You can now watch the recordings of all the presentations from the live summit


OUR SUMMIT IS NOW EVERGREEN! Purchase our LIFETIME ACCESS to all the recordings to enjoy at your own pace.

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If you've already registered for the summit, simply click the "Sign In" button on the top right of the page and log in with the account information you set up when you registered. (If you're already logged in, click on "My Dashboard" on the top right). You'll be taken to the "Dashboard" where you'll be able to click onto the Diversifying The HERD Virtual Summit 2022 logo to access all the sessions.

Who's Invited?

Whether you are already an equine facilitated practitioner, equine professional, or simply interested in working with horses, we invite you to join us for this unique virtual summit experience.

Following the success of our Diversifying The HERD Virtual Summit in 2021, we are back with our second global gathering of equine facilitated practitioners that is hosted and led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) within the field. Our aim is to highlight the incredible work that BIPOC folks are already doing in this industry while also encourage conversations about how to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion within equine facilitated work. 

Proceeds from this summit will go towards a HERD Institute® Scholarship fund for BIPOC individuals who are interested in entering this field. For more information about The HERD Institute, please visit our website at

Your Summit Host

Dr. Veronica Lac, LPC, Founder & Executive Director of The HERD Institute®, has 25 years of experience as a corporate trainer and mental health professional, and is also a certified therapeutic riding instructor. 

The HERD Institute® offers training and certifications in Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy & Learning that incorporate a cultural competence framework. Veronica is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and has worked on a range of racial and social justice initiatives, including being a Board member of The Humanitarian Alliance, and part of the American Psychological Association, Division 32 Diversity Committee and the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee for PATH International. Veronica offers DEI consultations and training to organizations both in the corporate sector and within the non-profit environment. She is passionate about research in the field of equine facilitated psychotherapy and has multiple publications internationally in peer-reviewed journals. Veronica is the author of two best-selling books in the field of equine facilitated work.

Contact: [email protected]     Website:

Presenters Schedule

  • 1

    Welcome to the Diversifying The HERD Virtual Summit 2022

  • 2

    LIVE Presentations

    • Opening Address by Dr. Veronica Lac, Executive Director & Founder, The HERD Institute®

    • What Does Inclusion Feel Like? Presenters: Jennifer Baker, Kelsey Dayle John, & Lymaris Gomez-Marquez

    • The Inclusive HERD™: Presented by Dr. Veronica Lac, Elizabeth McCorvey, Kate Ford

    • Taking Strides: Diversifying Board Rooms to Tack Rooms. Panel Discussion with Kathy Alm, Michael Kaufmann, Nahshon Cook, and Patricia Jackson. Moderated by Gabrielle Chapman

    • Keynote: Decolonizing Your Equine Program. Presented by Abriana Johnson & Brittney Chambers

    • Reflections in Community: Dr. Veronica Lac & Jennifer Baker

  • 3

    Want to learn more? Here's a little extra from our archives...

    • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategic Plan: How to get started. Presented by Nichole Boyd

    • Visible Allyship with Dr. Anastasia Curwood and Sally Spickard (Strides for Equality Equestrians)

    • Unbaking the Cake of Systemic Racism with Kathy Alm, CEO, PATH International

    • Compassionate Conversations About Race Compilation from Natural Lifemanship

  • 4

    Information on Continuing Education Credits

    • What CEs are available?

  • 5

    And Finally...

    • How to Upgrade Your Summit Experience

    • Thank You

Keynote Presenters

Abriana Johnson

Abriana Johnson is a brand strategist, author, and coach with a passion for horses and an eye for design. She uses her love of technology and strategy to help horse industry professionals build impactful brands and digital experiences that build community, connect content to culture, and establish their digital hoofprint. Her horse obsession started at 7 years old and continued well into undergrad as she attended NC State University completing a Bachelor in Animal Science with an equine focus. Being a big picture thinker and wanting to make an impact on the world through holistic animal-inspired education, Abriana completed a Master in Health Sciences, concentrating on One Health, through the University of Florida.

A fervent student of life and experience, Abriana's personal and professional experiences led her to carve her own path in entrepreneurship. Abriana is the creator of Cowgirl Camryn, an edutainment brand equipping kids with the tools and resources needed to improve their emotional and behavioral development, exposing them to equine experiential learning, and encouraging them to see the world through a more holistic (One Health) lens. When she is not working on Cowgirl Camryn, she is coaching, consulting, and presenting to small businesses and equine entrepreneurs on brand development and design via her business, Black Unicorn Creative.

In her downtime, you can find Abriana sharing her latest industry insights and musings on her podcasts (Young Black Equestrians and The Digital Hoofprint podcasts) and on social media. Her hobbies include gardening, creating art, and studying viticulture and the wine industry.


Brittney Chambers

Brittney Chambers has over 20 years of experience in the horse industry, spanning English, Western, and Dressage disciplines.  She consults, trains, and rehabs horses at Brookside Equestrian Facility in Sacramento, CA. As a trainer, Brittney specializes in rider biomechanics and English/Western fundamentals.

Since Brittney was young, she knew she would grow up to help horses and people, both of which she is very passionate about. She holds an associates Degree in Social Science, Bachelor's Degree in Alcohol and Drug Counseling and a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice. Brittney is certified as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor and an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning through PATH International.

Brittney has experience as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor, has taught Alcohol and Drug classes in inpatient and transitional home settings, has developed life coaching programs for youth, and has supervised group home for young women.  At the group home she developed animal therapy programs for residents which led her to more intentional integration of animals into therapeutic programming.

Brittney's passion and driving purpose is to share the healing effects of horses and equine-assisted activities with vulnerable populations to build confidence and self-awareness. CBC Therapeutic Horseback Riding Academy achieves just that.


Speakers & Panelists



Kelsey Dayle John (Navajo) is an assistant professor at the University of Arizona with a joint appointment in American Indian Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies. She studies equine/human relationships with a focus on how these relationships impact Indigenous education and research. She is particularly interested in the social, cultural, and historical narratives of equine/human relations in tribal communities. She is currently a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow and is working on a book project about equine/human relationships in Indigenous methodologies. Previously, Kelsey taught in the Diné Studies department at Navajo Technical University on the Navajo Nation. She completed her Ph.D. in Education at Syracuse University. For her dissertation research, she worked in partnership with the Navajo Nation to document horse knowledges and stories for the development of Navajo education, research, and a community horse conference. She has published in the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Humananimalia, Edge Effects, and several edited volumes including: Decolonizing Animals, Indigenous and Decolonizing Studies in Education, and Indigenous Religious Traditions in Five Minutes.  Kelsey is certified in Equine Facilitated Learning through The HERD Institute. She is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and in her spare time, she runs with her dogs and trains horses.   



Lymaris Gomez-Marquez  is certified through The HERD Institute® in Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy and Learning. She is the Founder of Paso a Paso, a program based in Jacksonville, Florida that serves her local community. Her specialty areas include trauma informed work for veterans, survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, and at-risk youth. Paso a Paso's mission is to alleviate the isolation that so many struggle with through fostering opportunities for connection and exploration. Paso A Paso, is Spanish for "step by step"., which sums up the essence of the therapeutic process and the partnership required when incorporating horses into therapy. Trust and change are built one step at a time. Lymaris aims to support clients' healing journeys alongside them so they do not walk alone. and for clients to feel that they have a herd too.


Jennifer Baker (She/Her) is the co-founder of True Nature Integrative Health and a licensed psychotherapist, yoga teacher and horsewoman. She offers the opportunity to work from a mind, body, and soul connection, and enjoys facilitating healing work with horses, that includes somatic and nature based therapies. Jennifer is committed to a therapeutic process that fosters a strong and stable sense of self, creativity, and resiliency, while valuing diversity and each individuals unique journey and goals. Jennifer has completed post graduate studies from The Trauma Conscious Yoga Institute, The HeartMath Institute and is certified in Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy by The HERD Institute. 

Jennifer pulls from a foundation in Humanistic/Experiential therapy, Gestalt, Somatic practices, Polyvagal Theory and Psychodynamic frameworks which honor mind, body, and soul integrative approaches. Jennifer has worked in a wide variety of settings including community mental health, hospitals, residential facilities and the correctional system. These experiences have given her a compassionate understanding of the complex systems in place that often become obstacles to our birthright of joy and liberation. Jennifer is a culturally sensitive, LGBTQ+ affirmative therapist, with a deep commitment to BIPOC community. She holds an experienced and compassionate understanding of the sociocultural and systemic factors that influence individual development and well being. 


Elizabeth McCorvey, LCSW, is a Psychotherapist and Anti-Racist Educator living in Asheville, NC. She works with college students at UNC-Asheville and has a private practice where she works with adults using equine-facilitated psychotherapy. Elizabeth specializes in working with people who are historically marginalized and/or experiencing racial trauma. She is a passionate advocate for anti-racism and equity in the Mental Health world and frequently facilitates workshops and consultation events for therapists on the subject. Elizabeth is part of The HERD Institute® faculty team for the EFP Certification program and The Inclusive HERD™ Workshops. 


Gabrielle Chapman formerly worked as a Senior Analyst with The Humane Society of the US Pet's for Life program where she lent her expertise to push forward the conversation about racism within animal welfare. She has helped to bring forth an increased consciousness about how systemic racism and other forms of oppression hinder growth and wellbeing. She uses the knowledge she has acquired across racial justice, food/land justice, and animal rights/welfare to inform her consulting work, using a One Health model that strives to invent technology and build relationships that foster solutions from a socio-ecological perspective. Chapman was the inaugural director of Call to Action for Racial Equality Coalition, West Virginia's first intersectional racial equality organization. 



Nashon Cook's heart is for horses. He is a first generation horseman and classical dressage trainer from inner-city Denver who has coached, competed, and trained internationally in jumping and dressage. His current training interests lay in rehabilitating horses with mental, physical, and emotional training-related trauma. He lives and works on his family's farm in Parker, Colorado and offers intensive retreats to anyone wanting to deepen their relationship with their horses. Nahshon is the author of a number of poetry books, including Communion, and The Killing Fields.  He is also the author of Being with Horses. 



Patricia Jackson graduated from The HERD Institute Equine Facilitated Learning Program in May 2021 at a time which was pivotal in her development as the founder of an inner city equine non-profit, We_RideToo. She describes her experience as having journeyed from an environment which excluded her from the equine experience due to social and racial injustices to a world of possibilities. As a scholarship recipient from The HERD Institute®, Patricia embarked upon an in-depth study of theory and practice involving horses and humans. She believes that the skills she has acquired have benefited her not only on a personal level, but has had a huge impact in the lives of the inner city that she serves in Oakland, California.

The goal at We_RideToo is to overcome socioeconomic and geographic disparities that have prevented inner city youth to gain access to the equine experience. Most importantly, their mission is to build relationships with horses, which translates into strong relationships in communities - a dream that is now being actualized. Bringing youth together from various communities has highlighted the fact that our differences are an awesome strength. “We are One”. 


Kate Ford has been working in clinical social work and equine assisted services for over 25 years and has provided these services at two PATH, Intl. affiliated programs in the Northeast.  Raised in Center City, Philadelphia, as the child of social worker, Kate was taught to be aware of their own white privilege and internalized biases and racism. She works to educate herself and raise awareness around diversity, equity, and inclusion at the barn and in her community,  striving to be an ally to people of the global majority and LGBTQ+ communities and is grateful to have an opportunity to advocate for DEI in our field of equine assisted therapies and activities.  

Kate is a graduate of Oberlin College and earned a clinical Master’s in Social Work from Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. She is a Massachusetts Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, Massachusetts Licensed Horseback Riding Instructor, Certified ESMHL and CTRI through PATH International, and EAGALA Certified. Kate is currently in the process of studying towards her Foundational Level Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy Certification through The HERD Institute® and has also just completed a Level 1 Certification in Internal Family Systems. 

Kathy Alm began her service as Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International (PATH Intl.) in August 2014. For the previous 15 years she served as Executive Director of Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center in Woodinville, WA. She grew the previously grass roots organization from a $280,000 annual operating budget to a professional $2.1 million organization. Kathy’s board service includes PATH Intl’s board from 2005 – 2013, including the office of board president, Founder/Board member of the Director of Disabilities Organization, Board Member of the Alliance of Eastside Agencies as well as Founder/Board member of Theatre Puget Sound. She has facilitated numerous workshops and presentations on board development, staffing, fundraising and strategic planning and enjoys the opportunity to share her experience as well as learn from others. Kathy holds a BA from Pacific Lutheran University. Her dedication to the field of Equine-assisted Services spans over 21 years with a passion that was ignited the moment she walked through the door at her first therapeutic riding center. She brings this level of passion and commitment to seeing diversity, equity and inclusion addressed throughout the industry in a systemic and ongoing manner.


Michael Kaufmann has been actively involved in Human/animal Interaction Programs, Animal Welfare and in Humane Education for 25 years. In 2005 he joined Green Chimneys Children’s Services as Farm and Wildlife Director and in 2012 was named Director of the Sam and Myra Ross Institute at Green Chimneys, a program dedicated to education and research on the human connection to animals and the natural world. At Green Chimneys, he directs all aspects of the nature based therapeutic/educational programs and supervises the Institute dedicated to education and research on the human connection to animals and the natural world. Kaufmann started his career as a humane educator at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in New York City and continued at the American Humane Association (AHA), a national child and animal protection organization that promotes the highest standards of competence among child welfare and animal care and control professionals. At AHA he served as a national spokesperson with a special focus on humane education program development, the correlation between animal cruelty, domestic violence and child abuse and equine welfare issues. Subsequently he represented the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) as Director of Education and Communication and editor of the national magazine STRIDES. Today his focus is on Green Care, the concept of working with animals, plants and nature to enhance human environments and lives. Michael Kaufmann has been quoted on human animal interaction and animal welfare issues by such diverse sources as ABC’s 20/20, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, National Public Radio, Reaching Today's Youth, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association and other media sources.  

Need CEs?

For attendees seeking NBCC or PATH Intl. Continuing Education hours, you can earn 1 clock hour for each LIVE session and 0.5 clock hours for each pre-recorded session. 

The HERD Institute®, LLC has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6845.  The HERD Institute®, LLC is solely responsible for all aspects of the program. 

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