Meet the Herd

Sarah Schlote, MA, RP, CCC, SEP

RCP_0674 smallerSarah is a Registered Psychotherapist, Canadian Certified Counsellor and Somatic Experiencing™ Practitioner, with a master of arts in Counselling Psychology from the University of Victoria in British Columbia. The founder of EquuSpirit and the founder and clinical director of The Refuge: Centre for Healing and Recovery in Guelph, ON, she is certified with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association and an approved general training assistant through the Somatic Experiencing™ Trauma Institute in Boulder, CO at all levels (beginning through advanced). Her 15 years of experience in Ontario and BC include working as a trauma specialist in private practice, as well as in the areas of mental health and addictions, relationships, sexual abuse and partner violence, peri-natal / pre-verbal and early attachment trauma, shock trauma, stress and anxiety, dissociation, healthy aggression and boundaries work. She is passionate about educating people on how to understand trauma, mental health and addictions work from a neurobiological, body-oriented, attachment and self-regulation perspective and especially about introducing people to the healing power of horses and nature.

Involved in the field of animal-assisted interventions since 2003, her master’s thesis focused on the state of the field of animal-and equine-based therapies in Canada and she was actively involved in the development of standards of practice at the national level until 2011. She has completed 3 weeks of training in Integrative Equine-Facilitated Wellness through Generation Farms in Nanaimo, BC, and actively pursues natural horsemanship training with her own horse.

Private Session Co-Facilitators

We look forward to introducing you to the horses at the various facilities where EquuSpirit programs are offered. Each horse has its own unique history, personality, nervous system patterns, behaviours, preferences, and gifts. In your private sessions at one of the farms, you’ll get to know a number of different horses. Some of them include:

Brando – 5 year old Paint x Percheron gelding


Morag – 12 year old Paint mare

MoragMoragMoragBrando and Morag

Navajo – 12 year old buckskin Paint x Quarter Horse gelding

NavajoNavajoNavajoNavajo and friend

Nike – 8 year old Quarter Horse x Welsh Cob x Paint gelding

NikeNikeNike and Navajo

Posti – 5 year old Paso Fino mare

PostiPostiPostiBrando and Posti

Conte – 14 year old Paso Fino mare


Workshop Co-Facilitators

Rounding out the herd are other human co-facilitators whom Sarah collaborates with to offer workshops and retreats. These include:

Victoria Poe, BEd, MSW, RSW

Recognizing the power of horses to help heal and educate beyond riding, Tori began her journey in the field of equine-facilitated learning and equine-facilitated counselling, creating her business, 2 Lead Change. As a lifelong learner, she completed a Master of Social Work specializing in holistic healing practices. She works part-time at Seneca College with the Therapeutic Recreation Degree program. Currently, she is studying Somatic Experiencing®, a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders. She has co-facilitated the FEEL (Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning) Certification Program at Horse Spirit Connections since 2008, and has learned from Linda Kohanov and other Eponaquest instructors, Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling, EAGALA, CanTRA, and the Equine Guided Education Association. She is inspired by the teachings of many herds of horses, especially her own horse Querica.

Kathryn Giffen, MA, JD
Kathryn Giffen is the founder of OZ Farm, home to a herd of Paso Finos who take part in group workshops. Her lifelong passion for horses and inspiring change have led her to pursue training in the FEEL method of equine-facilitated experiential learning.