ECP Certification

Equine Co-Facilitated Psychotherapy Certification Program

Equine therapy is a hallmark of the program at Equine Journeys. In an effort to set a new standard of excellence and measure proficiency in the field of equine co-facilitated psychotherapy, we recently developed a certification program that allows participants to achieve three different levels of proficiency in equine psychotherapy: basic, proficient, and advanced.

At the basic level, candidates must display an ability to work around horses with the same type of competency we expect of our students. Participants must earn a certain number of hours of riding time, practice group facilitation skills, and demonstrate an understanding of basic horse and human psychology.

At the proficient level, candidates must log 100 hours of riding time, begin to train horses using Carolyn Resnick’s seven Waterhole Rituals, and demonstrate proficiency in conducting equine-assisted psychotherapy activities with students. Advanced certification candidates will be able to train a horse from start to finish, demonstrating complete proficiency as a horse trainer and therapist.

With the development of the equine therapy certification program, the equine approach is being fully utilized and even further integrated into every aspect of treatment at Equine Journeys. The certification program also ensures that our therapists and equine professionals are thoroughly cross-trained. Therapists who are already skilled in psychotherapy are becoming proficient in equine work, while equine staff members who are already skilled in working with horses are receiving intensive therapeutic training.

As staff members complete the two years of intensive study required to reach the second level of certification, they will have attained an unmatched level of competency that better serves our families and the profession at large. Having an Equine Journeys equine certification is a well-recognized symbol of how much we are committed to the field of equine therapy.

Requirements for each level of ECP certification are listed below:

ECP Basic

  • One day orientation training
  • Complete saddle module and earn saddle
  • Read Carolyn Resnick’s Naked Liberty and submit outline
  • Read Cherry Hill’s Thinking Like A Horse
  • View Waterhole Ritual DVD
  • 25 Hours of Logged Riding Time
  • Conduct 10 Different ECL (Equine Co-facilitated Learning) Ground Exercises. Two must be videotaped
  • 40 Hours of Equine/Therapy Combo Training
    • 10 hours of basic ground work skills
    • 10 hours group journaling discussion/clinical supervision
    • 10 hours group facilitation observation
    • 10 hours herd behavior observation with journal entries
  • One Week of Journaling Ranch Feeding or Sprinkler Chores (minimum of 5 sessions)
  • Complete Yalom Group Work Series
  • Demonstrate Proficiency in the 20 Basic Ground Exercise Skills
  • Successfully Pass the Comprehensive Written ECP Basic Exam
  • Successfully Pass the Comprehensive Ground ECP Exam
  • Two-day Comprehensive Training and Certification

ECP Proficient

  • 1 Week Orientation Training
  • Read Mark Rashid’s book, Passive Leadership
  • Complete Trail Rider Module
  • Complete Horse Packing Module
  • 100 Logged Hours of Riding
  • 2 Day Equine Solo
  • Be Lead Staff on an Overnight Horse Packing Trip
  • Design, Defend and Present 1 Ground and 1 Riding Activity
  • Hold ECP-B for Minimum of 6 Months
  • Conduct Waterhole Rituals 1 – 7 with Assigned Horse
  • 20 Hours of Horse Training Clinics or Self Study (outline)
  • Conduct 20 ECP Sessions – 10 Individual and 10 Group
  • 75 Hours of Group Work
    • 25 hours as facilitator in process groups
    • 25 hours as facilitator in psycho-educational groups
    • 25 hours as observer in process groups
  • Basic Equine First Aid Training
  • 1 Week Comprehensive Training and Certification

ECP Advanced

  • 1 Week Orientation Training
  • Must Possess or be Actively Pursuing a LSAC or Other Clinical License
  • 700 Logged Hours of Saddle Time
  • 3 Day Equine Solo
  • Design, Defend and Present 2 Additional Ground and Riding Activities
  • Hold ECP-P for 1 Year
  • Complete Horse Trainer Module Using an Untrained Horse
  • 20 Hours of Horse Training Clinics or Self Study (outline)
  • 5 Hours Assisting a Farrier
  • Conduct 30 ECP Sessions – 15 Individual and 15 Group
  • Design, Complete, Present and Defend a basic A/B Research Project
  • Two-day Comprehensive Training and Certification

ECP Annual Recertification

  • Actively Working to Upgrade ECP Level or:
  • 20 Hours of CEU in Equine/Therapy and
  • 10 hours of Horse Clinic and
  • Employed in ECP Facility and Actively Performing ECP Work

Individual interested in obtaining ECP certification can contact the Equine Journeys Director of Ranch Operations, Chad Lyman by e-mail at