Frequently Asked Questions

As the original pioneers of trauma-informed equine-assisted practice and horsemanship, we understand that the field is still developing and that you may have questions.

What is Polyvagal Theory?

In essence, it is the science of the importance of a felt sense of safety for all mammals, including humans. Dr. Stephen Porges’ extensive research on the vagus nerve is at the core of Polyvagal Theory.

Why does Polyvagal Equine Institute utilize horses?

Horses rely heavily on detecting and responding to cues of safety. A horse’s ability to respond quickly to a perceived threat and then return to a calm state is an important teachable skill in a world of anxiety and stress. [Learn more]

Do I have to have a horse?

Absolutely not! We can provide a series of videos encapsulating interactions between horse and humans and horse to horse. These videos are valuable teaching tools to utilize in office-based therapy, even without actual horses being present. Contact us to learn more.

Is Polyvagal Equine Institute for professionals only?

No! We have developed a track for non-professionals looking to enhance their skills and quality of life by learning these valuable lessons from interacting with horses. However, we do believe that trauma treatment warrants a higher level of training, and in most cases, a team approach between horse professional and licensed therapist or highly qualified coach. [Learn more]

What populations benefit from Polyvagal Equine Institute's work?

We believe that anyone can better learn to approach life’s challenges with a regulated nervous system. However, we have found a variety of populations that can highly benefit from Polyvagal Equine Institute’s training: law enforcement officers (LEO), judicial officers, mental health workers, teachers, parents, and trauma survivors. [Learn more]

How will Polyvagal Equine Institute change the world?

A regulated world is a compassionate world. Flexibility is a key ingredient to compassion. By learning flexibility, we believe we can learn to achieve a better balance between compassion, curiosity, and burnout. [Learn more]

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