Pro-EFW History, Ethics and Guiding Principles 

A Little History

A multidisciplinary group of professionals and practitioners working, studying and researching in the field of equine facilitated wellness across Canada came together in 2005 with a desire to build a community of people who are like minded in their approach and philosophy to working with humans and equines.  They wanted to belong to an organization that held a high standard of ethics, certification, education and training to bring credibility and professionalism to this important field of work.  Pro-EFW is also committed to creating a strong network of people who want to work with their own equines in a respectful relationship, and to provide support, education and mentorship in this learning process.

Originally, we chose the name Equine Facilitated Wellness-Canada, because we are fiercely and proudly Canadian and we wanted everyone to know the origin of this rich and in-depth training and certification program. We also wanted other countries or regions to be able to use the name and attach their country to the end as we expand to other areas. However, we received some feedback that people assumed that the program was just for Canadians and so it seemed to limit our reach as to who would be welcomed into the fold of learning about the Equine Facilitated Wellness approach. And so, in 2019 we changed the name to the Professional Association for Equine Facilitated Wellness.  


​As you know there are many terms to describe this field. Our term, Equine Facilitated Wellness, was born in 2009 over a supper meeting when a group of us were trying to create a name that would represent our approach and philosophy of working in respectful relationship with our sentient equine partners. Emily Pelletier of Generation Farms in Nanaimo, British Columbia suggested the name of equine facilitated wellness and everyone immediately approved of this expression that encompassed the distinct but inter-related three streams of our training designations: Equine Professional, Learning Professional and Mental Health Professional.  Certification candidates, depending on their education and experience, can choose to certify in a single designation, dual or tri certification. Candidates develop their scope of practice and how they will integrate equine facilitated wellness into their practice during the EFW training and certification process.  We became and National Non-Profit organization in 2011 and formalized our name.

In 2019 and 2020 a hard-working group of volunteers and Drake Co. constructed a new website for Pro-EFW.  A strong volunteer committee met almost weekly for over a year to update and streamline the website and certification process.  This included developing an online certification portal for our members and certification candidates to access information and work on their certification applications.  Working from their own portal, candidates have all of their documents and forms in one place where they can upload and save information as they navigate through the certification trainings and requirements.  This includes a membership portal where they can update their renewal information, professional development hours, associated professional memberships and insurance information that is required to renew their professional certification status on their Account page.


Compared to other training and certification programs Pro-EFW is an in-depth process that takes a minimum of two years to complete.  It includes online and on-site trainings, practice hours, mentorship, developing a Scope of Practice and a series of written questions to describe your understanding of Equine Facilitated Wellness.

The purpose of creating the organization was to answer a need that people had who were working in the field.  They wanted to belong to an association that honored the equine, had high standards that would bring credibility to the field and belong to a group who had the same ethics and principles around Equine Facilitated Wellness, working in partnership with equines as sentient being in respectful relationships.


Working Within a Scope of Practice

The purpose of the Scope of Practice is to clearly state competency working with a defined population, and field of expertise. This document is to help develop and work within your competence and expertise in accordance with Pro-EFW guidelines. Pro- EFW professionals will also be working within the code of conduct of their own individual profession.   It is a working and evolving document that defines your EFW practice and informs your clients as to your scope and limitations.  It is a document that protects you as a professional and protects clients seeking EFW services. 

Each Pro-EFW professional considers and defines their personal scope of practice in the following three key areas:

  • in working with people

  • in working with equines

  • in equine facilitated wellness.

All approved Pro-EFW Trainings will give you the confidence and ability you will need to practice Equine Facilitated Wellness within your own individual scope of practice and showcase to your clients and fellow practitioners the highest standard of code of ethics & principles in the Equine Facilitated Industry today!

The Role of  the Equine

Do you desire to belong to a community that values what equines have to teach us and treats them as equal partners?

The equine is a sentient being and partner  in the equine facilitated relationship and process. The term “equine” is meant to include horses, donkeys and mules, as all of these animals have gifts to offer in the field of equine facilitated wellness. Equines have their own perceptions and emotions, and can also attune themselves to the presence and feelings of others. Through their remarkable sensitivity, perceptiveness, and intuition equines are able to offer valuable feedback and information to clients. It is crucial that they are able to express themselves spontaneously and freely through their actions and reactions when working with clients.

In order to support their equine partners in this field, it is incumbent upon human facilitators to be aware of the impact that this work may have on equines, and safeguard their physical, mental and emotional well-being at all times. They must ensure that their equine partners are treated respectfully and ethically, both within and outside of client sessions. Human partners need to understand that their equine partners are completely dependent upon their stewardship, and do their utmost to meet their psychological and physical needs.

Through their remarkable sensitivity, perceptiveness, and intuition equine support is able to offer valuable feedback and information to clients.

The Role of the Equine Facilitated Wellness Professional 

In many situations it is desirable and even necessary for equine facilitated wellness practitioners to work together in a partnership. The role of the EFW team is to create a safe space in which clients are able to learn, experience, explore, and express themselves. In order for this to happen, it is important that the professionals complement one another’s knowledge, experience and skills, and that their relationship is based on mutual respect. It is also crucial that they have a shared understanding of equine facilitated wellness principles, ethics and values.

Working as a team allows practitioners greater freedom and flexibility in terms of the diversity of clients they may work with and the nature of services provided. For example, teams may be able to offer group sessions and workshops, as opposed to strictly working on a one-to-one basis with clients. The Scope of Practice statements and Levels of Expertise documents available on the website are useful documents to help the team determine the parameters of their combined services.

Pro-EFW Code of Ethics & Principles  

This Code of Ethics is intended to be used as a guide by Pro-EFW members to assist them in providing equine facilitated wellness services that reflect the highest standards of ethical practice, professionalism and integrity. This Code is intended to be used in addition to other applicable professional codes (counselling, social work, nursing, etc.). The Code of Ethics is based on four principles that are fundamental to the practice of equine facilitated wellness.

There are four main principles that are fundamental to Pro-EFW philosophy and approach to working with equines and humans in equine facilitated wellness (EFW) activities.

These principles emphasize the importance of treating human and equine participants with respect, dignity, honesty and integrity. They also underscore the need to ensure the safety and well-being of human and equine participants in all EFW activities.

These principles form the foundation of Pro-EFW Code of Ethics, and are explored in greater detail in our Pro-EFW PDF Information Package.

Principle 1:  Respect for the rights and dignity of all individuals – both human and equine – and the promotion of well-being for all participants

Principle 2:  Professional Competence and sound judgment in the service of responsible caring for human and equine participants

Principle 3:  Integrity and Honesty in relationships with human and equine participants

Principle 4:  Responsibility to society and the equine facilitated wellness profession


This comprehensive new code was created over two years by the collaborative work from 18 horse industry representatives from across Canada.  Pro-EFW supports the guidelines created and encourages all members to familiarize themselves with the material. The Equine Code is a part of Pro-EFW training .

Go the website to download your complete copy.

Here are the three independent Pro-EFW trainers offering the 4 levels of training in various locations in Canada and the UK


Location: Chiron’s Way
Maple Ridge, British Columbia
(45 min east of Vancouver)

For Upcoming 2024 Training Dates and more information click below. 


Locations: Generation Farms, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, BC

Highlands Gate Wellness, West of Ottawa, Ontario

For Upcoming 2024 Training Dates and more information click below. 


Location: Healing Hooves, Cremona, Alberta

United Kingdom; Inverness and Edinburgh

For Upcoming 2024 Training Dates and more information click below. 


Our Pro-EFW Membership and Certification Renewal Year is from April 1 to March 31.


If you would like to be a general member and supporter of Pro-EFW, click here.

Certification Candidates must renew their Certification Candidate status every year. This $80 fee includes the Pro-EFW membership. Click here to renew

To apply for certification click here and you will be prompted to pay both the certification application fee and your Pro-EFW membership.



You must renew your certification annually. The $55 Pro-EFW Membership is included in your renewal fee, which will vary depending on your certification.

Click here to renew your certification.

The Certification Portal is accessable to Pro-EFW Members who have previously purchased their certification application and are working through the Pro-EFW Certification Process click the button below to access the portal.

To purchase the certification application click