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NL Member Spotlight: Jacque Transmeier

NL Member Spotlight: Jacque Transmeier

Each month, we take a moment to recognize one of our members who’s made an impact in our beloved community.

For this month’s Member Spotlight, we’re focusing on Jacque Transmeier, one of our  Fundamentals graduates who is also a trauma-informed coach and equine professional.

Learn more about Jacque’s journey, including her transformative experiences with Natural Lifemanship and how it has shaped her approach to horses and personal relationships.

Equine Roots

Jacque Transmeier’s journey with horses began long before she could walk. Born and raised in the heart of the equestrian world in the Midwest, Jacque’s childhood was filled with memories of her participating in local horse shows. By the age of three, she was already barrel racing, a testament to her lifelong connection with horses.

“Horses have been my life, my entire life,” Jacque said.

She immersed herself in the equestrian world by spending her summers with her aunt, working with horses until she was 15 years old. But during high school, Jacque chose to momentarily set aside her equine pursuits to focus on her studies and be able to go to William Woods University, where she eventually finished her four-year degree.

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Charting New Paths and Finding NL

After graduating from her studies, Jacque taught hunter/jumpers for 20 years when her instructor retired.  That was when she moved from Missouri to New York to work for one of the largest hunter/jumper barns in the country.

It was a deep personal loss that served as a catalyst for Jacque’s shift in focus. In 2022, Jacque endured the passing of her beloved mother, a pivotal moment that reshaped her perspective on life and her purpose. Fueled by a desire to honor her mother’s legacy and driven by an unwavering commitment to making a meaningful impact, Jacque redirected her passion toward helping veterans through equine assisted therapy and learning.

It was then that she first connected with Natural Lifemanship.

Jacque’s Insights about NL

We asked Jacque a few questions about her experience doing the Fundamentals and her insights on becoming an  NL annual member, and here are her responses.

What has changed since you took the Fundamentals Training?

“It, for sure, changed the way I see relationships. It’s made me kind of really process who I am and where I’ve been. The biggest thing for me has been relationships with my horses and other people.”

What do you love about being an NL Member?

“I think it goes beyond the membership because it’s like a family. It was truly amazing. I  reached out to Bettina and told her I was coming to NL Headquarters, and she welcomed me to the farm. They are the most genuine people, and it’s not that they just teach Natural Lifemanship. They live by it, breathe it, and set examples, which I think is one of the most important things that makes you want to try harder and do more.

And the other thing I really appreciate is I can go back and watch the videos whenever I want. I’ve watched every single one I could. Just because, you know, this will be the third time I’m going through the fundamentals videos, and I’m picking up something new every time. So the availability to just go back and watch it in our free will is just wonderful.

We’re so grateful to have Jacque as a member of the NL community. She is an integral member of our vibrant community and we love watching her grow.

If you are interested in joining our membership community, we would love to welcome you! Learn more at www.naturallifemanship.com/memberships.

 

 

 

NL Membership: A Constellation of Learning, Practice & Community

NL Membership: A Constellation of Learning, Practice & Community

Constellations are landmarks. They are a guide and a navigational tool. But they are not formed by going from Point A to Point B. 

You need at least three stars to form a constellation.

The same is true for your learning journey with Natural Lifemanship. 

We often think of a learning journey as one with mileposts that we use to figure out how far along we are relative to “the end” or finish line. 

At Natural Lifemanship, we invite you to think about your learning journey as one made up of constellations, not mileposts. It’s not about going from start to finish, but about uncovering clusters of meaning along the way.

Those clusters are made up of opportunities to learn, to  practice, and to grow in community. This is exactly why we created the Natural Lifemanship Membership many years ago. 

Build your constellation with NL Membership

Here are some ways we create constellations within NL Membership to move you toward your goals: 

Learning

Membership includes over 100 hours of videos and compilations, more than 45 CE credits currently available, and videos and courses being added regularly. Take a look at the content lineup below to see exactly what you’ll have access to as an NL Member!

Practicing

Free events for Members, plus discounts on select events to practice what you’re learning. This includes: 

Connecting

Connect with your peers and build a community of supportive colleagues through:

  • Our online community for members through Circle
  • Community Connection Circles
  • Coffee & Horses virtual meetups
  • Networking opportunities

 

This is just the beginning of what you get with NL Membership. We will be announcing new opportunities to connect and learn in person this year, too! 

 

Membership Content by Category

Here’s a look at Membership content by category, along with descriptions and CEs, where available.

NL BASICS

>13 hours of video; 9 CE credits available

Animal Welfare Issues are also Clinical Issues

Tim Jobe and Bettina Shultz-Jobe discuss how to recognize animal welfare issues, including those that lead to behavior issues and burnout. They share how a lack of awareness in this area can impact our clients.

1 Hour/0 CEs

Distance Doesn’t Have to Mean Disconnection

Learn about the foundational role that detachment (physical distance) plays in forming a secure attachment. Learn how we can help ourselves and others get the relational experiences we didn’t get during development.

1 Hour/1 CE

Doing Attachment-Based Work

Gain a concrete understanding of attachment-based work, why it is important, and why understanding attachment-based work is critical when doing telehealth or transitioning between in-person and telehealth sessions.

1 Hour/1 CE

Introduction to NL

Learn the history and big ideas of Natural Lifemanship, how Natural Lifemanship principles are applied in relationships with horses, and how the NL principles facilitate connection and healing.

1 Hour/0 CEs

Introduction to NL and Trauma Informed Care for Service Organizations

This course lays a foundation for shifting organizational culture to become more trauma informed. Learn trauma-informed principles for building connected relationships that help to heal and reorganize the brain.

4.5 Hours/4.5 CEs

Natural Lifemanship Trauma Informed Care for Parents and Caregivers

NL co-founders, Tim and Bettina Jobe, teach parents relationship principles that help children learn to self-regulate and build healthy relationships, and why these are important especially when parenting children who have experienced trauma.

2.25 Hours/0 CEs

Support or Rescue

Bettina Shultz-Jobe discusses the difference between offering support and rescuing in the context of the therapeutic relationship. She discusses why this matters from a neurobiological and attachment perspective.

1 Hour/0 CEs

Trauma Informed and Developmentally Sensitive Schools

Learn science-based principles for creating trauma-informed and developmentally sensitive classrooms and schools. NL relationship principles provide a framework for translating principles into effective practices.

2.25 Hours/2.25 CEs

Trauma Informed Care and Trauma Informed Relationships are for Everyone

The truth is that most of us have experienced some level of trauma. Trauma informed care (TIC) is about becoming empowered to organize or reorganize the brain by understanding how the brain and body develop.

1 Hours/0 CEs

When Two Cultures Collide

Tim and Bettina discuss belief systems and principles that have historically prevailed in the horse world creating cultures that may collide or that may coalesce to bring about health and healing for horse and human, alike.

1 Hours/0 CEs

CONNECTED HORSEMANSHIP

>25 hours of video

Catching Your Horse with Connection

Watch as Natural Lifemanship trainer, Tanner Jobe, demonstrates and explains how to catch and halter a horse with connection.

.25 Hours/0 CEs

Centering

Learn a process for becoming more present to yourself and others. Shannon Knapp demonstrates a process of centering as a way to get in touch with yourself prior to engaging with a horse.

.25 Hours/0 CEs

Connected Horsemanship Deep Dive Workshop

Learn how the process of building a connected relationship in Natural Lifemanship is guided by principles and by a particular responsiveness to THIS relationship, rather than by techniques uniformly applied to all relationships.

3 Hours/0 CEs

Determining if the Relationship is Ready for Riding

As the relationship between a client and horse progresses, the therapy team and the client may decide it’s the right time to explore connection while mounted; however, how do they know if the client’s horse is ready for this next stage of intimacy?

.25 Hours/0 CEs

Developing Felt Safety with Attachment and Detachment

In this video, Tanner works with a new horse named Lizzie and demonstrates how to ask for connection through attachment and detachment. The goal is for Lizzie to stay connected, even in more stressful or unfamiliar spaces.

1 Hour/0 CEs

Equine Essentials: Body Language, Posture, Expressions, and Movement

There are a lot of opinions in the field about what various horse behaviors and physical cues mean; but in any relationship, and especially those with our equine companions, understanding body language and behavior is actually very nuanced. With this course, you will gain skill and confidence in your interactions with horses. Learn the essentials to better understand, care for, and connect with horses. This series is ideal for all equine-assisted/facilitated practitioners and especially those who apply the Natural Lifemanship process. To offer this series, we partnered with horse trainer and riding instructor, Callie King.

1.5 Hours/0 CEs

Facebook Live Collection – Connected Horsemanship

Each video in this collection was originally shot and shared via Facebook Live. Observe the many nuances of building connection in each encounter between a particular human and a particular horse at a particular moment in time.

6 Hours/0 CEs

Haltering with Connection

How might we approach a routine task such as haltering as an opportunity to build connection in our relationship with our horse? Tanner demonstrates how he asks Oreo to be connected and to say “yes” to being haltered.

.5 Hours/0 CEs

Integrating Equine Bodywork in TF-EAP

Learn to apply NL principles while connecting with your horse through equine bodywork. Learn a simple technique to help your horse release tension and learn how the technique may be incorporated into work with clients using the NL process.

2 Hours/0 CEs

Learning about Connection with a Wild Horse

NL co-founder, Tim Jobe, demonstrates how he begins to work with a wild horse in ways that build connection. He discusses how he applies the NL principles throughout the process.

.5 Hours/0 CEs

Relationship Basics with Frieda

In this series of 19 videos, Tim and Bettina build a connected and cooperative partnership with their rescue horse, Frieda. Learn the nuances of the NL process through this series of demonstrations.

4 Hours/0 CEs

Tanner & Nina: Preparing for Mounting

Tanner builds his relationship with Nina starting with asking her to attach in the pasture to follow him into the covered arena. Once in the arena, they work on refining their attachment and detachment and positioning around the mounting block.

1.5 Hours/0 CEs

The Complexity of Touch

NL is a practice of restoring and repairing connection in our relationships whenever and however it is lost. Trust and intimacy are built through thousands of micro-repairs. Bettina and Tanner work on restoring connection around touch with Apollo.

3 Hours/0 CEs

The Process of Mounting at Liberty

Tanner works with Lady to help her become comfortable positioning her body around the mounting block. Through working on connection they build the trust and communication needed for mounting.

1.5 Hours/0 CEs

SPECIFIC POPULATIONS 

>12.5 hours of video; 12.5 CE Credits available

NL for Groups

NL Trainers, Sara Sherman of Discovery Horse and Reccia Jobe of Pecan Creek Ranch, teach and model just how easy and effective it can be to incorporate NL principles into a variety of group settings.

3.25 Hours/3 CEs

NL for Veterans and First Responders

This course includes content on how to apply NL principles to working with veterans and first responders. The presentations cover important skills for working with each population.

5.5 Hours/5.5 CEs

Telehealth with Children and Families when they have been doing EAP

How does one move an equine-assisted practice indoors, or even virtual via telehealth? Learn some helpful ways to transition to telehealth with clients who are accustomed to working outside with you and with horses.

1 Hour/1 CE

The Disease of Disconnection: Applying Natural Lifemanship Principles to the Treatment of Substance-Use Disorders

Addiction is a disease of Disconnection. Its symptoms: Isolation, Fear and Loneliness. This workshop introduces you to a trauma-informed understanding of addiction to reveal the underlying factors that create and perpetuate the addiction cycle.

3 Hours/3 CEs

THERAPEUTIC MODALITIES AND THEORETICAL ORIENTATION

>21.5 hours of video; 12 CE Credits available

Breathing Practices for Nervous System Awareness and Regulation

This practical and engaging two-part workshop explores how bringing awareness to our breath can help us better understand ourselves, and how we can use breath deliberately to support our wellbeing and navigate challenges.

2.5 Hours/2.5 CEs

Conversation with Bonnie Badenoch, Author of The Heart of Trauma

Bonnie Badenoch, PhD, LMFT is the best selling author of The Heart of Trauma. This rich conversation ventures deeply into the science of what it means to be a healing presence for others.

2 Hours/2 CEs

Finding Your Rhythm: Therapeutic Drumming

Enhance connection through rhythm while enriching therapeutic work with people and horses. Learn a specific healing protocol including exercises for wellness, connecting to the rhythm of the group, expressing feelings, and guided imagery.

1 Hour/0 CEs

Healing Attachment Wounds through Movement

Our attachment style and way of relating in the world is developed preverbally. As such, attachment wounding must be addressed somatically. Learn how connecting to the way an embryo moves and develops can help us sense into our bodies powerfully.

1 Hour/0 CEs

Introduction to Equine Connected EMDR (EC-EMDR)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an effective, extensively researched method for helping people recover from trauma. Learn how Trauma-Focused EAP supports and enhances EMDR in Equine-Connected EMDR (EC-EMDR).

3 Hours/3 CEs

Mindfulness Practices to Build Connection

NL Trainer, Shannon Knapp, presents on Mindfulness Practices to Build Connection. Following the presentation, a small group gathers at an experiential workshop to learn and experience how these practices may look in session with a horse.

2 Hours/0 CEs

Preparing the Horse and Client for (Mounted) Trauma Processing

Rhythmic Riding is utilized to build an internal sense of connection and a level of integration in the brain prior to processing traumatic events. Learn to prepare horse and client for this powerful work.

4 Hours/4 CEs

Processing Trauma with the Help of Horses

How do we process trauma in a connected way with a client who is deeply dysregulated, doesn’t desire or feel connection, isn’t ready to make requests for relationship, has deep attachment wounding, and who has experienced severe trauma?

2 Hours/0 CEs

Rainy Day Activities

Have you ever wondered what to do in your sessions on a rainy day or during the long winter months?  Learn how one can still do Natural Lifemanship when circumstances prevent partnering with horses.

4 Hours/4 CEs

Rhythmic Riding Demonstration

This video demonstrates how mounted work may facilitate regulation of the brain, integration, and modulation of the stress response. Completion of the Fundamentals of NL training is recommended prior to watching.

1 Hour/0 CEs

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP) is a trauma and attachment therapy model that focuses on the body to connect with and process traumatic material. Learn foundational tenets of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, founded by Pat Ogden.

1 Hour/0 CEs

Somatic Experiencing, Attachment and Touch

Learn how Somatic Experiencing®, Attachment and Touch interweave in trauma treatment involving humans and equines. Includes presentation and experiential workshop.

2.25 Hours/0 CEs

Tapping into Peace: Percussive Tapping Techniques for Self-Regulation and Soothing

Learn the origins of EFT and the ways it can be effective in helping our bodies regulate around physical and emotional stress. The presenters show the tapping points involved in the technique and lead the audience through EFT.

1.5 Hours/0 CEs

The Journey into Self-Leadership: Integrating the Internal Family Systems Model with EAS

This presentation by Jenn Pagone, LCPC provides a fundamental understanding of the IFS model and how it may be effectively integrated with an equine-assisted practice informed by Natural Lifemanship.

4.5 Hours/4.5 CEs

BUSINESS, ETHICS, AND THE FIELD AT LARGE/WEBINARS 

>17 hours of video; 4 CE Credits available

Animal Welfare Issues are also Clinical Issues

Tim Jobe and Bettina Shultz-Jobe discuss how to recognize animal welfare issues, including those that lead to behavior issues and burnout. They share how a lack of awareness in this area can impact our clients.

1 Hour/0 CEs

Business Building 101

Building a business in equine-assisted services can be daunting. Let industry experts, Shannon Knapp and Bettina Shultz-Jobe be your guides! Learn about the multiple considerations that can make or break an EAS business.

3 Hours/3 CEs

Ethical Dilemmas Specific to the Field of Equine Assisted Practice and Psychotherapy

This webinar discusses the many ethical dilemmas specific to Equine Assisted Services. It is critical for practitioners to embrace strong ethical values and guidelines as they navigate the inevitable complications that arise.

1 Hour/1 CEs

Research, Program Evaluation & Documentation: A Collection of Resources

This compilation provides information and resources related to research, program evaluation, and documentation in equine-assisted services, particularly services informed by the Natural Lifemanship.

7 Hours/0 CEs

Support or Rescue

Bettina Shultz-Jobe discusses the difference between offering support and rescuing in the context of the therapeutic relationship. She discusses why this matters from a neurobiological and attachment perspective.

1 Hour/0 CEs

Take Your EA Practice to the Next Level with PonyTracker

Learn about PonyTracker: a web-based tool to help business owners of equine-assisted services stay organized with barn management, therapeutic client management, rider/student tracking, and scheduling.

1 Hour/0 CEs

The Top 5 Things Every Equine Assisted Practice Needs to Know for Business Success

Shannon Knapp and Bettina Shultz-Jobe are passionate about helping equine-assisted practitioners build businesses across the country and throughout the world. They discuss the top 5 things you need to know to be successful in this field.

1 Hour/0 CEs

Transforming Trauma: Resiliency and Healing through our Connections with Animals

Philip Tedeschi reviews some of the important ways that animals are being incorporated into clinical responses to trauma highlighting findings discussed in his book, including the neurobiological mechanisms of change in AAI.

1.5 Hours/0 CEs

Trauma Informed Care and Trauma Informed Relationships are for Everyone

The truth is that most of us have experienced some level of trauma. Trauma informed care (TIC) is about becoming empowered to organize or reorganize the brain by understanding how the brain and body develop.

1 Hour/0 CEs

DAILY HEALING PRACTICES, PERSONAL GROWTH, AND OTHER

>13 hours of video; 8 CE Credits available

A Journey from Parts to Self

This guided meditation led by Jenn Pagone is aimed to assist you in identifying any activated parts that are calling for your attention, and to help you attune to your body to build resiliency and increase resources.

.5 Hours/0 CEs

Breathing Practices for Nervous System Awareness and Regulation

This practical and engaging two-part workshop explores how bringing awareness to our breath can help us better understand ourselves, and how we can use breath deliberately to support our wellbeing and navigate challenges.

2.5 Hours/2.5 CEs

Building an Internal Safe Place

Learn a practice to support you in moments of acute stress and routinely throughout the day. Using psychodrama, Kate Naylor guides us as we explore and draw upon our own internal resources for strength, soothing, and support.

.5 Hours/0 CEs

Chakra Balancing

Chakra balancing is based on the ancient Indian belief in a series of seven chakras, or energy centers. Chakra balancing is believed to promote health and resilience by maximizing the flow of energy in the body. Led by Michelle Holling-Brooks.

.5 Hours/0 CEs

Connecting to Nature through Music

Experience bottom-up regulation as we connect to the elements of air, earth, water, and fire through music. Led by Mary Oliver.

.5 Hours/0 CEs

Orientation: Moving into Presence

Meeting with novelty or threats in the environment, our bodies normally react with a stress response, preventing us from being fully present. Orienting and re-orienting through our senses increases the comfort we experience in our bodies and spaces.

.5 Hours/0 CEs

Spiritual Memoir: Where a Life Meets Mystery

Memoir becomes spiritual with intention. Writing spiritual memoir, we look for holiness within the details of our personal stories, opening ourselves to transformation in the process. Presented by Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew.

1 Hour/0 CEs

Become a Natural Lifemanship Member Today!

Do you want access to all of this amazing content, opportunities to practice and a welcoming community of fellow practitioners and healers? Become an NL Member today. We are waiting for you!

NL Team Member Spotlight: Laura McFarland

NL Team Member Spotlight: Laura McFarland

“I still have no idea how we convinced Laura to come work for NL over 8 years ago!  She is absolutely brilliant, can do just about anything, and has challenged me in many ways both personally and professionally.  Customer service is of utmost importance to her – she has gone to bat for our students and customers in powerful ways, and is always seeking to improve the customer journey with NL.  Laura has also been a much needed support on my faith journey in profound and life-changing ways.  She was instrumental in the development of the NL for Spiritual Connection training – a training I am so proud for NL to offer to our community.  I simply cannot imagine NL or my life without her.”  

– Bettina Shultz-Jobe, NL Co-Founder and CEO

Each month we take a moment to recognize someone who’s made a profound impact on our beloved community. In the past, we’ve featured some incredible NL members,

but we’re excited to introduce you to our first team member spotlight, featuring  our Chief Operating Officer, Laura McFarland

Laura is a passionate and dedicated leader with an extraordinary journey intertwined with Natural Lifemanship. For over eight years, Laura has been an integral part of the NL Team, fostering healing and connection through our trainings and membership community.

Learn more about Laura’s journey with Natural Lifemanship and the remarkable way NL has become an extended family to her. 

A Fateful Encounter

Laura met Tim and Bettina back in August 2010. At that time, Laura was midway through a doctoral program in Special Education at the University of Texas at Austin. She had taken a course in the School of Social Work and that course opened her eyes to community-based programs targeting at-risk youth and delinquents. This sparked a desire in her to make a tangible impact in her community.

Since childhood, Laura has always loved horses, and her admiration for equine-assisted psychotherapy was kindled by a family friend who incorporated horses into her therapeutic work. Driven by curiosity and a desire to contribute, she set out to volunteer at a local community-based organization offering Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP).

Laura ended up connecting with Spirit Reins in Liberty Hill, Texas, and started working with them during the summer of 2010. In August of that same year, she met Tim and Bettina when they came to Spirit Reins to do their first training together as a married couple.

Laura was so deeply moved by her training experience that she continued volunteering with Spirit Reins while also doing some writing with Tim and Bettina as she finished her studies. That is where her journey with NL began and she was officially hired as part of the NL Team in 2015.

The Rewards and Challenges of NL

For Laura, working with and for Natural Lifemanship is incredibly rewarding, and also challenging. She considers the NL Team as an extended family and the biggest reward in her work is being a part of our community. She really treasures the relationships she has formed through her work with NL. According to Laura: 

“I love each of my fellow team members, our amazing trainers, our awesome community, and the many connections I’ve made through our organization. Professionally, I find it very rewarding to witness the healing and transformation that our students experience as they journey and grow with us.” 

Laura also added that, as with any endeavor characterized by profound intentionality and care, it’s inevitable to face some challenges. The NL team is constantly evaluating and reevaluating their practices and working on improving their methods. This ongoing process, particularly in the realm of creating effective and meaningful online learning experiences, presents inherent challenges.

Nonetheless, these challenges are met head-on, and NL remains committed to its mission and to the team that supports it. For Laura, the sense of fulfillment that comes from being part of a community that promotes healing, transformation, and connection is immeasurable.

Laura’s Insights about NL

We asked Laura a few questions about Natural Lifemanship and her insights about it as part of NL Team. Here’s what she had to say. 

NL: What do you wish everyone in our industry knew about Natural Lifemanship?

Laura: “One thing I wish everyone in our industry knew about NL is that what we teach, model, and aim to achieve is a way of being in the world, and that this way of being is cultivated each and every day through our relationships. We are journeying together to promote healing, transformation, and connection in ourselves and others. That’s why I love our new tagline, walk with us – because we are all walking, as well!”

NL: What are you looking forward to as a member of the team?

Laura: “Right now I’m looking forward to our conference! By the time anyone is reading this, it will probably have already occurred. I love our conferences because I love our community and because most of the time I am working at a desk. Our team puts A LOT of energy and love into planning and preparing for these events and it is so rewarding to experience what happens when our community arrives and we spend a few days together. It feeds my soul!”

NL: If you were going to give advice to anyone who hasn’t heard of NL to tell them why NL is so useful and meaningful, what would you tell them?

Laura: “That’s a great question. It depends who is asking and what they’re looking for. If someone is already working in the field of Equines Assisted Services, I definitely recommend checking us out because what defines EAS is relationship (the partnering of horses and humans). For folks who are not in the EAS field, these principles are relevant to them as well. We work a lot with teachers and others who never incorporate horses into their work. We offer a whole new perspective and lens for understanding the human relationships we each experience in our professional and our personal lives. Really, I think we’re relevant to just about anyone! But I’m not biased :)“

Our team is stronger, more capable and more fun because Laura is an integral part of it. We would not be able to do what we do without her leadership, love and expertise. Thank you, Laura, for all that you do!

If you are interested in joining our membership community, we would love to welcome you! Learn more at  www.naturallifemanship.com/memberships

NL Member Spotlight: Sue McKinney

NL Member Spotlight: Sue McKinney

Every month, we take a moment to recognize one of our members who’s made an impact in our beloved community. This month, we are excited to feature Sue McKinney, Founder, President, Program Director, and lead Equine Professional at Barnabas Horse Foundation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Sue has been a model Natural Lifemanship member since she completed her Fundamentals training in 2014. Her passion and love for supporting people in their healing through Equine Assisted Psychotherapy can be seen in all the amazing work she does at Barnabas.

Learn more about Sue’s relationship with Natural Lifemanship and her journey growing Barnabas Horse Foundation into what it is today.

A Love From The Very Beginning

Sue started riding horses as a young girl and immediately formed strong connections with the animals around her. Even when she was growing up, her time riding was more than just a hobby.

“The barn was my safe place – a sanctuary,” Sue said.

This feeling of having a place that fosters safety and love, despite whatever else may be going on in the outside world, is something that’s stuck with her throughout her career.

Fueled by her early passion for horses, Sue went to school for horse farm management. Even though her love for horses never faded, she wouldn’t put her degree to use until later in life.

After seeing one of her own horses help a struggling family member, Sue had a realization that she wanted to help others with equines as partners.

The Beginning of Barnabas

Barnabas started out as an organization to support children who’ve survived abuse, using Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. Sue started the foundation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and began helping kids in 2013.

Due to the organization’s immediate popularity within the area, Barnabas was approached by local crisis centers wanting to bring their clients into the program and expanded to serve all ages.

In the early years of the organization, Barnabas was run by hard working volunteers who shared a passion for healing through horses. After its success with trauma recovery for survivors of abuse, the state of South Carolina awarded Barnabas a Victim Advocacy Grant, making it the only alternative therapy organization to be funded by the state.

Barnabas was recently awarded its eighth grant and is able to employ three full time employees and a part time staff member. They now have over 150 booked sessions per month and also do work with first responders and veterans.

“The process never fails to leave me in awe,” Sue said.

Finding NL

Sue found Natural Lifemanship – or NL found her –  while she was attending a trauma informed conference at a friend’s farm. Our co-founder, Tim Jobe, happened to be speaking that night and his words deeply resonated with her.

Sue looked up NL following the conference and was fascinated by our mission and the neurobiology data that could back up all the training.

“Science is finally catching up to what us horse girls have known all along,” Sue said.

She signed up for the Fundamentals of Natural Lifemanship training in 2014 and has been heavily involved with NL ever since. Her favorite training is Relationship Logic and Sue has completed it six times at The Wild Horse Sanctuary! She even ended up adopting three mustangs while at the program.

Sue’s Time with NL

We asked Sue a few questions about her time with Natural Lifemanship. She had some insightful responses for members or people who are considering membership.

How would you feel your membership with NL has evolved over the years?

“NL has changed quite a bit. Now, there’s so much information easily available. It seems that Bettina always has a webinar that is covering exactly what I’m curious about.

The other amazing evolution is how easy it is to schedule a consultation with a trainer. If I’m stuck on a problem with one of the horses, I can just send them a video and the trainers will analyze the problem and help me fix it.”

Has NL opened any doors for you?

“Natural Lifemanship gives us a LOT of credibility for grants. It shows that we are trained in trauma work and know what we’re doing. I know it means a lot to the people that award us grants that we continue to do the ongoing training that NL offers.”

Has it connected you to other practitioners?

“I’ve met the best people through NL. We all have a common bond of wanting to help horses and people. I feel like they’re my extended family.”

Has your access to NL improved your work with clients?

It’s invaluable. I’ve learned more through NL than I have anyone else. They’ve given me the tools that I need to coach my clients and help them reach the next level of their healing journey.”

What advice would you give to someone considering NL membership?

“Don’t dip your toes, just dive in full force. NL has all the tools you will need to move forward in your life and for your clients. It’s a great way of life, and I think it’s the best way of life. I really am so grateful for NL.”

We’re so grateful to have Sue as a member of the NL community. She serves as an unbelievable role model to all those around her and we’re excited to see her and Barnabas continue to grow.

If you are interested in joining our membership community, we would love to welcome you! Learn more at www.naturallifemanship.com/memberships.

 

 

 

NL Member Spotlight: Larry McDaniel

NL Member Spotlight: Larry McDaniel

Each month we take a moment to recognize one of our members who’s made an impact in our beloved community.

For this month’s Member Spotlight, we’re focusing on Larry McDaniel, MSW, LCSW, who is the founder and former CEO of Coyote Hill Children’s Home. Larry is a valuable member of our community and uses the Natural Lifemanship approach to assist in his therapy and equine programs.

Learn more about Larry’s career in providing children with secure homes and his journey with Natural Lifemanship.

Keeping Kids Safe

Aware of a serious need for foster homes in Missouri that nurture a loving and safe environment, Larry and his late wife Cathy founded Coyote Hill in 1991. The organization started by caring for one child in a single home and quickly grew from there.

They now have a campus on 300 beautiful acres in central Missouri, called The Hill, that features six large foster family homes and a duplex. This is where they host their Equine Program.

Children are twice as likely to live with their siblings at The Hill compared to traditional foster homes and the organization boasts a 98 percent retention rate with foster families.

Coyote Hill has offices throughout Missouri in Columbia, Jefferson City, Moberly, and Hannibal. They’ve licensed over 200 foster homes in the last three years and provided safe homes to over 1,000 children.

Larry stepped down as the CEO of Coyote Hill a couple of years ago to focus more on the Equine Program.

Finding NL

Larry found Natural Lifemanship while researching ways to improve his Equine Program at Coyote Hill. He had previously trained with other EAP organizations but felt the need for something more.

He found friends and a community from his very first NL training, but it took time to fully embrace the Natural Lifemanship approach. Being used to traditional programs and techniques, while also possessing a task-oriented personality, Larry had difficulty getting into a rhythm early on.

“The NL approach isn’t about techniques, it’s about connection. I didn’t think I signed up for that, but in the end, it turned out to be the right thing,” Larry said.

It’s very common and natural for NL practitioners to face difficulty and uncertainty at some point in their NL journey. We are asking you to think very differently about your work and the way you engage with clients, horses and yourself. Larry knew if he stuck with it, he’d find tremendous value.

By letting go of his expectations of a traditional approach, Larry was able to thrive as a Natural Lifemanship practitioner. He’d ended up taking the Wild Horse Sanctuary – Relationship Logic Immersion training, which is still his favorite NL training to this day.

“I loved everything about it … the camaraderie, the camping, the mustangs, the hosts, the fireside chats, the cowboy poetry, and especially the food prepared at the campsite,” Larry said. “When I think of this training, it always brings a smile to my face.”

Since joining Natural Lifemanship, Larry has been proactive about sending other staff and therapists to the trainings he learned the most from. He’s seen a big difference in the way the children in his care are now able to embrace the concepts of trust, safety, and healthy relationships through their friendship with horses.

Larry’s Advice: Keep Going

Larry did not fit in at his initial NL trainings, to the point where he considered quitting in the middle of one training. He struggled with group activities and forming deep, personal connections with others.

Despite his early struggles, he kept at it and pursued an NL certification.  He also contributed to an NL blog post in 2020 titled We Need So Much more than Words.   His persistence was rewarded when he found Tim Jobe as a consultant for his certification journey. They formed a deep friendship and Tim was a great entry point into the NL way as someone who had personal experience working with youth in the foster care system.

While Larry still wouldn’t describe real connection as something that comes naturally to him, he’s recognized that he’s grown immensely in that area through NL’s trainings.

“I have learned that I can grow in the area of appreciating and actually pursuing meaningful connection to others and horses, and have found that connection to be valuable and something that has improved my work with others, and also improved my life in general,” he said. “Don’t beat yourself up because you are task-oriented or mission-minded. People like you built this world. But I believe the people who are best at managing it going forward, are those who understand the importance of sincere connection without agenda or expectation. It is a valuable skill to learn and grow in, and NL is a wonderful place to do that.”

We’re so proud of all Larry has accomplished and grateful to have him as a valued member of our NL community. We look forward to seeing him continue to impact the lives of those in his own community.

 

 

 

NL Member Spotlight: Cathy Champ

NL Member Spotlight: Cathy Champ

We have an exciting new monthly feature, our Member Spotlight, where we take a moment to recognize one of our members who’s made an impact in our beloved community.

This month we’re focusing on Cathy Champ, MA, LPC-S, LSOTP. Cathy is an incredible Natural Lifemanship Member and a longtime leader in our community of healers and helpers.

Learn more about Cathy’s background as a Licensed Professional Counselor and her vision for helping those struggling to improve their relationships with themselves and others.

Where Cathy got her start

During her 30-year career, Cathy Champ has counseled at elementary and middle schools, with justice-involved populations and at-risk youth, and worked as the Clinical Director of the Denton County Children’s Advocacy Center.

Inspired by her experiences with these organizations and schools, she opened up two counseling practices to further her lifelong passion for helping those in need. It was through this new chapter in her career that she was introduced to Natural Lifemanship and our principles.

A love for animals becomes a new career path

Her journey with Natural Lifemanship began the same way it does for most of our community members, with a deep love of people and animals.

For over a decade Cathy volunteered at the Denton Animal Shelter, and in 2011 she was named Volunteer of the Year for her commitment to protecting animals and fostering everything from dogs to bunnies.

This commitment, along with her desire to heal others led her to develop a curiosity in equine-assisted therapy.

Embarking on a new chapter with NL

Like many NL members, Cathay went to her first NL training knowing very little about horses but with a determination to take in everything. She was discouraged at first, given how much there is to learn about equine-assisted therapy, but she could see the healing power of the principles and how important it was to carry on. Pretty soon, things started to click. She formed a deep and lasting connection with the practice. At this point, she has experienced just about every training Natural Lifemanship offers.

Because of her work with Natural Lifemanship, Cathy has built a tremendous skill set and a thriving practice.

“I have confidence as a therapist as I lend my regulated nervous system and am present with my clients. I have so many tools to help them from the bottom of their brain stem up to their neocortex,” she said. “I have incorporated rhythm and walking EMDR and even a little mounted work. I work with clients in partnership with the animals or with nature and always with God.”

Cathy’s dedication to helping animals and her desire to connect with nature, two common characteristics many NL members share, led her and her husband to purchase a farm and open up Rockhill Counseling in Texas.

Opening up any business can be overwhelming. But fortunately for Cathy, she used the NL principles as a guide to navigate building up the foundation of her new counseling practice.

“Relationships mean everything,” she said. “We started building relationships with people and animals who could partner with us and who we would be a blessing to as well. We wanted all the workers, counselors, and animal partners to feel at home and to thrive here as well as help us create an amazing place for our clients to experience healing and to deepen their relationships with themselves and with others.”

Cathy’s counseling practice now includes six counselors, five horses, goats, chickens peacocks, miniature donkeys, a llama, and an alpaca. A diverse team to say the least!

Learning now and forever

Cathy continues to learn the NL way through webinars, online training, and in-person training. She’s grateful for the principles that guide her interactions with her clients, her husband, and even the little turtles in her pond. And we are grateful for her dedication to the principles of NL and our community.

Thank you, Cathy, for being such an active member and a leader within NL!