Workshop Leader: Equal Parts Horse Whisperer, Professional Therapist & Spiritual Guide

Meet Leigh, the Developer of the HEAL Method

Leigh Shambo, MSW, LPCC

Bishop, CA – Leigh Shambo’s psychotherapy practice and educational workshops incorporate horses to guide clients in search of self-awareness and better relationship skills. An accomplished equestrian coach with a master in social work, Leigh attracts clients interested in personal growth, psychological, spiritual and energy work.

“The most meaningful work for horses today is to guide us in a new language of connection – to nature, ourselves and each other,” says Leigh. She is a skilled facilitator who  teaches people about self-awareness and relationships through guided interactions  with horses. The horse activities focus on a “horse whispering” model that is easily practiced by people with little equestrian experience, and is also rich with subtle dynamics that bring added insight for those with years of horse experience.

A passionate horse lover since childhood, Leigh parlayed years in the saddle and a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science from Southern Illinois University into a successful career as a riding instructor and stable manager. Then, in 1988 a serious riding accident, followed by the death of her mother by suicide left Leigh seriously injured both physically and emotionally. During her rehabilitation process, she became attuned to the extraordinary sensitivity shown by horses during her emotional and spiritual healing. “The horses are responsive to each person’s flow of consciousness,” says Leigh. “A horse can function as bio feedback for the soul.”

Leigh hosts workshops and is regularly invited to teach at equine facilities throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Participants are often strongly attracted to horses, with varying levels of actual riding experience. Leigh says she, “facilitates client learning by allowing the horses to be engaging, fun-filled mirrors to people’s strengths and their inevitable human foibles. We create the safe human community in which this work is witnessed and contained.” Her workshops range in length from one to five days and provide a basis and inspiration for personal growth and change.

Leigh has a unique gift for leading people into authentic, respectful and effective relationships – with horses and each other.

Leigh's Equine Therapy Qualifications:

  • A lifetime love for horses and decades of equestrian training & coaching experience
  • Bachelor of Science in animal science from Southern Illinois University
  • Master in Social Work from Walla Walla College
  • Licensed Mental Health Counselor
  • 10 years as a practicing therapist/counselor
  • Advanced Approved Instructor – Epona Center, Tucson, Arizona (completed the year-long Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning Apprenticeship developed by Linda Kohanov, author of the Tao of Equus)
  • Certified Level I – Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning Association
  • Mental Health Equine Interaction Professional – Certification Board for Equine Interaction Professionals
  • Founder and President – Human-Equine Alliances for Learning.

Recent EFPL Presentations & Projects Include:

Prescott College: Equine Assisted Mental Health Program – Guest Instructor
“HEAL Facilitator Training Program” – professional EFP/L training for therapists and educators
“The Horse-Human Connection: Focus on Overcoming Fear” – personal growth workshop recently presented in Cornwall, England
“Energy and Grace: Human and Horse” – personal growth workshop
“Taking the Reins:  Healing Human Trauma with Horses” –  a pilot project researching the efficacy of Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy with adult trauma survivors in Olympia, WA

For Further Information on the HEAL Method or EFPL Please Contact:

Leigh Shambo, MSW, LPCC
Psychotherapist & Educator

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