay tuned for more information on these upcoming tours soon. In the meantime, you can access events happening in France led by my colleagues through the Eponaquest France website: www.eponaquest.fr
While in Europe, Linda also led a special seminar for instructors who had graduated from previous Eponaquest apprenticeships. “I’m very excited that a number of my European colleagues can now teach the latest skills in Sentient Communication® as a result of this advanced training.” For a list of Eponaquest Instructors throughout the world: https://eponaquest.com/recommended-instructors/
To learn more about the 2020 Eponaquest Apprenticeship (instructor training) in France, which is open to qualified applicants throughout the world who can speak either English or French: www.formation-eponaquest.com
To see a video about the Eponaquest Apprenticeship in France: https://youtu.be/hq99AV23pZs
“I’m very excited that we have already booked dates for the 2020 Eponaquest Apprenticeship training,” she says. “The first week will once again take place in early September, during the grape harvesting and champagne making season. It is truly a magical time there, and it already feels like a second home to me.”