Next wave of the EHS Professional Training Program starts in:

Equine Hanna Somatics®

2-Year Professional Training & Practitioner Certification Program

Sponsored by the Novato Institute for Somatic Research and Training since 2006

Taught by Eleanor Criswell Ed.D (Creator of EHS) and Alissa Mayer BSc(Equine) EHSE-C

As a Certified EHSE, you'll go way beyond the basic session we teach in our intro instructional video, learning all 8 proprietary EHS Protocols designed to resolve specific somatic issues, movement dysfunctions and restrictions in the whole horse, and understand the neuroscience behind the method.

THE Module I: April 29-May 3, 2024 TRAINING HAS BEEN FILLED!

Please join the waitlist below to be notified for enrollment of the next Module 1 training cohort.

*Module 2/3 students, your registration materials have been moved to the online portal.

Log-in or click here to register for the May 20-24, 2024 training.

As a Certified EHSE, you'll go way beyond the basic session we teach in our intro instructional video, learning all 8 proprietary EHS Protocols designed to resolve specific somatic issues, movement dysfunctions and restrictions in the whole horse, and understand the neuroscience behind the method.

The Equine Hanna Somatics® Professional Training Program is for you if:

  • You own a horse and want to be able to take a more active role in helping your horse feel amazing, stay sound, and connect with them on a deeper, nervous-system level.

  • You already work with horses professionally and want to add this unique and proven method to your professional skill set to help your clients get better results faster and results that last longer than anything else.

  • You want to start a brand new career helping horses and are looking for a cutting-edge, gentle and science-based technique to be the foundation of your equine business.

"The best course I have taken in my equine career."

- Ilse Kemp, LS Equine Therapy - UK

Learn the Complete EHS System that isn't Taught Anywhere Else

Know just how to help each horse when you've learned all 8 proprietary EHS Protocols and how to tailor the right protocol for each individual horse - in this program we go WAY beyond the simplified first protocol we taught you in our EHS Session 1 instructional video.

Understand and Explain the Neuroscience of WHY and HOW EHS Actually Works

There is nothing quite like KNOWING your session is going to help a horse, and feeling confident that you can easily explain the WHY to the horse's owner, farrier, trainer or vet.

Get More Clients & Command Higher Fees as a C-EHSE

The added credibility of EHSE Certification and being listed in our practitioner directory makes it much easier to book new clients and to be found online by potential clients looking for a qualified practitioner or equine 'bodyworker.'

Join a Supportive Community of EHS Colleagues

Having peers to bounce ideas around with and a professional organization supporting and promoting your work and referring local clients to you is priceless - you'll feel more empowered to change the horse-world as part of something bigger, part of the Somatic Revolution!

EHS Professional Training Program DETAILS

Module I: April 29-May 3, 2024

Module II/III: May 20-24, 2024

To become a Certified Equine Hanna Somatics Educator (C.EHSE) you must complete all 3 Modules of the Professional Training Program plus an individual assessment. Each module builds on the last and is made up of online group trainings (mostly live sessions via Zoom) with some pre-recorded lessons.

The live 5-day Modules are taught concurrently once per year in May,

from 9am-4:30pm Pacific Time (you must attend LIVE). Each Module includes (35 hours) of instruction, plus independent study and case work. The rest of the year between modules is dedicated to honing your hands-on skills with several different horses.

Tuition for each module is $1000 (sliding scale $750-$1000 is available for enthusiastic students with a financial need, and can be requested via email after your application and $200 refundable deposit are submitted).

You may only enroll in one module per year - there is no accelerated pathway, because while we can teach you the science, somatic techniques and proprietary EHS protocols - it is the actual doing of the work with many different horses, and the horses themselves, that will teach you the Feel and how to embody the information.

You can begin your journey anytime by beginning to work with the introductory EHS protocol we teach in our instructional video called Equine Hanna Somatics® Session 1 (designed for horse owners).

EHS was developed by Dr. Eleanor Criswell Hanna Ed.D in 1995. Learn Equine Hanna Somatics® directly from the source!

Eleanor Criswell Hanna Ed.D - Director of the Novato Institute for Somatic Research and Training, the creator of Equine Hanna Somatics®, Canine Hanna Somatics® and Somatic Yoga and the co-creator of Hanna Somatic Education (aka Clinical Somatics).

The human-horse relationship is by nature somatic: It is the integration of two minds and two bodies, the mind and body of the rider and the mind and body of the horse.

As prey animals, horses are frequently startled from birth on: it is a survival mechanism. As the muscles contract, horses move or run. Some of the muscles are stretched; the stretch reflex is triggered and the muscles are re-contracted. Horses become more and more chronically contracted.

Over time, horses, like humans, develop characteristic postures,
movements, and behaviors. They also develop pain, discomfort and restricted movement.

Based on thousands of somatic sessions with humans and a study of horse anatomy and kinesiology, (in 1995) I developed a basic protocol for working with the major equine muscle groups, and this is what we teach you in our instructional video Equine Hanna Somatics - Session 1.

In the Equine Hanna Somatics Professional Training Program, you’ll learn all 8 detailed EHS Protocols designed to target and resolve specific somatic issues, movement dysfunctions and restrictions in the whole horse, from the head, face, neck and thoracic limbs to the barrel and hindquarters, and more.

Alissa Mayer BSc(Equine) EHSE-C is a Certified Equine Hanna Somatics® Educator, the founder of the Association for EHS Education, the creator of the Feel-Embodied™ System and A Somatic Approach to Horsemanship™ and the co-instructor of the EHS Professional Training Program.

When I discovered the power of Equine Hanna Somatics® and began studying with Eleanor, it was like I had found my calling.

I had never experienced anything that felt SO good, and gave such profoundly beneficial results at every single session... every horse I've had the opportunity to work with this way has made light years of progress in just minutes or days, and I never get tired of talking about it!

We are so lucky that Eleanor loves horses and was drawn to apply this work to them when she created EHS - and we are even luckier that she is offering this learning opportunity to study with the source of this incredible method of helping horses.

EHS is the future of equine wellness, soundness and body-mind training. Right now, it's still a secret super-power of the few who know about it... join us on the ground floor of something that is going to revolutionize the equine industry! Apply to the certification program so you can help your horse or your clients/students feel and function better, faster, but ALSO so you can be a part of bringing this message of hope to the horse world!

"You make me feel part of something bigger, that I am not alone and that you and the EHS community have my back as I step out into the new. I feel inspired, encouraged and supported."

- Christine Rabie, 360° Horse - South Africa

EHS Professional Training Program CURRICULUM

To become a Certified Equine Hanna Somatics Educator (C.EHSE) you must complete all 3 Modules of the Professional Training Program and an individual certification assessment.

Between Modules, you are required to do a minimum # of hands-on EHS sessions with several different horses, and to submit a record of your sessions, as well as to complete and submit case write-ups, which you will present to the class at the next module.

You will receive a 70+ page manual/workbook and additional level-specific PDF handouts throughout the course.

All modules include lifetime access to a private Facebook community

for ongoing support and discussion with peers, certified graduates and the EHS Teaching Team, + a basic listing in the AEHSE Practitioners Directory, if you want one.

Module I

Suggested Prerequisite: Equine Hanna Somatics-Session 1 Video Course

You must have horse experience to apply!

In this module, you will be introduced to the practice and applications of EHS for helping horses get free from the chronic muscle tension responsible for the majority of equine somatic issues, ranging from stiffness, crookedness, poor movement and mysterious or undiagnosed soundness issues to behavioral and training issues that have their root in pain or body dysfunction.


  • Confidently assess horses for the 3 most common postural reflexes via visual, movement and palpation analysis.

  • Guide horses in EHS Full-Body Protocols 1, 2, 3 and 4

  • Differentiate and identify what is horse behavior vs. involuntary reflexes or learned motor patterns

  • Understand Motor-Sensory Amnesia and what causes chronic muscle tension from a neuroscience perspective, and learn the truth about ‘muscle memory’

  • Become familiar with the 3 techniques used in EHS, and understand how they interact with or influence the equine nervous system.

  • Practice Hanna Somatics with your own body

Title earned upon completion of this Module:

Level 1 EHSE

Module II


• Completion of Module One

• Submission of Independent Study Materials & 3 Case Write-ups

In this module, you will deepen your understanding of all topics and Protocols covered in Module One, learn two new EHS Protocols & more about equine anatomy, kinesiology and neurophysiology, how to work with the extremities and joints, and how EHS applies to different disciplines in the equine industry.


  • Refinement of EHS Protocols 1-4

  • Learn the Advanced EHS Protocols 5 & 6

  • Understand equine movement, gaits and central pattern generators, lameness & antalgic posture/gaits

  • Confidently discuss and present Cases

  • Understand Equine Motor Control, Postural Reflexes and how to improve Proprioception

  • Teach clients/horse owners to do ‘homework exercises’ between sessions

  • Embody the practice of working WITH horses holistically, rather than working ON their bodies

  • Guide owners/human clients in basic Hanna Somatics exercises

Title earned upon completion of this Module:

Level 2 EHSE

Module III


• Completion of Module Two

• Submission of Independent Study Materials & 1 Case Write-up

In this module, you will continue to deepen your understanding and confidence with all topics in previous modules and develop a Mastery of all 8 EHS Protocols. You will further embody the practice and mindset of helping horses to ‘self-actualize’ their potential by working with them somatically, as individuals, as you build your practice. You will become confident in your ability to help horses all across the spectrum of age and life stages rapidly get out of pain and reverse many common diagnoses, symptoms and soundness issues formerly labeled as ‘untreatable’ or ‘beyond hope.’


  • Learn Advanced EHS Protocols 7 & 8

  • Mastery of all EHS Protocols

  • Confidently apply your EHS skills for equine Rehabilitation & Performance Enhancement

  • Discuss Complex Cases and how to use EHS to help Special Somatic Complaints

  • Work as part of a team of complimentary practitioners with other equine professionals

  • Specialize your professional practice or personal areas of interest or expertise

  • Teach introductory EHS Workshops to horse owners wanting to learn how to work somatically with their own horses.

  • Lead individuals or groups in the complete ‘Cat Stretch’ series of Hanna Somatics exercises (for humans)

Title earned upon completion of this Module:

Level 3 EHSE

To become a Certified EHSE, Level 3 graduates must complete an individual assessment and interview with Eleanor Criswell.

Love from our students... (their word, not ours!)

I loved that it was online. I know that online learning for this type of course has some challenges, but having it online allowed me to take the course. I loved the demos that Alissa did as it gave us a chance to see what I should aspire to with the gentleness and softness.

Alison Zeidler

EHS Student Practitioner - Canada

I loved the intimate nature of the teaching style. The information was clear and the dynamic between Eleanor and Alissa very conducive to learning.

Level 1 EHSE

EHS Student Practitioner

I loved the kind attention and support as well as expert knowledge of the facilitators - priceless! I love that you want to do everything possible to help us learn and succeed, your love and honour for our clients (human and horses), your infectious vision and mission.

Christine Rabie

EHS Student Practitioner - S. Africa

Ready to become a Certified Equine Hanna Somatics® Educator?

Answers to your Questions

What are the physical, travel, equipment and previous training/knowledge requirements?

Do I need knowledge of anatomy? No anatomical experience is required for Module One.  It's helpful to know the common names of the parts of the horse (ie. poll, fetlock, stifle, etc.) and as you progress through the levels you will surely want to familiarize yourself with the names and functions of many equine muscles, so you feel comfortable navigating and referencing the more advanced EHS Protocols. In the course Manual Eleanor provides a bibliography of resources that she recommends for your independent study between modules.

Do I need to have any previous training?  The minimum requirement is that you already have enough horse experience to be safe working around and close to horses. Most of our students have already invested in learning some (or several) sorts of equine therapy or hands-on modality for helping horses, but are still looking for that 'missing link' to really helping horses get reliable results that really last, and without hurting their own body in the process. About 1/3 of our students are horse owners who want to solve their own horse(s) problems, and the rest are equine industry professionals with backgrounds including: DVMs, Osteopaths, Naturopaths or other alternative practitioners and equine bodyworkers of various modalities who are wanting to add a new tool to their skillset, or equine science students interested in beginning a new career as Equine Hanna Somatics Educators.

Do I need to have a computer? Yes, or one available to use. The Equine Hanna Somatics Professional Training Program is offered online through live Zoom trainings, videos, downloads and assessments. During the training, you must be able to be present live on Zoom during the morning 'classroom' sessions, and live via Zoom with a wifi connection with your horse during the afternoon sessions. There are no recordings. 

Do I need to have a horse to work with? Yes!  During the afternoon sessions of the live Zoom training you'll need to have a horse so you can practice the techniques with Eleanor and Alissa's virtual supervision. (If no horses are available, it is possible to use a dog.  The dog would need to be able to stay still for you to work with.??)

Are there any physical requirements? While the goal of EHS is to invite the horses to participate in moving their own bodies during our sessions, you will still be moving and bending/squatting near your horse and need to keep yourself safe, so some physical capabilities are required. As long as you are physically comfortable and feel safe picking up horses' front and back legs, you'll be fine.

Is Travel required? No, travel is not required.  All three Modules are currently offered online only.

How much does it cost?

Tuition for each module is $1000 USD. A sliding scale option from $750-1000 is available for those with financial hardships, and may be requested in writing after you are accepted into the program.

To secure your space in the next module and apply, a $200 deposit is required up front. If the training is already full or your application is otherwise denied, this deposit is refundable (less processing fees) or may be deferred to the following year.

If you choose to join our professional organization (the AEHSE), as one of your membership benefits you will be invited to become an affiliate for our EHS Session 1 video, and earn a commission for each sale that you refer - which is one way you can start to earn back your tuition and dues!

How long does it take to complete the program?

The Equine Hanna Somatics Professional Training Program can be completed in just over 2 years. The modules are offered once per year at the end of May, and you may only complete one module each year. This gives you time between modules to practice your protocols, study your anatomy and neurophysiology, and get experience working with many different horses.

Each module must be completed before enrolling in the next one, and you may take longer than one year between modules if you feel you want or need the extra time to master what you learn at each level. You are required to do a minimum number of sessions between modules, with several different horses. After completing Module Three, you become eligible for certification, pending an individual assessment by Eleanor Criswell, which is scheduled when you feel prepared and both of your schedules align - usually within a few to several weeks or months following completion of the third module.

How does the online training program work?

You must take the modules in order, and may only register for one each year. You will have different materials and protocols to learn and study for each of the three Modules - but the live classes are held concurrently. This means we have students from all 3 levels in the Zoom classroom together. This allows you to continue to deepen your understanding of the key topics and EHS principles, to experience peer-peer learning and sharing, and to get direct coaching and instruction from Eleanor and Alissa. We encourage our level 2 and level 3 students to participate in coaching the lower levels and they will also be presenting cases from their between-modules practical studies.

For each module, there are some pre-recorded materials that will be made available for you to download or watch starting on May 1st. Some of these materials are best consumed before the live course begins (like the EHS Session 1 instructional video, our welcome video series, and printing and reviewing the Program Manual), and some are meant to be used as a supplement to the live zoom classes, to deepen your understanding of key topics. These materials are occasionally updated, but we expect they will take 2-4 hours at the most to work through.

The live Zoom sessions will be Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm (Pacific Time). The mornings will be dedicated to lecture, demonstration, simulations and Somatics for horse handlers and EHS practitioners. The afternoon sessions will be hands-on classes with your horse. You will need a good internet connection and quiet workspace with safe and level footing at your barn or the location where you plan to join with your horse, and we recommend inviting an assistant to help you by holding your horse - although it is permissible to tie your horse if necessary.

During these sessions, you will be practicing the level-specific protocols taught in your module, with real-time feedback and coaching from Eleanor & Alissa, and peer-peer coaching in breakout groups by level. It is worthwhile to haul your horse to another facility if you don't have a strong wifi signal, or to work with a different horse if that makes it easier to get a good internet connection. You will miss a significant portion of the training if you miss these live sessions, and there will NOT be a replay available of these sessions. If you absolutely cannot participate with your horse live, it is permissible to observe the afternoon sessions and then practice the work on your own each day.

When is the next online training?

Dates for all three modules of the program are posted at the top of this page - scroll to the top for current details and to apply or get on the waiting list.

What if I’m in a different timezone?

Because you are joining from home over Zoom, we know it can be tempting to try to do ALL the things - horse chores, family/child care, and continue working around the course schedule. For you to get the maximum value from the training program, we do NOT recommend you do this! Our most successful students have found it best to pretend that they are actually in California with us for the week of the training, and adjust their schedules accordingly - as if they were out of town. We usually break for lunch from 12-2 pacific time, but the exact time can vary depending on the days material.

What's the refund policy?

The $200 deposit that is required along with your application is refundable (less processing fees) if the training you are applying for is already full, or if your application is otherwise denied. Once you pay the balance of your tuition for a module, requests for refunds are taken on a case-by-case basis. If there is a natural disaster or medical emergency that prevents you from attending the training, or causes us to have to reschedule a module, all affected students tuition will be either refunded or carried over to the rescheduled dates.

Can EHS be used with other animals?

Yes, EHS can be modified to work with all animals, because this work is based on the tendency of vertebrate animals to pandiculate. Many of our students are also interested in working with dogs, and Eleanor has developed a Canine Hanna Somatics® Protocol that is taught in the optional half-day workshop at the end of each EHS Module.

When can I start working with horses?

We encourage you to begin working somatically with horses right away* - in fact, it’s ideal if you have already watched our introductory instructional video called Equine Hanna Somatics - Session 1, and have tried the Session 1 Protocol with at least one horse before your Module One training begins. ***Please note that we do not teach basic horsemanship or safety skills in this program, and we require that you already have horse experience to be considered for the program.

When can I start charging for my EHS sessions?

We do not have a firm rule about when you begin to charge clients for your EHS sessions, because many of our students are already working with horses and clients, either with their own professional practice, or in other areas of the equine industry. We do discuss ethics and the Scope of Practice for EHS Educators, and we expect all of our students and graduates to behave ethically and professionally, and to always disclose their level of study or certification in EHS to clients or potential clients and in promotional materials.

What if I need extra help?

All modules come with access to our private Facebook community for EHS Education students and graduates where you can get support from your peers, graduates of the program and the EHS Teaching Team. For additional help, one-on-one support between modules and to join the quarterly EHS Mastermind meetings with Eleanor and Alissa, you can join the Association for Equine Hanna Somatics Education (AEHSE). Click here to learn about all the AEHSE membership benefits!

What makes EHS different from other 'bodywork’ or Somatic modalities?

Equine Hanna Somatics (EHS) is an adaptation of Hanna Somatics (work developed for humans) that works with pure physiology to instantly reverse chronic muscle tension, by working directly WITH the horses brain, instead of working ON the body... so even though it looks a lot like it, EHS isn't actually bodywork, but is an educational and experiential process that we facilitate for the horse, where the horse is choosing to participate by following our requests to move their body around.

EHS is the only hands-on ‘healing’ modality that teaches equine bodyworkers, vets and hands-on horse owners how to access a horse’s Pandiculation reflex to rapidly reverse the most common misdiagnosed and undiagnosed soundness issues, so they can reliably enhance performance and make horses feel amazing, without doing any manual manipulation, stretching, woo-woo or invasive procedures.

We do not work ON horses, but invite them to participate WITH us during EHS. In this way, we are working directly with the horses Motor Cortex, effectively interacting with the horses Central Nervous System far ‘upstream’ of any other modality or method we have yet found.

This is the ONLY training program that offers a certification in EHS, and the only training program authorized by Eleanor Criswell, the creator of EHS, to certify practitioners in Equine Somatics. By becoming a student, you get access to our global community of EHS practitioners and practitioners-in-training, and get listed on the AEHSE practitioner directory.

How is EHS different from stretching?

In EHS we actively avoid stretching a horse. Instead, we focus on encouraging the horse to Pandiculate their muscles.

Stretching happens when a mechanical force is applied to a muscle or connective tissue. This can be force from the outside, when someone or something puts pressure or pulls on a body, or can happen when an individual braces a part of their own body and uses leverage and gravity to apply the stretch to themselves.

When horses pandiculate, groups of muscles will be lengthening, and others shortening, as part of the natural process of bodily movements. When muscles lengthen during EHS, they are either lengthening passively (because the opposing muscle is contracting) or are being consciously lengthened or shortened via an eccentric contraction (during the slow de-contraction phase of each exercise). We NEVER pull on or force the horse while doing EHS, and are actively avoiding the application of mechanical stretching forces while guiding a horse through the EHS movements.

In short, a stretch is something that happens TO a muscle. In contrast, the lengthening that happens in EHS is in response to the horse deciding to move WITH the practitioner.

I’ve already purchased your EHS Session 1 video and I am using what I learned from the video with my horses and getting great results! What more will I get from the EHS Professional Training Program?

In our basic instructional video, we teach a simplified version of the first EHS Protocol developed by Eleanor Criswell, the creator of EHS. In the EHS Professional Training Program, you will learn the complete Ideal Protocol that the intro video is based on, plus the additional 7 Complete EHS Protocols, the neuroscience behind how the method works, and more!

FAQ image

Is EHS right for me?

If you are here on this website, it’s because you care about helping horses, and we love that! We also want you to feel really good about making decisions about how you invest your money and your time, and we don’t want you to have to wait until you’ve completed one of these training modules to know if EHS is right for you. That is partly what motivated us to create our instructional video Equine Hanna Somatics - Session 1, so you can learn how to do a basic EHS session with your horse and experience how easy and effective EHS can be, for just $39 - less than the price of some fancy horse cookies or a new set of grooming tools, right?

Don't see your question?

Just send us an email to [email protected]

EHS is the only hands-on ‘healing’ modality that teaches equine bodyworkers, vets and hands-on horse owners how to access a horse’s Pandiculation reflex to rapidly reverse the most common misdiagnosed and undiagnosed soundness issues, so they can reliably enhance performance and make horses feel amazing, without doing any manual manipulation, stretching, woo-woo or invasive procedures.

This program is a good fit for you if:

  • You don't just want to work with horses, you actually want to change their lives for the better.

  • You are so passionate about horses that you already have them in your daily life, and you want to be part of a movement dedicated to advocating for equines and improving their welfare, well-being and happiness.

  • You want to know the science and the WHY behind what you are doing, so you can speak confidently when you're explaining to horse-owners what you do and why it works as you grow your equine business.

If you say 'YES!' to any of these, then don't wait, this is the perfect next step for you!

Ready to join a movement that is going to revolutionize the Equine Industry?

Now is the perfect time to up-level your practice, add to your skill set, or become your own 'bodyworker' to save money on vet bills and alternative therapies - and to strengthen your bond!

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