Master Herder Accelerated Apprenticeship

Overview and Application Process

This two-session instructor training program is offered to people who have already completed an extensive training program in equine-facilitated learning and/or have had professional experience as a teacher, facilitator, corporate leader, therapist, or horse trainer. Program founder Linda Kohanov will accept a maximum of 8 people who would like to add the Five Roles of a Master Herder model and Power of the Herd Guiding Principles to their practices.

Program Dates

  • May 4 through 10 for Week I
  • October 5 through 11 for Week 2

In these two, seven-day sessions you will learn how to use the tools, horse-facilitated activities, lecture materials, and phone/Zoom consultation techniques associated with the Master Herder model in many different settings. Students are taught how to develop a flexible practice that really keeps things interesting. This allows you to take advantage of unexpected opportunities in your community, while helping clients learn how to take horse wisdom back to the human world. It allows experienced horse professionals to take these skills to equestrians seeking to form more productive relationships with their horses. And it allows leadership trainers, university professors, and executive coaches to incorporate these skills into indoor settings, even when clients are not yet able or willing to go to the barn. For those instructors who are also licensed mental health professionals, the Master Herder model is useful in family systems therapy. For professionals who have attended the Connection Focused Therapy training, this program teaches how to incorporate the advanced emotional and social intelligence skills that are a part of the CFT “Forward Focus” Skills, which are touched upon at the end of the CFT training, and require additional training to fully incorporate into a therapeutic practice.

Instruction in how to administer and help people interpret the Master Herder Professional Assessment is also an important part of the training.

In addition to horse-facilitated activities that exercise the different roles, the apprenticeship offers instruction in how to employ the formats, power point presentations, handouts, and human-to human experiential activities for doing indoor seminars and consultations. This allows you to reach out to organizations that are either still a bit skeptical of the horse-facilitated work or don’t currently have the budget for it. On-site trainings in businesses, schools, non-profits, community organizations, churches, equestrian clubs, and social service agencies expand your client base—and keep your horses from having to carry the full teaching load.

Those who graduate from this specialized apprenticeship will be certified to teach the Master Herder model, and be listed as Recommended Instructors on the website. Graduates will be licensed to use the copyrighted power point presentations, handouts, and training schedules that Linda Kohanov uses on her international tours and on-site trainings.

A Master Herder Associate Instructor status is available to mental health professionals, teachers, leaders, coaches, and university professors who have less horse experience. In this case, the Associate Instructor is authorized to teach these skills in indoor settings/phone consultations, while agreeing to work in partnership with a full Master Herder Instructor whenever horse activities are involved.

The cost for the training and the license to use the copyrighted presentation materials is:

$7000 (3500 per week). The payment schedule is:

  • $1000 upon acceptance to secure your place
  • $2500 by April 8
  • $2000 by July 1
  • $1500 by September 15

People sometimes ask if they can receive a discount for paying the entire amount up front. The answer is yes, there is a 10 percent discount for paying upon acceptance (which reduces the cost by $700), but we are just as happy for people to pay over time according to the above schedule.

Application Process

Please send a simple resume with your contact information and your related experience: List training you have received in the fields of equine-facilitated learning or equine-facilitated therapy, your horse experience, as well as other forms of leadership training, coaching, and/or education, and your professional experience in these fields.

Sue Smades will handle official registration and payment, as well as sending you lodging and transportation information. To officially apply, please email Sue your resume at and copy Linda Kohanov at

Those who graduate from this program are also qualified to attend the annual advanced training for instructors that offers more specialized training in the following areas: working with teens and children, Sentient Communication tools, and intuitive/shamanic techniques.  Attending this additional week will also qualify Master Herder Instructors to add the distinction of Eponaquest Instructor and be listed on the Eponaquest website as such. This advanced training, generally held once a year, can be attended in 2024 or any year after. See below for client endorsements of the Master Herder model:

Endorsements for The Five Roles of a Master Herder book, indoor seminars and equine-facilitate workshops

“An innovative and practical nature-based approach to leadership — and life. [It’s] not just for corporate executives. Parents, teachers, community organizers, film directors, and especially politicians would all benefit from learning these skills.”

— William Shatner, actor director, author

”Changed my life and the life of everyone in the conference room. Explaining the differences between a dominant and a leader, and the usefulness of predatory power when balanced with nonpredatory power were real insights to understand how companies are working and how we can improve our efficiency. With great examples coming from the world of horses and traditional herding cultures, Linda explained the power of groups and how to build relationships that can enable any individual to steer and leverage large and powerful organizations.

— Didier Tranchier, Director, Executive MBA Program “Leading Innovation in a Digital World” de l’Institut Mines-Telecom, Paris, France

“People were really thinking, ‘this is it; this makes so much sense; this is what I’ve been struggling with; this is why I’m clashing with the people I don’t get along with.’ The Five Roles model took all the personal-ness out of conflicts, misunderstandings, and differing leadership styles. It inspired people to move forward in a constructive, mutually-supportive way.”

— Holly Harris Reid, Human Resources Director, Best Friends Animal Society, Knab, Utah

“Exceeded my expectations. As leaders in this organization, we are trying to find ways to help people to understand a new way of leading that is both kind and capable of helping us with a very bold mission to accomplish. People were intrigued, excited and inspired during the daylong indoor workshop. I’ve never seen smiles so wide. Those staff members who were able to attend the equine-facilitated learning sessions the following two days were exuberant. They were able to really articulate those areas where they needed the most help and practice some real solutions, and they were ready to make some major changes when they returned to work.”

— Patty Hegwood, Director of Visitors and Volunteers, Best Friends Animal Society

“We came away energized and eager to put these principles into practice. I would definitely recommend Linda’s work both for personal mastery and team building.”  

— Sarah Severn, Senior Director, Stakeholder Mobilization, Systems Innovation, Nike, Inc.

“Linda’s description of predatory power is perfectly analogous to the traditional war model of litigation, where vulnerabilities are sought out and preyed upon with the intention to win, with the resulting destruction of relationships.  Conversely, the nonpredatory approach to power she defines throughout the book guides us through resolution of conflict with curiosity and cooperation where safety is paramount, the vulnerable are protected, and relationships preserved.”

— Deanna Koebernick, BScAg, LLB, QMed, Registered Collaborative Family Law Lawyer and Mediator, Epona Law and Mediation, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

“Unique and powerful. My staff of 30 attended. They were surprised to find how pertinent the information was to their work as loan officers, and relieved to know some of their individual qualities, sometimes seen as negative, made the department successful. The language gave them a new way to talk about how to lead and how to work together as a team.”

— Laurie Roberts, Chief Lending Officer, University Federal Credit Union

“An excellent framework for self-assessment and growth as well as strengthening interpersonal relationships.”
— Brenda Turner

“[The Five Roles Professional Assessment was] the first assessment I’ve taken that feels like I wasn’t forced to create a false choice or ranking. I love the broad and interesting integrations Linda has made between seemingly different worlds. The explanations and tools she has developed to communicate these skills are remarkable.”
— Sheri Miller

“This was excellent information in an easy to follow format. Paying attention to Linda’s clear teaching style was very helpful for working with my own children and the children I serve. The Professional Assessment provided excellent insight into both my conscious and my shadow patterns, as well as un-awakened potential gifts. I would love to work with this model further.”
— Kelly Crockett

“Provided a deeper understanding of people’s behavior which will allow for better interactions, less stress and angst, more productivity, less blame and judgment, and clearer insight as to how to help people develop skills that will allow them to live more in balance.”
— Barbara Beach

“Enlightening! I want more!”
— Louise Goodly

“The fresh approach of looking at roles that we can all learn to use in balance, as opposed to defined personality traits, is hugely helpful. The information is manageable and I’ll immediately be able to apply this work in my business.”
— Heather Ranger

“It just makes so much sense. I realize more and more that I can access all these roles every day.”
— Janet Murray

“Clearly, we need a new paradigm for the responsible use of power in our world.   Linda has translated the effective leadership qualities exhibited within the herds she’s observed over years of research and hands-on living and working with horses in both their natural environments and in human/horse relational situations to create guiding principles that have the potential to create sustainability in all areas of human endeavor:  the antithesis of the inefficient and destructive forms of power in the guise of leadership so prevalent in our culture today

— Jan Case Koerwitz

“An incredible experience! I learned to become aware of how I access my personal power, where I had blocks to that and how to shift into being able to use the right amount power for any given situation.

— Devin Graham

“A true visionary. Linda’s exhaustive research in the areas of social and emotional intelligence and the evolution of consciousness is necessary if humanity is to survive and thrive beyond the 21st Century. Her attention to the intrinsic need for systemic cultural, social, and emotional growth, informed by the wisdom of horses and the power of the herd, supports widespread, true and lasting change. With the real-life application of the tools she presents in her workshops, Linda gives each of us the ability to be the change we wish to see in the world, creating a ripple effect of limitless reach.”

— Halina Kowalski

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