Erica offers experiential learning with horses to individuals and groups. Visit Equi-Sense to learn more.
Erica’s knowledge and approach to experiential learning bridges worlds. Her academic research provides her with unique expertise in horse-human relationships, identity development, and communication. Her work with horses (including gentling mustangs and holistic horse care) provides her with a deep understanding of horses as sentient beings, and powerful teachers. Erica’s experience includes co-developing and delivering a horsemanship program for young women, and a trauma-informed equine experiential program for foster children. Melding her academic and equine knowledge, Erica guides clients in identifying their personal and/or professional goals, and developing effective communication and leaderships skills.
Visit Equi-Sense and Erica directly at (707) 486 - 3490 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a session.
My daughter, friend, and I spent a few hours at Belos Cavalos with Erica Tom, and we were so impressed with Erica and the magic of the horses and the land. Erica is so impressive--she is just as comfortable and graceful with us as she is with the horses. She shared the depth and breadth of her understanding of the horses--their quirks, personalities, interesting histories, and helped us pay attention to them and to ourselves, in order to understand both better. For example, we got to see how our body movements, big and small, even our breath, affected the horses. Erica's sensitivity, humor, warmth, and years of experience with horses all helped create a fun and moving experience for us all. Thank you, Erica!
- Rachel Katz, MFT, PhD
I have been fortunate enough to work with Erica and the horses on several occasions, and the work she does transcends any kind of therapeutic experience I've ever had. Erica has a beautiful way of allowing me to connect with the horses on a deep and genuine level that is both healing and empowering. I have always had a profound love for horses, and Erica has an incredible ability to create a safe space to bond with the horses while growing as an individual. There is nothing more special than being loved and accepted for the person you are, and the horses provide that every single time I work with them, Erica's sincere passion for helping others shines as she guides you through a unique and dynamic experience that is life changing. Erica has a true gift, and I am forever grateful for her guidance and expertise.
- Elizabeth Marincovich, YWCA Safe House Lead
The education that I gained from the Communication Workshop at Belos Cavalos has really been very helpful and informative in my work and personal life. Learning specific information about how the horses interact with each other, watching their body language, noting who the leaders and followers are, and observing general herd behavior with the narrative insights that Erica offered really provided an interesting parallel to how many teams and workplaces function as well. Being aware of your own attitude and the energy you bring by working with the horses allowed me a unique opportunity to honestly access how my presence will affect the teams, friends, and family that I interact with on a daily basis. Such a fun and beautiful way to spend an afternoon. Erica Tom brings years of experience, insights, leadership, and passion which culminated into providing a really valuable experience for all who were able to attend.
- Mary Lucas, Tasting Room Supervisor, St. Francis Winery
I would like to thank Erica Tom, the wrangler team, and Belos Cavalos for the wonderful opportunity to be able to spend a whole afternoon learning about Equine Experiential Education and most of all, learning more about myself and my team. Even though I was nervous, with Erica and the wrangler team’s guidance I was able to overcome my nervousness and put into practice what was shared with me about horses and human interactions/dynamics.
That day I learned so much about myself and our team and how observing horses and their individual/group dynamics can help me. One thing that I took away was how we as humans tend to focus on the narrow path and with horses, since they are prey animals, they are always aware of their surroundings. This helped me to make sure that I remember to look at the big picture and surroundings when making a decision that may affect my team, students, and the communities I am a part of.
Another takeaway for me was to remember to breathe and how horses as well as human beings are able to sense the energy I give off. This helps me to keep in mind that it’s ok to take a pause and take a deep breath or two before moving forward with what I’m working on and within a team.
The biggest takeaway for me was that working within a team is so important and trusting in your team members is key as experienced in our last team activity with Secreto. I am honored to have been a part of the E3 experience and will forever take what I learned that day with me and apply it in my professional and personal life.
- Khou Yang-Vigil, Counselor, Sonoma State University
I had been given, for my birthday, the gift of an hour and a half-long equine experience with Erica Tom at Belos Cavalos. It was an incredible gift, as my friend knows I cherish time with animals and with nature.
I was welcomed very warmly by Erica and we sat in the beautiful office decorated with natural materials and the gorgeous view of the expansive pastures out the windows. I was even offered tea! So comforting. We chatted for a bit and learned about her education (folks, she is HIGHLY educated and experienced at this).
As we stood there for a few minutes just observing the horses, noting their various personality traits and habits, I was struck by how different each creature was, how beautiful, graceful and was truly in awe. It was a rainy, stormy day and as the wind began to blow hard, I felt the mist of the rain begin to blown gently into my face as I was instructed on how to groom the animal. It was a bonding experience for both the horse and human, if you can imagine how comforting it is to have someone stroke your hair or arm, a show of love and care, and the horses express this with each other by grooming each other. I found it to be calming and a beautiful experience.
Next we moved on to walking a horse, which I hadn’t done before either. When walking a horse in a circle, one has to have FULL attention on directing this 1400 pound animal so as to not get stepped on, and to watch for reactions from the horse, a truly mindful experience. I felt so one with the horse, like it was an extension of my arm. I didn’t even notice the intense rain and then the hail that came pouring down onto the covered arena. It was such a cozy, yet exhilarating experience in the beautiful natural area, the sights, the sounds, the smells, all just amazing!
Erica encouraged me to think about things I wanted to recognize, that I desire, that I wish to release, that I know as I went through this process, which I did. I was able to think my intentions and sometimes speak it to the horse as I was walking. It was my safe space to feel and express.
Afterwards, we got together back in the office and had tea by the fireplace and discussed whatever I desired. I could share or not share; totally relaxed, calm, nurturing and a safe place for me to just be. I very much enjoyed Erica’s company and felt so safe with her as facilitator. I intend to do either this or another type of session again soon. I was the gift of a lifetime which spoke to my soul. Thank you, my dear friend, Fran, and than, you, Erica and of course, thank you Lucky Sam and mama Xilena.
- Diane Misty Anderson