The Founders

GREG KERSTEN

President, OK Corral Series 
Founder of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP), Equine Services, Inc., EAGALA

                           

Greg Kersten grew up raising and showing Quarter Horses in Nebraska. As a child, he spent significant time avoiding
school to spend time with his equine friends.  At a young age, Greg grew adept at interpreting the nonverbal language of his horses and enjoyed the time he spent observing the horses' behaviors, responses, and talents for keeping themselves safe and healthy.

After high school Greg enlisted in the United States Army where he served for six years.  Stationed in Panama, Greg became a military police K-9 handler.  This suited Greg's love of animals, and allowed him to continue his learning and observation of the importance of nonverbal communication.  He was also able to distinguish the important difference between the nature of herd behavior and pack behavior - particularly in comparison with human behavior.

Greg studied sociology at the University of Nebraska upon his return, but did not graduate. Rather, he went to Washington, D.C. to work in the field of corrections in a youth prison.  It was here where he began to combine his work with at-risk youth and horses.  He realized the benefit horses could offer struggling individuals, and began to formulate the basis of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.  Greg continued to add to his experience by working with youth in programs in Okeechobee, Florida and Escalante, Utah -where he continued to apply to theories of how horse behavior can teach us about human behavior.  Greg was given more freedom to implement his ideas when he moved to work at a residential treatment center in Colorado in the early 1990s.  It was here that he conducted the first EAP certification seminar through his company Equine Services, Inc.  Greg then brought his business and his EAP program to a youth ranch in Loa, Utah, and continued to offer certification seminars to therapists and horse professionals.  After leaving the ranch, Greg created a nonprofit branch to Equine Services, Inc. (EAGALA), where he served as President, CEO and Chairman of the Board until 2005. 

In January, 2006, Greg and his wife, Jennifer, launched the O.K. Corral Series, LLC.  They shared a vision of an authentic training program based on the principles Greg had developed in traditional EAP.  Through the O.K. Corral Series, Greg continues to share his Equine Assisted Philosophy.  Because of the private nature of the company, Kersten is able to ensure the content of the program and curricula meet his standards as the Founder of EAP. 

                                           

JENNIFER KERSTEN, M.ED.

Secretary/Treasurer, OK Corral Series

Jennifer Kersten is a Wisconsin native who brings a variety of education and professional experience to the O.K. Corral Series program and curriculum.  Jennifer earned a bachelor's degree in anthropology and French at the University of Pennsylvania, and later went on to get her master’s in education.

While working at a residential youth program in Loa, Utah, Jennifer met Greg Kersten and became acquainted with Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.  Greg and Jennifer created the O.K. Corral Seminar Series in 2006, and in 2008, they moved the O.K. Corral to northern Nevada to better observe and incorporate the area’s natural mustang herds into the O.K. Corral curriculum. 

Jennifer’s career history spans the nation in fields like contract archaeology, neuroscience research, counseling at-risk youth, elementary and high school teaching, and social services case management

Jennifer currently serves as a specialist for Veterans Upward Bound and co-facilitates several O.K. Corral Seminars and Herdbuilding Retreats each year.