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Running an Equine Assisted Services Business is Hard

But it is absolutely possible, and we will support you every step of the way.

Generic business advice just doesn’t work

Running an Equine Assisted Services (EAS) business is very different from running any other kind of business.

Many people who start an EAS business struggle to make it—many giving up within less than two years—because they follow general business building advice that doesn’t take our unique field, our clients, and our equine partners into consideration.

Building an EAS business can be frustrating, time consuming and expensive

The Business Building Master Class is a 15-week course that was designed to shorten the learning curve and provide practical guidance you can put to use right away.

Not only will you learn the principles and methods that work in the EAS field, you’ll also learn from some of our field’s most successful business owners who have run thriving, sustainable practices for years.

Business Building Master Class

A collaboration between Natural Lifemanship & Horse Sense of the Carolinas.

Through this 15-week course, you’ll learn what works, from two successful EAS business owners who have maintained their own businesses for over two decades and helped many equine-assisted practitioners build businesses across the country and throughout the world.

Shannon Knapp of Horse Sense of the Carolinas and Bettina Shultz-Jobe of Natural Lifemanship will guide you step-by-step through the business building process, from developing your vision and mission, to completing and implementing a detailed business plan.

How It Works

The Business Building Master Class is broken into four sections: Ground Work, Elevate, face-to-face office hours and individualized consults with your instructors, and interviews with a variety of successful and sustainable EAS programs.

You can take the full Business Building Master Class or only take Ground Work (the first 6 weeks of video content and resources).

Ground Work

Lessons in weeks 1-6 are what we call Ground Work. Whether you know nothing about business and are hoping to book your very first client, or already have an existing practice that you want to grow, these lessons will help you lay a sturdy foundation.

  • Week 1: Vision, Mission, Capacity, Demand, Terminology, and Scope of Practice
  • Week 2: Non vs. For-Profit Business Structures
  • Week 3: Safety, Liability Insurance and Risk Management
  • Week 4: Income
  • Week 5: Expenses
  • Week 6: Human Resources

These lessons are pre-recorded and online.  When Ground Work is purchased alone it and can be taken anytime. You’ll get access to all six weeks worth of lessons when you sign up for Ground Work, and have access for one year or for the life of your NL Membership.

View Full Descriptions of Each Week

Elevate

Lessons in weeks 7-15 are dedicated to helping you Elevate your business. This is where you learn how to take a business that’s just getting by and turn it into a thriving, sustainable practice.

  • Week 7: Grants and Grant Writing
  • Week 8: Contracts, Proposals, and MOU’s; Policies and Procedures; More on Business Structures
  • Week 9: Documentation and Clinical Notes
  • Week 10: Assessments
  • Week 11: Ethics, Scope of Practice, and Business Planning
  • Week 12: More on Income and Risk Management
  • Week 13: More on Human Resources
  • Week 14: Generating Clients & Raising Awareness (Fundraising, Marketing, Demonstrations, and more)
  • Week 15: Getting started with clients

The Business Building Master Class includes all lessons and resources in Ground Work and Elevate and is semi self-paced. All lessons are pre-recorded, online, and taught in a cohort setting so that you can interact in an online community with other business owners and LIVE with your instructors during office hours and individualized consult calls.

Our next cohort begins on May 20, 2024 and runs through August 30, 2024. Registration for the Business Building Master Class (Weeks 1-15) is only open until May 20th.

View Full Descriptions of Each Week

Meet Your Guides

Bettina Shultz-Jobe, MA, LPC

Bettina and her husband, Tim Jobe, founded Natural Lifemanship in 2010 and together have over 55 years of experience partnering people and horses to bring about healing, growth, and transformation for horse and human alike.

Bettina is passionate about discovering and utilizing the horse’s full potential for helping humans and teaching and empowering others to do the same. She considers it an honor to partner people with horses in a way that fosters the deep connection needed for growth and true healing to occur. Her passion and mission to do evidence-based practice with the help of horses has contributed to an approach in which the relationship with the whole horse supports adults and children as they heal from various forms of trauma, abuse, or neglect.

She believes we all have an ethical obligation to our clients, our communities, and our horses to become business building experts, and is so excited to partner with you on your business building adventure!

  • Over 20 years effectively treating traumatized populations through EAP and complementary therapeutic modalities
  • Trained in expressive and experiential therapies, play therapy, neuro-biofeedback, the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics, TF-CBT, somatic movement, and EMDR
  • Formerly PATH and EAGALA certified
  • In 2004 conducted a seminal EAP research project
  • Published chapters in numerous EAS books and curricula

Shannon Knapp, MA, NLC-EP

Shannon is founder and president of Horse Sense of the Carolinas, Inc., an internationally-recognized leader in the field of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning, Heart of Horse Sense, a nonprofit supporting EAP/L programs in Western North Carolina, and Trailblazers Uncensored, dedicated to supporting professionals in the field.

Shannon has worked with and taught horses and people for over 30 years. After 10 years teaching in college, she left academia and began working with abused & neglected horses. She began pairing “rescued” horses with people in 2001, and Horse Sense was formed soon after. She and her husband Richard continue to work with horses through horse rescue organizations, local humane societies, and law enforcement.

  • Published author of many books and curricula in the field of EAP/EAL, including More Than a Mirror: Horses, Humans and Therapeutic Practices and Horse Sense Business Sense: Practical Tools for Building a Successful Equine Assisted Program
  • Trained in expressive and experiential therapies, play therapy, neuro-biofeedback, the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics, TF-CBT, somatic movement, and EMDR
  • Natural Lifemanship trainer
  • EAGALA Advanced and EAGALA Military Individual designation
  • Associate Faculty for Prescott College’s Equine Assisted Learning Masters Concentration program and also for Warren Wilson College.

Register Now

Choose the Path that is Best for You

Ground Work

 

N

6 Weeks of Ground Work Lessons

N

8.5 total hours of video content + resources

N

100% Self-Paced (Course available for one year or for the life of your NL Membership)

N

$25 off 2 business consultations with Shannon, Bettina, or any other NL trainer ($50 value)

$349

Business Building Master Class

N

6 Weeks of Ground Work Lessons and 9 Weeks of Elevate Lessons (15 weeks total)

N

Over 35 total hours of video content + resources

N

Semi-self paced, cohort-based course (Course available for one year or for the life of your NL Membership)

N

3 Office Hours zoom calls to discuss what you’re learning

N

1 consultation with Bettina Shultz-Jobe ($175 value)

N

1 consultation with Shannon Knapp ($175 value)

N

$25 off 2 additional business consultations with Shannon, Bettina, or any other NL trainer ($50 value)

$1,199

After you register you will be sent an email with information about how to book your consultation calls.

Are you an NL Member? Purchase the course when you are logged into the site for a 10% discount to automatically be applied at checkout.

Are you a Trailblazer Member? Contact Shannon Knapp for a 10% discount code!

Not sure which option to choose?

Ground Work only

Ground Work is best for those who are in the beginning stages of starting a business and want a completely self-paced option. The course is all recorded and available 24/7, so you can take it on a timeline that works well for you and get support when you need it through optional, add-on consultation calls with Bettina Shultz-Jobe and Shannon Knapp (at a discounted rate). The course will be available to you for one year or for the life of your NL Membership.

Ground Work is also a great option for those who want to get started on the Business Building Master Class when registration is closed. If you want to take the entire Business Building Master Class, but registration is closed, you can sign up for Ground Work, get the first several lessons done and be ready to jump right into the Business Building Master Class when registration opens again. (We will give you a coupon code so you can deduct what you paid for Ground Work when you register for the full Master Class)

FULL Business Building Master Class 

A few times a year, we offer the full Business Building Master Class, which includes Ground Work lessons as well as Elevate lessons and resources. The full 35 hour course is cohort-based and conducted in a group learning environment.

When you take the full Master Class, you not only get your business foundation set up correctly, but also learn how to build and grow a more profitable and sustainable business. The full course also includes individualized consultations with Bettina and Shannon and live office hours to discuss what you are learning and ask questions.

The full course is offered a few times a year. We are currently accepting registrations through May 20, 2024. This cohort will run from May 20 – August 30, 2024.

FAQ

Who is this course for?

The Business Building Master Class is for YOU! Whether you are already an EAS professional who is looking to scale your business, an expert in the EAS field who is ready to start your own business, or new to the EAS field and are in the very beginning steps of your journey, we will help you get to where you want to go.

What’s the difference between Ground Work and Elevate?

Ground Work includes the first 6 weeks of lessons and is the foundation for everything that comes after it. It’s useful whether you’re brand new in business or you’ve been in business for years.

Elevate includes lessons in weeks 7-15 that will help you scale and grow. This section of the course gets into topics that are designed to help you find ease in building a business and make it as successful as can be.

The Business Building Master Class includes Ground Work and Elevate. You can take the full Master Class or only take Ground Work.

Should I take Ground Work alone? Or the full Business Building Master Class?

The answer to this question really depends on your goals. If your goal is to understand the foundational business principles, Ground Work may be all you need. However, if your business is your primary source of income and it’s essential that you have the skills and guidance to be successful, you’ll need the full course, which includes both Ground Work + Elevate.

The full course is also taught in a cohort setting so that you can interact in an online community with other business owners and face-to-face with Shannon and Bettina during office hours and personalized consult consult calls.

Why should I take this class NOW?

The short answer is the sooner you take this course, the sooner you’ll be running a sustainable EAS business so you can continue to bring this healing work to your community. If you love providing services to clients, but struggle to run the business side of things, this course will help you gain knowledge and skills you need as a business owner.

Why should I start my own business?

There is incredible value in having your own business, so that you can work with clients using the methods you believe work best. But you may not have thought about the possibilities when it comes to building your own brand – one that attracts clients who are seeking your specific expertise and talents. 

When it comes to your own business, the possibilities are endless. And we can help you get there.

Business planning and building does not have to be a lonely and overwhelming process.

Let us help you build, network, and plan a future centered around your passion to join others’ on their healing path.

Lesson Plan

Each week you will complete homework assignments enabling you to develop your business as we progress.

When you take the full Master Class (Ground Work + Elevate) you will also receive one individual consultation with each instructor (a total of two consultation calls) to talk about your business and get personalized guidance and three office hours to discuss what you are learning with Shannon, Bettina, and others in your learning cohort.

Ground Work

Week 1: Vision, Mission, Capacity, Demand, Terminology, and Scope of Practice
  • A great plan begins with a vision. How do you envision your business?
  • What is your purpose and what needs do you fill in your community?
  • How can you meet the demand and make the greatest impact?
  • How do you describe what you do and best utilize your skill set to serve your community?
Week 2: Non vs. For-Profit Business Structures
  • Learn the most important considerations for each business structure.
  • Choose the best legal entity for your business.
  • And many more business planning essentials.
Week 3: Safety, Liability Insurance and Risk Management
  • How do you ensure safety and manage risk?
  • What kinds of protection do you need for your business, your clients, your staff, and your facility?
  • Where do you find good insurance and how can you reduce costs?
Week 4: Income
  • Revenue streams are the lifeblood of your business; how do you design them?
  • Income sources and budgeting
  • Accounting basics: Profit and Loss and Balance Sheets
  • Health Insurance Billing: Pros and cons of accepting health insurance for services, CPT codes, etc.
  • Navigating Financial Challenges: Funding the Gap
Week 5: Expenses
  • We’ll discuss all things expenses. Not the fun part, but so important!
  • We will review sample fixed and variable expenses, in detail.
  • Understanding the true cost of Equine Assisted Services.
  • Understanding splits and revenue distribution.
Week 6: Human Resources
  • What are the laws and how do they affect your business?
  • Individual contracts versus employees
  • Managing volunteers (including law related to volunteers)
  • Onboarding processes
  • Clear expectations and job descriptions

Elevate

Week 7: Grants and Grant Writing
  • What are the core components of almost all grant applications and requests for proposals (RFPs)?
  • Research and data collection for grants
  • Public and private grants
  • Fiscal sponsorship
  • Grant writing checklists and templates
  • Go through grant examples written by Horse Sense line by line
  • Learn how to write grants your organization can live with AND that get accepted.
Week 8: Contracts, Proposals, and MOU’s; Policies and Procedures; More on Business Structures
  • Building combination for-profit and non-profit business structures
  • How to avoid private inurement
  • Learn what policies and procedures you need to have in place for your organization specific to this field, for employee management, and further risk management.
  • Learn the difference between contracts, proposals, and MOU’s; learn how to write them, what to include, and all other considerations!
  • We will review sample contracts and proposals, line by line, highlighting what NOT to overlook.
Week 9: Documentation and Clinical Notes
  • What do you need to know about writing good clinical notes/professional documentation?
  • How can your notes help you meet goals for program evaluation, research, and grant or contract requirements?
  • Documentation in TI-EAL
Week 10: Assessments
  • Taking Control of Your Narrative: Assessment and Documentation in Your TF-EAP Program with Rebecca Hubbard
  • What’s Your Compass: How Research and Program Evaluation Help Your Program Reach Its Goals with Rebecca Hubbard and Laura McFarland
Week 11: Ethics, Scope of Practice, and Business Planning
  • What are your ethical guidelines?
  • What are the ethical challenges specific to this field?
  • What is an “ethics support system” and why do you need one?
  • Writing a Business Plan
  • Strategic Planning
Week 12: More on Income and Risk Management
  • Passive and semi-passive income
  • Affordability: Scholarship fund versus sliding scale
  • Navigating challenges and ethical concerns of waitlists
  • How to cut costs once we have the appropriate liability insurance
Week 13: More on Human Resources
  • Recent HR restructure of Horse Sense of the Carolinas and why
  • A Welcoming Practice: Creating a Space and Place for Clients, Equines, and Providers to Thrive with Beverly Walsh
Week 14: Generating Clients & Raising Awareness (Fundraising, Marketing, Demonstrations, and more)
  • 4 Ps: Product, Price, Promotion, Placement
  • What key programs do you need to have in place?
  • How do you assess your market, and create a marketing strategy?
  • Fundraising, events and planned giving
  • What essential marketing collateral do you need?
  • What to do/not to do in demonstrations.
  • Stepping into this field with Shiloh Broadway
  • Good Marketing is Helpful with Jules Taggart
  • Course includes many examples of marketing collateral that you can edit and make your own.
  • Analytics, social, landing pages, and emails
  • What about when people ask you for research?
Week 15: Getting started with clients
  • EAS paperwork
  • Onboarding clients
  • Transitioning out of services

Bonus Content

Interviews with Successful and Sustainable EAS Programs

Kathleen Choe with Kathleen Choe Counseling

Reccia Jobe and Rebecca Hubbard with Pecan Creek Ranch

Sara Sherman with Discovery Horse

Beverly Walsh with Brookside Ranch

Michelle Holling-Brooks with Unbridled Change

Michael Remole with Gateway Family Services

Jenn Pagone with Equid Nexus

Say Goodbye to the Guessing Game

Our Business Building Masterclass is designed to take the guesswork out of building a successful, fulfilling and profitable EAS business. Let’s do this—together.