Experiential Learning with Horses
and Nature


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Embodied Presence and Somatic Awareness:
Experiential Learning with Horses Program

March 24-27 and April 7-10, 2011
(both sessions required)



Jackie Stevenson MSSA LISW, EGE , EAHAE,
with James Kepner, PhD. and Denise Tervo PhD
and the Pebble Ledge Horse Herd.

Social work CEU's approved

Program Purpose

A professional development program for those interested in learning and experiencing embodied presence and somatic awareness in service of themselves and their clients.

Program Design

Partnering with horses and nature and drawing upon somatic theory and practice to explore Embodied Presence and Somatic Awareness through

  • Physical Presence
  • Mindful Thought
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Spiritual Resonance

Program Benefit to Participants

  • Build upon your capacity to access information from within and experience a fuller range of embodied intelligence and presence
  • Expand your ability to register subtle information from the environment
  • Learn to listen to non verbal embodied wisdom and communication
  • Enhance awareness of embodied presence and somatics to strengthen communication, empathy and intuition
  • Gain additional resources through embodied presence to support effective change
  • Expand awareness and skill in working with trauma and stress

The program is designed for coaches, educators and therapists to be more effective professionals in support of themselves and their our clients.

The Importance of Embodied Presence
and Somatic Awareness

We experience our reality through our somatic body-self. There exists a direct connection between embodied experience and sense of self. How we work, play, connect with others, love, discover and grow is directly related to our somatic experience.

Being and living as a somatic embodied self supports our being fully present, alive, productive and creative. Our somatic body is our history, present and future. Change and growth occurs when we discover and embody more of who we are.

Essential to the mastery of embodied presence and somatic awareness is the capacity to be in alignment with who we are, the values we embody and the actions we take in our personal and work life.

Why Should You Attend?

The professional competencies you will develop in embodied presence and somatic awareness can be applied in a variety of business, coaching, counseling and educational settings with broad range applications including working with individuals, families, groups, or organizations.

Professional Direction and Opportunity

Through specialized training in embodied presence and somatic awareness we will help to prepare you to facilitate a relationship between horse and person to support the individual, family, group, team or organization to expand its potential for learning, sustainable change and success.

This modality involves a collaborative effort between you--the facilitator, your horse partner--the guide and your client.

Clients can learn about themselves and their relationship to others by being in relationship to the horses, participating in activities with the horses and then by processing their own thoughts, feelings, behaviors and patterns. It is an experiential learning modality within the natural world.

Why Horses?

Horses respond to our behavioral patterns, providing us with honest and clear feedback about our current strengths and areas for improvement. They reflect back to us the congruity and incongruity between what we say and what we are actually are doing. Interactions with horses provides learning opportunities with immediate direct feedback relevant to skills critical to success in everyday life and work. Horses lead us into new insights and reveal to us new ways of interacting with others and ourselves.

Learning with Horses about embodied presence and somatic awareness

  • Challenges us mentally and physically and engages us emotionally
  • Offers personal insight and learning to manage life dilemmas and transitions
  • Increases our range of life choice in crisis and day to day decision making
  • Supports embodied awareness for changing behavioral patterns and enhancing emotional flexibility and creating healthy boundaries
  • Expands our capacity to be in good relationship with ourselves and with others

Horses change our lives. The relationship with horses challenges us to expand into our potential, to be authentic in our human relationships, to live a meaningful life and to contribute with choice to the well being of the world.


March 24-27 and April 7-10, 2011

Two 4 day Sessions

  • Thursday: 1:00 - 9:00, Friday & Saturday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sunday: 9:00 am - 3:00pm

*Prerequisite for those who have not taken the LEC, ELH
is an additional session March 24, 9:00 am-noon.

Each module will provide essential theories, practical skills, relevant techniques, self awareness opportunities and practice facilitation with horses and with people to develop your embodied presence and somatic awareness competencies for professional and personal discovery and development.

Module Content will include

  • Embodied sensation, empathy and communication
  • Somatic Awareness: body mind, emotion, spirit
  • Embodied structure and movement
  • Primary embodied patterns
  • Energy, resonance and intuition

The program provides real time, action oriented experience with hands on opportunities to apply what you learn and to receive immediate feedback from the trainers and the group participants, and, most directly from the herd of horses.

We will be working with a natural herd of six horses and a zebra.
The focus is on relationship not on riding or traditional horsemanship and the work takes place on the ground.

Program Fee for the two module program

  • $2, 000.00
  • $1,500.00 for LEC ELH graduates
  • some scholarships available

Application Process

Completed application form. A $200.00 non refundable deposit is requested with you application. An interview either by telephone or in person before acceptance to the program.


To be insured of a place in this training program:
Please make out your check to Jackie Stevenson
and mail your deposit of $200.00. Also include your name, email, phone, and reason for taking this course on a separate page. Mail to:

Jackie Stevenson
9796 Cedar Road
Novelty, Ohio 44072

Program Location

Pebble Ledge Ranch, Novelty, Ohio 44072
Overnight lodging available at the Ranch

For Registration and Information, Contact
Jackie Stevenson at jls82347@aol.com or 440-338-1752

Jackie Stevenson, MSSA LISW

Jackie is founder and CEO of Spirit of Leadership LLC providing coaching, training, seminars and retreat opportunites for corporations and not- for-profit organizations.

She works as a consultant, coach, therapist and educator. She is the is past Director of the Mandel Jewish Community Center of Cleveland and past Clinical Center Director of the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland. She teaches and lectures within the U.S. and in Turkey, Israel and Mexico. She is an adjunct professor at the Mandel School of Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University and on the faculty of the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland where she teaches Physical Process.

Jackie's professional practice includes Equine Guided Coaching and Experiential Learning and natural horsemanship methods. She is a pioneer in this work and has trained and collaborated in developing this cutting edge organizational development modality through out the United States and in Europe She works with individuals, groups and organizations. She is the founder of "Wolf Creek"; a wilderness based leadership and personal development training program for women. Over 100 women have participated in this year long training program exploring the teachings of nature and the power of personal presence and the what is possible when creating community.

Jackie is a Lake Erie College Entrepreneur in Residence and founder and Director of the Lake Erie College "Experiential Learning with Horses": Developing Human Potential for Positive Change professional development certificate program

James Kepner PhD

Jim Kepner Ph.D. (James Kepner) is a psychologist in private practice in Cleveland and on the professional staff of the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland. He works with individuals and groups, and who specializes in body approaches to therapy He is the author of the books Body Process: a Gestalt approach to working with the body in therapy and Healing Tasks: psychotherapy with adult survivors of childhood abuse. He teaches Gestalt Body Process Psychotherapy internationally.

Subtle energy practice, perception and theory lie at the heart of the emerging paradigm of energy medicine and Jim Kepner has a unique talent for making this otherwise esoteric realm clear and practical.

Denise Tervo, PhD

Denise is a psychologist in private practice in Pittsburgh, PA. She has worked with children, adults, and families in residential, school, hospital, and mental health settings for 28 years. She is a graduate of Violet Oaklander's Child and Adolescent Gestalt training program, and has co-chair of GIC's advanced training program, Working with Physical Process. She is the author of Physical Process with Children and Adolescents. She brings a unique knowledge to working with trauma held within embodied intelligence.

In her professional practice, she integrates physical process awareness and energy work.

Quotes from people in positions of leadership who have participated in Spirit of Leadership “Experiential Learning” coaching, retreats, seminars or training programs:

Working with a 2000 pound horse who questioned my every leadership direction gave me insight about my leadership ability and enhanced my skill to lead.

From the herd of horses I learned what it really means and feels like to be a team.

Maybe I need more time in the pasture and less time in the Board room to be aware of power more effective in my leadership.

Working with the horses I really began to understand how a misunderstood feeling, intention or direction can make the difference between failure and success with a horse or with a person.

The horse seemed to ask me again and again .”So who are you?”
It is the very question I have been afraid to ask myself.



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