We invite you to register for any (or all!) of our newsletters. Please select from the newsletter(s) below.

Horse Sense Business Sense Newsletter
Parelli™ & Equine Assisted Practice Interest Group
Horse Sense Events & Occasional E-News


Horse Sense Business Sense
6919 Meadows Town Road
Marshall, North Carolina 28753

Phone: (828) 683-7304
Fax: (828) 683-6281
E-mail: josie@horsesenseotc.com



Working Student Program: Equine-Assisted Horsemanship

The Working Student Program at Horse Sense is focused on Equine-Assisted Horsemanship, the study of the horsemanship concepts and principles necessary to be an effective and knowledgeable horse professional/equine specialist, is offered throughout the year. We take only 1-2 qualified students at a time. 

Different from an Internship, where students often "work off" experience by cleaning stalls and in general helping out, this Working Student Program involves training and development tailored to you by the Horse Sense staff, as well as LOTS of hands-on time with horses with a Natural Horsemanship professional instructor, shadowing select sessions and engaging with the facilitation team before and after sessions to learn the fundamentals of quality EAP/EAL programs. 

Pre-requisites for Working Student Program: 

Before your focused time on the farm with the professionals at Horse Sense of the Carolinas, we ask that you have read both of Shannon's books: More than a Mirror and Horse Sense Business Sense, vol. 1. Both of these books will enhance your experience on the farm and help you narrow in on clear objectives for your time with us!! It is also helpful if you have already begun your journey in training in EAP/EAL, such as EAGALA Part 1 and TF-EAP Fundamentals. 

All Working Students in Equine-Assisted Horsemanship engage in focused study in the following ways:

  • Caring for and feeding the Horse Sense herd of 20-25 horses, daily
  • Extensive time spent in herd observation, the study of horse body language, and the study of herd psychology
  • Study of Natural Horsemanship principles, first in application with horses, and then in application with clients in EAP/EAL
  • Hands-on practice, practice and more practice, with a wide variety of Horsenalities and horses in varying stages of development, developing feel, timing and balance, both on the ground and in the saddle (as appropriate or desired)
  • Consultation time with Shannon to assist in determining and aligning your horsemanship goals for EAP/EAL
  • Time with Shannon Knapp & Richard Knapp, Licensed Parelli Professional, learning horse psychology, behavior and skills with horses that will assist you in your work (Richard is available when he is not offsite)
  • Study of Record of Observation and Horsenality, as utilized in development and assessment of horses for EAP/EAL
  • Time in independent study with Horse Sense's extensive library of Parelli CD's and DVD's, EAP/EAL and Horsemanship books, general CD's and DVD's
  • As appropriate and with therapist and client permission, Working Students begin shadowing and assisting in all Horse Sense activities deemed suitable and in alignment with client goals, including group therapy work, individual therapy work, EAL sessions, Therapeutic Riding Support and all other EAP-EAL-related activities

Logistics and your Schedule

The beginning of your stay is spent learning about Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning in general and Horse Sense in particular: our horses, our approaches, our clients and our farm. After your initial introduction, you'll then be given several horses to play with and a regular schedule of sessions to attend, as well as farm chores and office chores, as needed.

You'll also select a project to complete while you are with us, which can vary from research to fundraising to marketing to ??? At the end of your stay, your last week or more is dedicated to finishing your project and closing out with your horses, the Horse Sense staff, and any clients you may be working with. 

Cost per month for Working Students, including housing, is $1300/month. If you prefer to live off-site, the monthly cost for the working student program is $1050/month. Working Students work, on average, 4-6 days a week. We are happy to work your schedule around a desire for "road trips" in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and Western North Carolina!

To apply for a Working Student position, please send a cover letter, including your personal and professional goals while with us, and a resumé to shannon@HorseSenseOtc.com