Expanding Body, Mind and Spirit with Horses with Paula Josa-Jones, MA, CLMA, RSMET, SEP TTEAM

Our problem – may I include you? – is that we
don’t know how to start, how to just close
our eyes and let something dance between
our hearts and our lips, we don’t know how
to skip across the room only for the joy of the leap.
We walk, we run but what happened to the skip
and its partner, the gallop, the useless and imaginary
way we could move through space, the horses we
rode before we knew how to saddle up, before we
had opinions about everything and just loved
the wind in our faces and the horizon in our eyes.

— Prayer, by Stuart Kestenbaum, from Prayers & Run-on Sentences

From my many years of working with horses, I have a deep appreciation for the flexibility and recuperative abilities of the nervous systems of these extraordinary beings. Even though they are prey animals with a finely attuned ability to track their environment, on their own they do not tend to develop fixed emotional and somatic responses – they are master improvisors in a fluid, relational world. That is one of the many lessons that they can share with us.

Horses can help us to understand ourselves as partners and cohabitants in an inter-species world in which the language is movement and touch. They mirror our physical and emotional expression and show us when we are “out of sync” – when our inside feelings and outside behaviors are not in harmony. The non-judgmental presence of a horse helps us calm and ground ourselves physically and emotionally and understand more clearly what we are communicating with our bodies and minds.

Horses can help us become more comfortable in our own skin, more trustworthy to ourselves and others. Being seen and felt by a horse helps us to see ourselves more clearly and develop a more conscious and compassionate inner awareness. With their help, we can find a more reliable sense of physical and emotional balance, resilience, and ease.

This 2-day workshop combines working with horses with somatic movement and touch practices that expand our awareness of what our bodies are feeling and expressing. Grounding experience in the body gives us a clear and vibrant sense of our sensual connection to the earth, each other, and ourselves. By cultivating an improvisational spirit of exploration and play, we gain access to greater expression and openness. Moving mindfully restores qualities of connectivity and confidence by dissolving the separation between inner and outer experiencing. Both days will combine movement and touch exploration with working with horses.


  • Learn how to track your body’s responses and how to settle when activated.
  • Build feelings of confidence, mindfulness and a spirit of improvisation.
  • Connect with the horse using touch and movement practices that are intuitive and playful, and deepen a feeling of ease and flow for both you and the horse.
  • Build trust in your ability to create emotional attunement with the horse.
  • Discover how softness and listening create physical and emotional balance.
  • Create a more conscious and compassionate relationship with your body.

About Paula Josa-Jones:

Paula is a choreographer and movement artist and brings an improvisational perspective to all her work with horses and humans. She believes that this approach helps deepen connection to others and ourselves by opening access to our innate, intuitive, and creative selves.

Paula is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst (CLMA) and a registered Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist (RSME/T) accredited by ISMETA, the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association. She is a Guild certified Tellington TTEAM Practitioner I and a Somatic Experiencing© practitioner, trained in the trauma recovery work of Dr. Peter Levine. She has studied with Body-Mind Centering with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen and others for the past 40 years. Her writings on movement and dance have been published in Contact Quarterly, Dressage Today, Currents and numerous other publications. Her work is featured in the books Affect, Animals and Autists by Marla Carlson, and Because Art, by john Killacky.  Paula’s book, Our Horses, Ourselves: Discovering the Common Body is published by Trafalgar Square Books.

Who Should Attend: Adults 18 years plus. All are welcome. No previous experience with mindfulness, dance or horses is required. All experiences with horses are on the ground.

Workshop Date and Time: Monday, June 12 (10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) and Tuesday, June 13, 2023 (10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)

Tuition: $450 plus HST per person (payable by credit card or e-transfer to jgarland@themaneintent.ca)

To Register: Contact Jennifer Garland at jgarland@themaneintent.ca or call 705-295-6618 or complete and submit the registration form below.

How to Prepare:

  • Bring a lunch or snack, water bottle, face mask (optional)
  • Dress for weather and wear boots/running shoes
  • All participants will be required to sign waiver forms prior to participating in the workshop

Your Host:

Jennifer Garland, BA, MA is a Registered Psychotherapist and Owner of The Mane Intent who appreciates the power of horses and nature to support our overall health and wellness. In 2014, Jennifer founded The Mane Intent, located east of Peterborough, offering virtual and in-person psychotherapy, equine-assisted psychotherapy, health and wellness workshops, individual and team effectiveness coaching and leadership development. Our equine-inspired programming is informed by the FEEL™ approach, EQUASOMA™ – Somatic Experiencing® Skills for Equine-Facilitated Practitioners, Connections Therapy and Fundamentals of Natural Lifemanship training in Trauma-Focused Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy and Somatic Experiencing® Professional Training (Intermediate), and the work of Paula Josa-Jones, SEP Practitioner and Author, Our Horses, Our Selves.


Jun 12 - 13 2023


All Day


The Mane Intent
2410 Cameron Line Indian River, Ontario K0L 2B0