They Use Horses to Train Doctors, Don’t They?

Christianna Capra

Christianna gets a nuzzle from one of SROH’s special horses that exhibits extraordinary powers at reading nonverbal communication cues from students and patients.

Christianna Capra is the founder and CEO of Spring Reins of Hope (SROH), that offers Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) and training, with their farm base in Pittstown, NJ. SROH’s specialized workshop, The Horse Medicine Wheel, features the intuitive and incredibly accurate innate skills of horses to read the most subtle natures in body language and intent. Workshop attendees include medical and dental professionals, residents and students to improve their bedside manner and raise Press Ganey scores.

“Horses have a natural gift to read and then react to or display the truth behind our nonverbal cues. They are masters at reading body language, which is what patients perceive from doctors” says Christianna.

Recognizing the value of EAL, its techniques have resulted in stronger medical practices through patient satisfaction, reducing insurance malpractice claims, and helping hospitals retain federal funding. Christianna is exploring awarding CME, CNE, and CEU credit for her EAL training. The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) has offered EAL as a pilot elective course block for the spring semester of 2012. Due to the success of this workshop, the university is now pursuing funding to offer it as a regular course in the fall of 2012 under the guidance of Maria Katsamanis, PsyD, a SROH mental health professional and associate professor at UMDNJ, called Horses for Healers.

A follow up post will feature a video of The Horse Medicine Wheel / Horses for Healers workshop with UMDNJ medical students. Watch for an announcement when the video is posted.

More about Christianna Capra, her vision and life’s mission
Spring Reins of Life, Christianna’s not-for-profit corporation
Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA)

Slideshow Spring Reins of Hope UMDNJ Workshop in Action

Podcast (25 Min.) They Use Horses to Train Doctors, Don’t They?

3 Responses to “They Use Horses to Train Doctors, Don’t They?”

  1. Christianna Capra said:

    May 22, 12 at 2:35 pm

    Guess this comment is biased but just wanted to say thank you to Doris and Health Thought Leadership One-on-One for having the vision and interest to publish this blog/podcast! Our EAL work is based on our EAGALA model program following that regimen and code of ethics (EAGALA is now present in all 50 states and over 35 countries around the world). The Horse Medicine Wheel / Horses for Healers Workshop is based much on the ground breaking work in this particular field (of horses training doctors and medical professionals/students) from Dr. Beverley Kane at Stanford University. Both Dr. Kane and Dr. Allan Hamilton (Arizona) have been the pathfinders in this arena to illustrate and prove that horses have a gift to give us all with regard to becoming acutely aware of our presence and the silent messages we are constantly sending (whether aware of it or not). Utilizing horses and EAL for this training can be hugely beneficial to medical schools, hospitals, clinics and private practice. Establishing a genuine and trusted rapport with patients can increase healing rates and recovery rates as well as decrease malpractice suits and claims. So essentially it is a interactive, experiential, memorable and fun way to learn skills that will serve both the professional and the patient equally over time. Everyone wins! see: for more on Dr. Beverley Kane, and…Thank you!

  2. Sue Steiner said:

    May 23, 12 at 1:50 pm

    Wonderful blog post! Thank you!

  3. amy said:

    May 23, 12 at 6:12 pm

    Excellent Podcast
    I always enjoyed the TV Show “Mr Ed” as a child
    It’s great to see how animals can be used to educate humans.
    An interesting study would be to compare the bedside manner of Veterinarians to Healthcare Professionals treating humans.
    It is always refreshing to see animals treated with love and dignity to help better educate mankind.
    Thank you for this podcast!

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