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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 PRIDE in The HERD Virtual Summit 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. 

This is the FIRST EVER global gathering of equine facilitated practitioners that is hosted and led by LGBTQIA folks within the field. Our aim is to highlight the incredible work that the LGBTQIA community is doing in this industry while also encourage conversations about how to increase diversity equity, and inclusion within equine facilitated work. 

A percentage of the proceeds from this summit will go towards a scholarship fund for individuals who are interested in entering this field and will be offered through Share in The HERD. 

Share in The HERD is a 501(c)3 non-profit that offers grants and scholarships to programs and individuals in the field of equine facilitated work. 

Are You Ready?

Register now and learn from industry leaders and help shape the future of equine facilitated work

Presenters Schedule

  • 1

    Welcome to the Pride in The HERD Virtual Summit!

    • Summit Orientation

  • 2

    LIVE Presentation Recordings

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

    • KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Ride with Pride - Creating Brave Space in The Barn by Dr. Aviva Vincent

    • Understanding the Alphabet in Equine Facilitated Industry. Panel Discussion with Dr. Aviva Vincent, Elizabeth McCorvey, Michael Kaufmann, & Dr. Veronica Lac

    • Do Ask, Do Tell: Connecting with LGBTQ+ Veterans in Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy & Learning by Shannon Knapp & Charlotte Surface

    • Industry Leaders Panel: Transitioning of the Equine Facilitated Industry with Leif Hallberg, Bettina Shultz-Jobe, Meg Kirby, Kathy Alm, Dr. Veronica Lac & Dr. Terry Chase

    • Reflections in Community with Dr. Veronica Lac & Julia Alexander

  • 3

    Pre-Recorded Presentations

    • Marinated in Hate. Presented by Rebecca J. Hubbard, MS, LMFT, NLC-C, EP

    • The Generation Gap: Fireside Chat with Michael Kaufmann and Erica Lewis-Davis

    • Navigating Equine Group Therapy with LGBTQ+ Teens. Presented by Dr. Megan McRae

    • Making Space: Queer Inclusivity in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy & Learning

    • Case Study of and LGBTQ+ Safe Barn. Presented by Catherine Manakas

  • 4

    Courageous Souls & Brave Conversations

    • Leadership Challenges in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Work with Kathy Alm, CEO, PATH International

    • Being Queer in the Draft Horse World. Interview with Samantha Reeves.

    • Translating the Trans Experience within the Equine Industry. Interview with Blake Dotson.

  • 5

    A Little Extra...

    • Ready for Real Change

    • Unbaking the Cake

    • Cancel Culture and The Importance of Pausing with Shannon Knapp & Elizabeth McCorvey

  • 6


    • How to Upgrade Your Summit Experience

  • 7

    Information on Continuing Education Credits

    • What CEs are available?

  • 8

    And Finally...

    • Links to Resources

    • Thank You

    • Special Offers and Discounts


Access all the recordings of the live sessions and pre-recorded material for an UNLIMITED time with your Lifetime Access. We look forward to learning with you!

Your Summit Host

Dr. Veronica Lac, LPCis the Founder & Executive Director of The HERD Institute® has 20 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 and Inclusion Work Group 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.

Veronica is also the Founder & Executive Director of Share in The HERD, a non-profit organization that offers grants and scholarships to increase accessibility to training and funding within the equine facilitated arena. 

Contact:     Website:

Keynote Presenter

Dr. Aviva Vincent, LMSW

Aviva Vincent, PhD is a graduate of the Mandel School. Her background in veterinary social work informs her practice as the Director of Program Quality at Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. She is an instructor of macro course-work at Case Western Reserve University, and teaches in the University of Tennessee in the Veterinary Social Work Certificate Program. Aviva's research focuses on the physiological impact that animals have on individuals, specifically in the reduction of fear and anxiety in stressful situations. Methodologically, her research interest is the integration of salivary analyte measures in social science research. Aviva is founder and co-chair of the human-animal interactions workgroup with National Association of Social Workers-Ohio, serves on the board of the International Association of Veterinary Social Work, and advisory board member for the Center for Human Animal Interaction research and Education at Ohio State University.

Speakers & Panelists


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.  


Elizabeth McCorvey, LCSW, is a Psychotherapist and Social Justice Educator living in Asheville, NC., and is a Faculty-in-training member of The HERD Institute. Elizabeth works with college students at UNC-Asheville, and is the co-owner of a private practice where she works with adults using equine-assisted psychotherapy. She has an additional office where she primarily works with people who are Minoritized and/or experiencing Racial Trauma. Elizabeth 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. You can find out more about Elizabeth at


Julia (she, her, hers) is a fellow traveler for those seeking healing, an advocate of love in action, and a connector of dots. She believes that meaningful relationships, where people are seen and heard in the reality of their lived experiences, are essential to healing. For 15 years, Julia has worked to advance social justice in education, therapy, and work with non-human animals. She has designed social justice curriculum for colleges and universities, taught courses, and facilitated dialogues on privilege and oppression, racism, sexism, and heterosexism. Julia is also a life-long horsewoman with 20 years of experience in the horse industry. She is passionate about promoting kind, ethical horse-human relationships that truly embody socially just practices. Julia currently partners with and is learning from several horse trainers and animal behaviorists exploring positive-based learning/training methods. Julia seeks to combine all of her experiences to support others in developing compassionate, safe, embodied relationships and communities that reunite us with our interconnectedness. Julia studied the psychology of colorblind racism and white identity development as an undergrad at Mount Holyoke College. She earned a Masters of Social Justice Education at UMass Amherst, where she discovered the art of dialogue facilitation across difference. She received her MSW from Smith College and currently works as a Licensed Master Social Worker for Colors of Austin Counseling in Austin TX. Julia is a Certified Daring Way Facilitator, a Circle of Security Parent Facilitator, a Trained Intergroup Dialogue Facilitator, and is currently participating in a year-long Interpersonal Neurobiology course with Bonnie Badenoch and a year-long Master Class with Leif Hallberg on EAMH and EAL.


Dr. Megan McRae is a clinical psychologist currently working in Northern New York. She is a member of the LGBTQ+ community and has been integrating equine facilitated psychotherapy groups into her practice for the past three years, as well as integrating animal assisted therapy through therapy dogs into her practice for the past 10 years. Megan graduated from The HERD Institute Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy program in 2018 and specializes in working with adolescents in rural communities. She also offers workshops in pet loss and grief. 


Rebecca Hubbard is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Texas. Rebecca has over two decades of experience working with adults, children, and families who have experienced trauma. Rebecca’s clinical experience spans working in clinics, in-home, and community settings, as well as a first responder providing psychological first aid to individuals and families who witnessed or were victims of violent crime or experienced a natural disaster. Rebecca has also provided various training in assessing and treating individuals who have experienced trauma and training and supervision in specific treatment models, such as Natural Lifemanship, Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Child Parent Psychotherapy. Rebecca is an affiliate member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and co-owner of Pecan Creek Ranch, an equine assisted psychotherapy and learning facility in Georgetown, Texas.


Erica started working with PBJ Connections in May 2014 as an equine intern while enrolled in The Ohio State University's animal sciences program. She provided support in sessions while learning about the EAGALA therapy model. When her internship ended, she contracted as an equine specialist to continue working with PBJ Connections. In January 2015, she became the Assistant Director. 

Erica also has an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning Certification through PATH International. As a Ohio State University graduate, she participated in the 2019-2020 Ohio State Young Alumni Academy to focus on leadership.

Erica has been focused on developing skills to elevate the voices of the horses in sessions and encouraging professionals in the field create more equal relationships with equine cofacilitators. She hopes to continue to be involved in more research of equine assisted therapy as a way to help others heal beyond Central Ohio.


Charlotte Surface is an Equine Specialist at Horse Sense of the Carolinas, with a Bachelors of Social Work from Warren Wilson College. She is EAGALA certified, is in the process of being certified in TF-EAP through Natural Lifemanship, and is a Parelli Level 1 graduate. Charlotte works with a wide range of populations at Horse Sense and is most passionate about supporting queer women and youth on their journey to finding healthy and connected relationships with themselves and others.


Terry Chase, ND, MA, RN, CEIP-ED is a Professional Coach-Speaker-Author. Dr. Chase is Associate Professor, Nursing-Mental Health at Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction, Colorado and has introduced over 100 BSN students to the EFL experience. Terry is HERD Institute EFL Level 1 graduate and is a self-motivated, highly educated individual living fully with spinal cord injury for 30 years active in all things outdoors.


Blake Dotson (he/him/his) is a transgender equestrian who identifies as male. He lives in the Pacific Northwest and currently owns 2 Paint geldings. Blake takes part in APHA, PtHA, and AQHA shows and is committed to advocating for transgender equality and inclusion in all arenas

With more than ten years in the horse industry, Samantha Reeves has been involved in many facets of the horse industry. From showing, breeding, training, and exhibiting, Samantha and her wife, Morgan, are easily recognized with their Sugarbush Harlequin Draft horses. They have made it their goal to share horses with the world outside the equine world, appearing at events like "Trunk or Treats", as mounted stewards at the Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event, Breyerfest, or driving a carriage horse through a suburban neighborhood.


Meg is the Founder and Director of the Equine Psychotherapy Institute in Australia. driven to raise the standards of equine assisted practice across Australia and New Zealand and is passionate about supporting culturally secure Aboriginal programs and training opportunities across Australia. Meg seeks to raise the profile of equine assisted practice and practitioners across tertiary institutions, funding bodies, and the media, and drive robust research into this powerful field of practice. 

Bettina Shultz-Jobe is a licensed professional counselor. Over ten years ago, she and her husband, Tim Jobe, founded The Natural Lifemanship Institute. Natural Lifemanship joins with mental health professionals, equine professionals, coaches, and others in the healing professions on a journey of personal and professional healing, growth, and transformation through education and certification. This journey's foundations are found in the horse-human relationship and the neurobiology of attachment and trauma. Their vision is a world where connection and the value of healthy relationships is seen and felt in everything we do. Nowadays, Bettina spends a lot of time "helping the helpers" as over 250 professionals move through NL certification. She also continues to carry a part-time client load. She has worked in this field for over 20 years and is passionate about helping people and animals form trusting relationships to overcome toxic stress and trauma.


Internationally-recognized author, educator, and experiential psychotherapist, Leif Hallberg, has made it her life’s work to explore the myriad of health benefits that can be gained from engaging in respectful, relational, and mindful interactions between horses (and other animals), humans and the natural world. As an innovator, pioneer, and leading expert in the area of equine-assisted mental health and equine-assisted learning, Leif has developed a reputation over the past 20+ years for her broad-reaching and objective study of the industry, her scholarly rigor, her passion for equine welfare, and her unwavering dedication to ethical practice and increasing provider competency. Her books are used by colleges and universities around the world as teaching texts, and professionals consider them essential resources for research and clinical practice. Leif offers personal and professional development training, consultation, supervision, and coaching services.



Shannon Knapp, is founder and president of both Horse Sense of the Carolinas, Inc., an internationally-recognized leader in the field of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning, and Executive Director of Heart of Horse Sense, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting professional Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning for Veterans and At-Risk Youth in WNC at no cost. Shannon has also published many books and curricula in the field of EAP/EAL, including More Than a Mirror: Horses, Humans and Therapeutic Practices. Shannon is a trainer for Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, is EAGALA Advanced and has an EAGALA Military Individual designation, is Associate Faculty for Prescott College’s Equine Assisted Learning Masters Concentration program and also for Warren Wilson College. A professional in EAP/EAL since in 2001, she has thousands of hours of client contact with a diverse range of diagnoses.


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.


Catherine Manakas has a degree in social work and a law degree from DePaul University, College of Law. She has worked as a staff attorney for the State of Indiana and as an Equal Rights Officer for the State of Wisconsin. After staying being a stay-at-home mom, Catherine wanted to return to work outside of an office and began teaching horseback riding lessons and earned her Equine Facilitated Learning Certification through The HERD institute. Catherine is also a founding board member for PFLAG Cambridge and currently serves in that role. 

Need CEs?

For attendees seeking APANASW, NBCC, or PATH Intl. Continuing Education hours, you can earn 7 hours for the LIVE sessions. 

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. This program is also approved by the National Association of Social Workers (Approval #886737814-4317) for 7 Continuing Education contact hours. APA Division 32, Society for Humanistic Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. APA Division 32, Society for Humanistic Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

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Our Sponsors

Thank you to all of our sponsors who have supported this virtual summit. We are so grateful to have visible allies in our quest to bring diversity, equity, and inclusion into focus within the industry. 

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) is proud to sponsor this ground breaking virtual summit. PATH Intl. is committed to challenging the systemic barriers to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the industry, and believe that we need to increase awareness of these issues personally and professionally in an effort towards effecting change. 

A Stable Connection offers a range of equine first aid, safety and nutrition classes, providing horse owners with both practical skills and invaluable knowledge. Elisabeth Crabtree also offers rider biomechanics clinics, helping riders achieve better posture, partnership and performance. Elizabeth is committed to supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the equine industry.

Contact: Tel: 936-827-5694    Email: 

The University Professors Press was established in 2012 with the mission of publishing books in humanistic and existential psychology, clinical psychology, and creativity studies. UPP is committed to publishing works that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within the field of psychology, and is proud to be the publisher of Dr. Veronica Lac's book It's Not About The Activity: Thinking Outside the Toolbox of Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy & Learning. Summit attendees will receive discount coupons for the ENTIRE UPP Catalogue until July 30, 2021.
Natural Lifemanship offers trauma informed equine assisted psychotherapy certifications and is working in partnership with The HERD Institute® and Share in The HERD™ to help increase accessibility to certifications in the field.

Disability Statement: The HERD Institute® is committed to offering an inclusive environment for students of all abilities. Please contact us at if you require any disability accommodations.