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NACPET - National Association of Certified Professionals of Equine Therapy

Certification Goals and Standards

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Certified Therapy Horse Association (CTHA®™)

The Certification of Human Service Professionals and Equine Specialists in the field of Equine Assisted Therapy/Counseling (EAT/EAC) is the first area of importance for NACPET, Inc. Thus, prerequisite training and documented internship hours in the field and during each counseling session is imperative. Testing and other guidelines have been established to maintain and add credibility to this practical approach to counseling, in order to ensure public safety and enhance scientific research.


We believe that it is important that a clear understanding of Equine Assisted Therapy/Counseling is given for the Public, the realm of Human Services, trained Professionals, those seeking training, and any other interested parties. A definition of EAT/EAC has been given to us to use by Pegasus ECT. It is the standard that we encourage all to read and to use:



It is an emerging field in which Certified Therapy Horses are used as significant partners with the collaboration of Certified Equine Assisted Therapists/Counselors and Certified Equine Specialists to stimulate emotional growth and development for all individuals. EAT/EAC is client based counseling that provides hands-on opportunities to experience new solutions, and tools for effectively managing an individual’s internal happiness, Chemical Dependency, and their self-esteem strategies. It provides immediate cause and effect situations, which stimulates long-term change.  Moreover, it promotes the process of change from unhealthy communication patterns to successful ones by captivating and embracing attention. EAT/EAC is done with 3 Professionals, the Therapist/Counselor, the Horse Professional, and the Horse. It needs to be done only with the utilization of all appropriately trained Staff and horses. The skills and tools that individuals and groups get to pick up are: Healthy risk taking, fear awareness, and Self-Esteem Strategies. Overall, 90% of all Equine Counseling is done on the ground; not on the horse.  When the individual is on the horse, it is usually without a saddle or bridle, so it is very important that he or she practice the emergency dismount several times with instruction, supervision, and at various gaits.  However, most of the sessions are on the ground.

Pegasus ECT Goals and Objectives

“Our goal/objective at Pegasus ECT is to help you understand Equine Assisted Therapy/Counseling (EAT/EAC), which is based on the practical approach designed to manifest the ABC's of life for individuals and groups alike. The ABC's have two vital components - behaviors and communication - brought together by the first step in change - awareness. Change is constant; it is inevitable, yet it needs awareness to be productive. The Awareness of Behaviors and Communication (ABC's) is imperative for growth and development as a human being. For many people, this healthy normal process can be hindered, or better yet sabotaged on an unconscious level. Often time, people react to people, places, things, and situations because of the perceived lack of options; rather than respond appropriately. Options and choices are abundant; however they are difficult to see because individuals usually focus on what they cannot do, rather than on what they can do. With EAT/EAC, individuals will have the opportunity to explore behaviors and patterns that may create problems in their lives. These problems require honest and assertive communication, which is both verbal and non-verbal. Believe it or not, non-verbal communication (body language) is 97% of ALL communication. In fact, human beings are usually not aware of their non-verbal cues and may generate mixed messages to others, which can be counterproductive; but unintentional of course. Moreover, our histories most dynamic and powerful beings can make the ABC's possible; "Horses". Horses are honest, intuitive and nonjudgmental, which makes them the perfect Counselor, friend, parent, sibling, significant other, peer, boss, employee, and/or colleague, necessary for outside support and vast objectivity. The goal/objective is to live life on life's terms and it is a "team effort". This is our hope for you!


(Must be a Licensed Mental Health Professional to provide these services; with the exception of Addiction, you must be certified by a State Approved Board.)