The Eco Academy

Where Nature Nurtures

The evolution of The ECO Academy stems from our passion to live in a symbiotic relationship with nature, with animals and with each other. Connecting with nature is fundamental to our wellbeing and that of our planet. It allows us to shift from an individualistic EGO-centric perspective into a healthy and sustainable ECO-centric collective.

When we explore, expand and evolve understanding through shared experiences,  and cultivate reciprocal relationships with the restorative powers of nature, we:

  • bolster mental facility, 
  • inspire creativity, 
  • promote health and wellbeing, 
  • create efficient sustainable businesses, 
  • build respectful economies and inclusive communities and 
  • engender a reverence for ALL life.


We welcome you to join us on this transformational journey.

Nature is calling

Explorations Training: Learning, Leading and Counselling with Nature.

Whether you want to work with horses, pigs, or trees, humanity is being called to return to the wisdom of nature. The elements and rhythms of nature are essential to our well being bringing balance back into our ecosystems internally, communally and globally. 

Explorations: Learning, Leading and Counselling with Nature is the first step in learning how to foster deep transformational relationships with equines and the natural world. Whether you share it forward as a counsellor, coach, team leader or parent, you are invited to join us online for this 5 week journey into the field ….. of learning, leading and counselling with nature. 

As a Pro-EFW approved Explorations workshop, we include an introduction to the field of equine facilitated wellness and will cover topics such as Pro-EFW’s philosophy, principles and ethics; the role of the equine (and other animals) as a sentient beings; and safety considerations when working with equines, animals and humans.

Why Get Certified?

Email us to set up a complementary call to see which training is right for you!

Meet the Herd

Facilitators

Sandra Wallin

Sandra grew up in the rainforests of British Columbia, riding bareback through ancient cedars and mountain streams. There with the horses, and in nature’s classroom, she learned another way to listen and to lead; a way she’s been teaching in schools and organizations for over 30 years. As a lifelong learner, Sandra has earned Bachelor’s Degrees in Science and Education, a Master’s Degree in Counselling Psychology, and is currently working toward her Doctorate in Ecopsychology. Though she has studied with many incredible people, Sandra says her most influential teachers have been horses - potent allies and guides for those who are ready to move beyond the status quo to thrive personally, professionally and planetarily.

Carla Webb

Carla is an Equine Facilitated Wellness (EFW) Professional, EFW Mentor and Wellness Coach. Her heart-centered philosophy of kindness and enhanced empathy and compassion for all beings is the cornerstone of her therapeutic work. Carla, and her team of four and two-legged co-facilitators (horses, pigs, sheep, chickens and humans), are at the core of her three successful eco-businesses: Unbridled Potential, Empowered By Horses and Standing Six. From children and youth to First Responders, it is Carla’s passion to support healing by building positive relationships and mindful interactions between humans and the natural world.

Sharolyn Wandzura

Sharolyn has been facilitating for over 10 years and one of Sandra’s first students in Equine Facilitated Wellness. Sharolyn offers exceptional liberty horsemanship skills and enjoys digging deep to explore relational development between species. With Sharolyn's 25 years of web design and user experience on board you will feel well supported with her expertise and technical touch!

Learn from Nature

Explorations Training: Learning, Leading and Counselling with Nature.

What Others Are Saying...

Matthew Benke with Sandra

Microsoft

Sandra worked wonders guiding 12 hardened Microsoft warriors through an eye-opening team exercise with a horse. She then facilitated an inclusive, practical discussion right then and there that helped us document and apply our learning to our everyday work environment. It was fast, fun development that I expect we will refer to for a long time to come.

Ashley Riddler with Carla

Parent Support Worker, New Beginnings

Our experience at Empowered by Horses was breathtaking! Carla was kind, honest and so knowledgeable not only about the power of Equine Therapy but about life’s joys and barriers and the importance of self-care. We were lucky to have had this experience. To be a part of Carla’s love for animals and to learn about things like respect and boundaries through our work with the horses was truly incredible! Thank you Carla, for the work that you do, the lessons you teach and the lives that you touch!

C.B with Sharolyn

Equine Facilitated Wellness - Vancouver

I had such a wonderful experience with Sharolyn’s equine guided development. I have always been intimidated by horses but from the first moment I met Sharolyn’s horse Mannah, I felt instantly comfortable. I had no idea how affectionate, playful and humorous a horse could be and readily show it to you! Not only is Mannah perfect for this work but so is Sharolyn as she has the talent, sensitivity and ability to gently guide you through a journey of healing and self discovery. Sharolyn is in with her full heart and it shows through! I highly recommend Sharolyn to anyone who wishes to explore themselves, are faced with life changes or want to bring about positive change in their lives.

J.E. with Sandra

Sandra is like her horses and I mean that it the most honouring sense. She is the perfect blend of intuitiveness and intelligence, able to hold space when that was what I needed, then offer a gentle nudge or metaphoric kick in the pants when I needed that. She hones in, just the like horses do, and sees ME.

JB with Sharolyn

Equine Guided Development

My RELATIONSHIP NIJA Sharolyn: She has a compassionate and considerate way of helping clients to uncouple from energy draining people, relationships and patterns. She has assisted me to step into my power in a gracious yet a powerfully affirming way.

Lindsay Bouillet with Carla

Mentorship

Carla embodies exactly what she teaches. Through her diverse background as an accomplished horsewoman, policewoman, EFL facilitator and teacher, she brings a unique and thoughtful perspective to animal partnership. Carla’s teachings encourage us to join our animal partners in the process of slowing down in order to receive the many lessons they offer us as humans. She incorporates the study of animal psychology and behavior, exploring our own patterns, while paying close attention to how our interactions with animals carry into our own personal lives. All of these relational pieces help support us in building healthy interpersonal relationships in our everyday lives and a strong connection to the natural world. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to work alongside Carla Webb and the Anam Cara herd to learn and grow with them.