Day 1 Workshops – 2019 NL Conference

Day 1 Workshops – 2019 NL Conference

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Day One (Thursday, October 17)

Natural Lifemanship for Groups

Applying NL to group work is the Number 1 most requested topic for further learning among NL trainees and members. NL Trainers Sara Sherman of Discovery Horse and Reccia Jobe of Pecan Creek Ranch will show you just how easy and effective it can be to incorporate NL principles into a variety of group settings. Whether you have a group of 3 or 100, have 0 or 100 equines, have a small office or an enormous pasture to work in, Sara and Reccia can help you learn how to incorporate NL principles into any kind of group work. This is for anyone who wants to utilize NL in groups in any setting with or without equines. This workshop will include discussion, examples, and of course, experiential work with horses to help you solidify your learning.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will practice three self regulation strategies to assist in effectively facilitating a group experience.
  2. Participants will identify three examples of integrating NL principals into a group experience – with and without horses.
  3. Participants will recognize one opportunity for growth that addresses personal challenges that may interfere with facilitating an effective group experience.


Reccia Jobe, MBA, NLC-EP, Life Coach
Owner of Pecan Creek Ranch
Natural Lifemanship Trainer

Sara Sherman, BA; EGCM; NLC-P,EP
Owner of Discovery Horse
Natural Lifemanship Trainer

Rainy Day Activities: Trauma informed experiential activities for building connection when horses are not an option


Jennifer Steinmetz

Cindy Hatchell

NL with Veterans

The basics of trauma are the same, and yet working with Veterans and Active Military can be very different than working with other populations. In this workshop, Natural Lifemanship trainers Shannon Knapp, Founder of Horse Sense of the Carolinas, and Cindy Skelton-Hodge, Founder of Windows To My Soul, will share the journey and development of their different military programs.  

They will discuss the many different types of Military programs and explore the benefits and distinctions of TI-EAL and TF-EAP offerings. With NL principals as the guide, they will discuss individual session flow and group development strategies. Participants will learn the importance of program cultural expertise, and where and how to develop that expertise. Finally, they will examine the nuances and art of outreach, community development, and community support.

The goal of this workshop is to provide participants with the information that allows them to determine their ability and qualifications to provide an effective military program, along with tools and guidance to bridge the gaps.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify types of programs possible for working with veterans and particular uses of each
  2. Articulate strategies for connecting with the Veteran community
  3. Identify testing instruments for working with PTSD for use with your clients


Shannon Knapp, MA, NLC-EP
Founder of Horse Sense of the Carolinas
Natural Lifemanship Trainer

Cindy Skelton-Hodge, NLC-EP
Founder of Windows To My Soul
Natural Lifemanship Trainer

Attachment as a Somatic Experience

Applying Somatic Experiencing and Polyvagal Theory in Trauma-Focused Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (TF-EAP) and Trauma Informed Equine Assisted Learning (TI-EAL)

The process of building relationships can bring us up against the edge of our window of tolerance. Stress arousal and traumatic activation can arise during arrivals and departures, as well as when having to increase our energy when making requests or setting boundaries. A number of things can affect our effectiveness and capacity for attuned connection, including developmental or shock trauma, shame, unresolved charge associated with past incomplete self-protective responses, over-coupled fear or judgment associated with intensity, or patterns of appeasement, dissociation or collapse.

This training will review key theory, principles and frameworks drawn from Somatic Experiencing (Dr. Peter Levine), polyvagal theory (Dr. Stephen Porges), and attachment theory, and how these can be applied in the context of TF-EAP and TI-EAL.  Group exercises, demonstrations and practice rounds will allow participants to explore how to bring in a polyvagal lens when tracking nervous system states in humans and horses, and develop skills for working with somatic aspects that arise in sessions.


Sarah Schlote, MA, RP, CCC, SEP
Owner of EQUUSOMA™

Bettina Shultz-Jobe, MA, NCC, LPC
Co-Founder of Natural Lifemanship