You may have heard of the Natural Lifemanship Connection Kits and you may be wondering what, exactly, they are, what purpose they serve, and for whom.
We created the Connection Kits to fill a need in our community of equine-assisted practitioners – a need that emerged again and again during the course of consultations. As is often the case with useful tools, our Connection Kits have been discovered by many folks outside of the EAS community as well, including school counselors, therapists who work in a more traditional setting, and even clients!
Built with a purpose
Our co-founder, Bettina Shultz-Jobe, found herself describing the ways she incorporates rhythm to build regulation and relationship within and between humans and horses during sessions. She would refer to various tools she would use for that purpose as well as concrete activities, and she would always explain the science that supports the activities and, in fact, everything we do in NL.
She came to realize that one of the biggest ways that we could support our community is by packaging these tools and resources into ready-made kits accompanied by instructional courses that explain how and why we use the tools to promote regulation, healing, growth, and connection for our clients and our horses, whether we are working inside or outdoors.
So, we created the kits! We incorporated our knowledge of science, healthy brain development, and the power of the horse-human relationship with easy-to-use tools that help organize, integrate, and regulate the brain and body and build deeper connections. We call these tools, the Natural Lifemanship Connection Kits – Tools Designed to Enhance Your Equine-Assisted Practice.
These kits provide you with the same tools our expert professionals use at Natural Lifemanship, and hours of guided education including video demonstrations with our beloved horses, to ensure the tools are used safely and effectively. Most tools can be used in a traditional office setting, outside in nature, and with or without horses.
Who uses the Connection Kits? How do I know if they are for me?
If you can answer “yes” to any of the following questions, then the Connection Kits are for you!
- A professional who provides equine-assisted services?
- A parent of school-aged children?
- A teacher?
- A mental health professional?
- A helping professional who works with people who have experienced trauma?
- Someone who works with youth?
- Someone who works with seniors?
- Interested in learning how to regulate your own nervous system and how to help others regulate theirs?
- Interested in understanding the science behind the techniques?
- Appreciate having tools and concrete activities ready and available to use when working with others?
- Appreciate the convenience of video instruction so you can learn on your own schedule?
- Value the ability to earn CE credits (from NBCC)?
- Know somebody who fits any of the descriptions listed here and want to give them an absolutely amazing, one-of-a-kind holiday gift – the kind of gift that keeps on giving?
If this sounds familiar, then NL’s Connection Kits are for you.
Which Kit is Right for Me?
Really, each kit has something unique to offer. It may be helpful to hear a little about how some of our customers have used the kits and for what purposes.
Essential Connection Kit
The Essential Connection Kits are the most inclusive, containing many different tools and activities to regulate each region of the brain and to promote connection. This kit comes with 16 hours of instructional videos delivered in a course that offers 11.5 CE Credits.
The Essential Connection Kit is transportable, too! It comes neatly organized and packaged in a tote that you can take with you and use in an office, a school, and even outside.
This kit has been most popular with the equine-assisted practitioners (both therapists and coaches) who use our model. It has also been very popular with school counselors. We’ve had several districts buy one for each of their counselors to use with their students. Some counselors have also shared their kits and their knowledge of how to use them with the teachers at their schools. One school counselor reported that she has used the kit for her therapy groups at school, teaching regulation skills throughout the year.
The Essential Connection Kit activities can fit very easily into a Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) program if teachers and counselors choose to use it this way, as it promotes knowledge and skills related to how the brain works and bottom-up regulation.
Drum Connection Kit
The Drum Connection Kit comes with a Remo Bahia Buffalo Drum and nearly 5 hours of video instruction (and 4.5 CE credits) demonstrating ways to incorporate drumming to regulate the brain.
If all you want is the drum, we encourage you to head on over to Remo to purchase it. However, if you want the drum AND the online course with CE credits, you’ll want to buy it from us. Lots of folks have purchased this kit, including equine professionals and coaches. If you want to incorporate drumming into your work, the NL Drum Connection Kit makes it super simple.
Rhythm Bell Connection Kit
The Rhythm Bell Connection Kit is, surprisingly, the number one kit that is purchased by clients because they love them so much.
When therapists and other practitioners use the Rhythm Bells in sessions, clients fall in love with them because they are such a great regulation tool. They also really help people come into connection. For this reason, we’ve used them a lot in mounted work and have created multiple ways that these handcrafted bells can attach to the client’s clothing and the horse’s mane or saddle.
Another surprising fact is how many of our therapists like to use the bells in an office setting. We even have one client who wears these while walking during telehealth sessions. The Rhythm Bell course offers 2.5 CE credits.
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Connection Kit
Finally, the Do-It-Yourself Connection Kit is also a great option, especially if you already have a collection of tools similar to the ones we package. The DIY Connection Kit gives you ALL of the downloadable instructions and resources you need to build your own Essential Kit. It includes the course and all the videos. It also includes the Drum Connection Kit course. It does not include any of the physical items that are demonstrated, but it gives you the information you need to purchase your own.
Because it includes both the Essential and the Drum Kit courses, the DIY Kit offers a total of 16 CE credits. It also is available to NL Members at a very steep discount.
How much do our customers love these kits? We’ll let them tell you in their own words.
The drum kit absolutely drives home the concept of bottom up regulation. After this course, I feel like I can confidently take these activities into my work with clients. Thank you!
– Ashley M Stavig
I love using the drum and bell kits with clients who have trauma. These are fundamental tools that give clients a ‘language’ (sound, movement) that makes sense of their world. These tools help me see, without the pressure of words, the client’s trauma. Essential for trauma work!!
– Jan Stump, MSW PEACE Ranch
I was able to understand the science behind the tools in each box [of the Essential Connection Kit]. I was able to see how to practically use the tools in a therapeutic setting.
– Christi Lundby, LPC-S, LCDC
Practicing walking with the bell and riding with the bell on me and my horse gave me an understanding of how my body is responding that is beyond anything I have ever felt before. It is not the regulation that was most important; it is the integration. Amazing.
– Marilee Donovan Dual Certified in NL
The Drum Connection Kit Course was both educational and fun. It was not only full of pertinent information, but it was easy to follow with demonstrations that I can use right away in my program. I loved learning how the progression of activities using the drum achieved full brain engagement. It was easy to follow and fun to watch.
– Claudia Alesi, Certified Equine Assisted Coach
It [essential connection kits] was all valuable. I appreciated the raccoon circle because I have a family that is struggling and I believe this will help show how important it is to connect and work together.
– Anonymous Customer
I have been a therapist for over ten years. Natural Lifemanship is the best therapeutic model that I have integrated into my practice. NL has provided me with the science and practical instruction to immediately improve my skills as a therapist with an equine partner or without. A sound principle is a sound principle resonates with me in all client/therapist relationships.
– Christi Lundby, LPC-S, LCDC
I do not generally respond to music and drumming is sometimes annoying, so I was not prepared to be amazed by the benefits of the bells. I wear a bell each morning when I go to turn the horses out and often I wear a bell when cleaning the barn and feeding. It is a mindfulness practice above all others. I had to work initially to have a rhythm but once found it is comforting and rewarding. Riding my horse with the bells generates another level of connection and we have a great connection already. Now when the horses hear me coming with the bell on they often come up and touch the bell on my clothing to say good morning. I would recommend this to any NL professional to deepen their own understanding of their body and of connection and integration.
– Marilee Donovan, Dual Certified in NL
I loved everything about the [Essential Connection Kit] course, very helpful and that it’s not just for psychologists but for teachers, parents, foster parents, equine professionals, etc.
– Anonymous Customer
Natural Lifemanship never ceases to amaze me with their dedication to incorporating both the art and science of connection, and the way this leads to healing and growth!
– Melissa McMullen, LSW, Equine Therapist at One Heart Stables with the Christian Children’s Home of Ohio
I am just beginning to learn about Natural Lifemanship, so everything [in the Essential Connection Kit] was valuable to me. It was very educational. I really love the demonstrations. They are easy to follow and I can’t wait to use them in my program.
– Claudia Alesi, Certified Equine Assisted Coach
We LOVE our Connection Kits and are so delighted that our community loves them, too. We love hearing about the creative ways people are putting these kits to use, and of course how they are working out.
If you already own a Connection Kit, please join our Connection Kit forum in our community so you can share ideas and resources with other Connection Kit owners.
Have questions about the Connection Kits? Leave them below and our team will get back with you.