What to Expect
Supportive and welcoming environment
We will welcome you and show you round the venue so you know where the important things are; toilets, horses, refreshments and where you will be based for the session. There will be somewhere dry and warm for you to sit and leave your belongings. Our team will introduce themselves, explain what to expect from the session and answer any questions you have. Our team will be with you throughout the session.
Your safety is our priority
The health & safety of everyone we work with, including the horses(!),is our highest priority. The horses are carefully selected to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our team will explain how to stay safe around the horses at the start of session and be with you throughout to ensure your wellbeing. They will be close to you and the horses throughout the session ensuring everyone stays safe.
Expectations of you
- We work with many horses at many locations and none are especially trained to do this work – we just need the horse to be a horse! In the same way we just expect you to be you! There is no judgement from the horses or us.
- There is no pressure to do anything you do not wish to and you are free to respond to the horses in whatever way seems right for you, in your own time and you can decide how close or far away you want to be from them (no instructions, no expectations, no right or wrong way). The horse is also able to respond instinctively which is how you can start learning about yourselves – by watching their reactions.
- We will help by making some observations and asking questions, for example “I noticed the horse leant towards you. I wonder what was happening?” – but you need only answer if you wish to. The communication with horses is so much more than the words you say.
- Being with a horse may feel a bit strange, surprising or just unlike anything you’ve done before. All you need to do is trust that this reaction is important and be open to exploring what arises for you.
What to expect from us (and the horses)
- We are a kind and caring team experienced at working with children and horses – you can ask us anything. We will be empathetic and compassionate – and so are the horses. If you wish to, brushing or stroking the horses is a great way to interact and ‘connect’ with them and because it releases ‘happy hormones’ will likely make you feel good too.
- This is not a riding or a horsemanship lesson, though you will learn a little about horses the session is about you learning more about yourself. There is no need to have an interest or any experience of horses. We work with horses because they are sensitive to emotions and will respond to how you are feeling, and this can help you better understand and manage your feelings.
- Everything that happens in a session is confidential (in line with our protection policies) and unless required to do so will not be shared with teachers, parents or carers. You don’t need to feel the pressure to talk about anything. We will always ask the adults involved to notice any changes that are happening outside of the sessions to understand their effectiveness.
A typical session
- Arrive at the venue and meet the team
- Get comfortable, be shown where everything is and the room you will be based in.
- Explanation of the session and a chance to ask any questions
- Meet others on your session if it is a group session
- Go into an indoor (covered) arena to get a health & safety briefing and meet the horses
- Interact with the horses
- Take a break, get some refreshments and some space to think about what has happened with the horses
- Have another interaction with horses
- Go back to the room. The team will check in with how you are feeling and what you have learnt – they will help you to see how the learning can be put into action.
- Final questions and goodbye.
You will find more information in the answers to our most frequently asked questions, which can be found here.