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What is the h3 Pyramid?

Equine Therapy Facilitator

We are proud to invite you to be a part of a new advancement in equine assisted psychotherapy. H3 is a new model for equine therapy and is over 12 years in the making.

It was developed out of necessity. Specifically, it was developed out of a need for an equine model that could meet the needs of both short term and long-term treatment goals of teens in residential care.  What was discovered was the intersection between horsemanship and mental health.

A model was created which valued the relationship between client and horse. H3 is a model in which the client and horse both benefit and grow. The horse and the client’s needs create a natural therapeutic relationship. A relationship with natural systemic principles for growth and change.

For example, the horse and client create a dynamic system in which they regulate themselves by being sensitive to and adjusting according to feedback. H3 model values the inherent worth, hope, ability, and resourcefulness within the client and horse.

The Intersection of Horsemanship and Mental Health

h3 Pyramid Equine Therapy Training

Trust and reliance are at the intersection of horsemanship and mental health. The connection between client and horse encourages curiosity and exploration.

The process and journey between horse and client heighten awareness of self and others. The journey teaches the appreciation for being present in the moment.

What takes place at the intersection of horsemanship and mental health? It is best described by Dr. Dan Siegel, when we attune to others we allow our own internal state to shift, to come to resonate with the inner world of another.

This resonance is at the heart of the important sense of “feeling felt” that emerges in close relationships. We all need attunement to feel secure and to develop well, and throughout our lives, we need attunement to feel close and connected.

The intersection creates and accommodates the needed space for the client to lead, create change, and construct interventions that benefit self and horse.  

The model empowers the client’s voice and highlights the client’s interpretation of the struggle, the ability to problem solve, and the reward of personal accomplishment. H3 model provides a structured and focused approach to build internal resources for both self and horse.

The light of hope shines upon the intersection of horsemanship and mental health. 

Hope shines through as the client gains awareness, value, purpose, competency, confidence, new connections and meaning in their life.

Working together from the ground or the saddle provides a deeper sense of trust, connection, and sense of unity.

The intersection aids to reset the mind and body to be more:

  • Attuned in our communication
  • Emotionally balanced
  • Flexible in our responses to others
  • Regulating our fear rather than our fear regulating us
  • Empathic
  • Insightful, and
  • Intuitive

The acknowledgment of value and purpose for both human and horse is found at the intersection. The intersection drops barriers and invites both value and purpose for human and horse. The intrinsic rewards of value and purpose quickly become the purpose or internal motivator to accomplish difficult and uncomfortable work.

The healing is accomplished within a reciprocal relationship. The relationship between human and horse provides a concrete context for meaningful, sustainable, and repeatable principles of growth.

Important Statistics

We’ve spent many years developing and proving the h3 model.  During that time we’ve been privileged to work with clients, therapists, practices, and people from all walks of life, and from all around the world.  We’re extremely grateful for those who’ve helped us prove, improve, discover and document the newest advancement in equine therapy – the advanced, proven, and evidence-based h3 pyramid model.

Years in Development
Hours Trained
We're fascinated with the power of equine assisted therapy - no doubt you will be too..

Physical cues more important to therapy horses than emotion (via

“There is a critical need to understand the mechanisms behind horse-human interactions in order to understand the motivations of the horse.” Source: A Canadian study to examine the responses of therapy horses to mentally traumatized humans has found that horses respond more to physical cues from people than emotional cues.  The study Behavioural and physiological responses of...
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Suzette Belgarde Discusses the Healing Power of Horses (via

Most commonly known as equine-assisted therapy, the use of horses for therapeutic purposes has increased significantly in recent years. Source: FARIBAULT, Minn., August 3, 2018 ( – “The process as we know it today was first developed in Europe in the mid-1940s,” reveals Suzette Belgarde, an equestrian expert, and advocate of equine-assisted therapy from Faribault, Minnesota. Belgarde goes...
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Natural Horsemanship (via

Dominance, force, punishment, and “alpha” status are popular themes in horsemanship. Yet profound results are achieved when the human stops perceiving himself as superior to the horse and explores partnership instead of dominance, willing cooperation instead of force, guidance instead of punishment, and mutual respect instead of “alpha” status. Natural Horsemanship Source: Horses and...
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  • I have found that having equine therapy as part of our program has been one of the most effective tools we have in helping residents understand how their behavior effects their environment. It teaches them to understand that what they do matters.

    Lane Shepherd - Red Circle Lodge
    Senior Executive Officer, Therapist
  • I love that the h3 model allows a therapeutic process to take place that truly allows the client to work towards a goal that benefits them and the horse. h3 is setting a new standard in the equine assisted therapy world.

    Ty Holland
  • h3 was instrumental in helping so many of my clients look deeper into the relationship they had with the world around them. h3 helped bring out issues our clients often didn’t realize they were dealing with.

    Travis Ashby
  • I used the h3 model for one year and it turned out to be a life changing experience for me. With the help of Mike Randall and Ryan Tingey I am know living a healthy successful life doing what I love, training horses in Texas.

    Mark Rashall
  • I have had the opportunity to have Mike Randall and his staff, conduct an Equine Therapy/Professional Development session for two different high school staffs of 40 + employees. I can honestly say that both experiences were the best trainings ever provided to myself and my employees.

    Rusty Holms - Millcreek High School
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