True Freedom

Eponaquest starts off the new year with a brand new workshop. True Freedom is a four-day seminar especially for women who want to reclaim power, authenticity and creativity from multi-generational family and social institutions that marginalize feminine wisdom and perspectives. This equine-facilitated experiential workshop, held February 8 to 11, is led by two respected authors and clinicians: Eponaquest Worldwide founder Linda Kohanov, author of The Tao of Equus: A Woman’s Journey of Healing and Transformation through the Way of the Horse and other books on the healing potential of the horse-human bond. And Dr. Valerie Rein, author of Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Inner Barrier to Women’s Happiness and Fulfillment. For workshop details, click here. For more background on the history and philosophy behind this program, see Linda’s and Valerie’s insights below.

Notes from Linda Kohanov:

To write my books and step into an innovative leadership role with Eponaquest Worldwide, I had to work through limiting cultural messages and difficult experiences in my 20s, 30s and 40s. I truly thought I had done a decent job of reclaiming my power—until I turned 60 a few years ago. Suddenly, I encountered a new set of aggressive voices, initially regarding the worth of older women but clearly rooted in patterns more ancient and disturbing than my personal biography.

When I read Dr. Valerie’s book, I began to look back at my lineage and realized there were some rather extreme unresolved issues in my family. My paternal grandmother, for instance, was treated like a slave in her own home. Her opinions and aspirations were never considered. In fact, she wasn’t even allowed to sit down at the dinner table with her own husband and sons! She had to stand by and serve them until they finished, and then she got to eat the leftovers alone before cleaning up kitchen. This archaic dynamic affected my parents’ relationship and bled over into my first marriage in ways that I never fully addressed consciously. Therapy helped me to leave that demoralizing partnership for sure. But I glossed over some deeper issues when I entered my current 34-year marriage to Steve Roach. From the start, our relationship was so much more loving, creative, and mutually supportive than my mother and grandmother could have ever dreamed of, but there were still hidden elements of unproductive patriarchal behavior patterns in both my husband and me that built up over the years, and really became apparent as we began to reach elder status.

I was so grateful to unearth these patterns in the context of Dr. Valerie’s Patriarchy Stress Disorder model. She works constructively and compassionately with ancestral patterns that devalue and oppress the feminine. Her approach is enlightening and empowering, without shaming women or men. This was very important to me because I could see from my own father’s dramatic life struggles that he was also oppressed, (and I truly mean physically and emotionally abused), by a cruel father who personified an emphasis on patriarchal patterns of thought and behavior.

With all this in mind, I’m pleased to co-create this new workshop with Val and introduce her profound work to others. In addition to her own highly original research and innovations, she is also an Eponaquest instructor who fully understands how horses can help people become more physically, emotionally, and spiritually balanced. While we will offer similar workshops that include men in the future, we decided to start with a special seminar for women. But it’s important to know that this is not a male bashing endeavor. Rather it is a chance to do our own personal work as women to become strong and centered enough to help steer families, communities, and the culture at large to a new chapter of human development that values mutually respectful partnerships between men and women, supporting everyone’s unique talents, challenges, and authentic calling in life.

Notes from Dr. Valerie Rein

Freedom has been my quest for as long as I can remember. It has brought me to a career in psychology – so I could discover my inner barriers to freedom and take them down, and of course help others do the same.

As a seeker yourself, you might have already discovered a few barriers to your true freedom: Self-doubt, the imposter syndrome, the inner critic, worries, thoughts that bring you down, challenges with connection, intimacy, boundaries… etc. But what’s at the root of these barriers? Here, again, you might have discovered a few culprits. Challenging childhood experiences, the messages you received from your parents, teachers, and society at large, situations that caused you to hide parts of yourself to protect them from hurt.

After decades of digging for the roots to heal – in therapy and personal growth work – two major discoveries created quantum leaps into freedom for me.

First, that so many of our inner barriers to freedom didn’t start with us, but come from the intergenerational patterns that are genetically passed down to us – as research in epigenetics has shown. This discovery has led me and my husband Jeffrey Tambor to co-develop the Thriving Method® – a comprehensive approach to healing these intergenerational imprints along with other roots of the human barriers to true freedom. It is also foundational to my book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Inner Barrier to Women’s Happiness and Fulfillment.

The second discovery was that I could learn more about myself in 10 minutes through non-riding experiences with a horse than in years of therapy. Stepping into the work that Linda has pioneered – first as a student and then as an instructor – has redefined what’s possible yet again. Turns out that bringing together the Thriving Method® with the Eponaquest® approach is a powerful way to both reveal and heal the roots of the barriers to true freedom. We’re so excited to bring to you our breakthrough collaboration in a workshop where we’ll be sharing the innovative work emerging from these two powerful sources, the workshop that we’re calling True Freedom: Partnering with Horses to Restore our Authenticity and Heal the Multigenerational Imprints of Patriarchy.

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To access details on this workshop and register, click here. (This workshop is limited to eight people. There were three spots open as of January 15.) For more information, you can also contact us at or 520-455-5908.

For those who cannot attend an on-site workshop, Linda Kohanov has a series of professionally produced, self-paced online courses that allow you to gain personal and professional skills that anyone can benefit from. You can take 20 percent off any or all of her courses at where you can see descriptions of what you’ll learn in each course. Use the coupon code “20freedom” at check out to receive the discount. 

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