What is Bella's Buddies?
Bella's Buddies is group set up specifically for children with
sensory processing difficulties in some form, whether this is
purely sensory processing or as part of something like Autism.
It is designed to give young people a chance to
learn horsemanship, whilst being supported and developed
in a safe and understanding environment.
During this time they will participate in all aspects
of horse care to ensure the wellbeing of the pony as well as
We focus our session to help the children develop Gross &
Fine Motor Skills, How to process senses, Balance, Reading People, Feel, Timing, Emotional Regulation, how to be a good partner and leader for their horse. All things that will equip them with the skills and give confidence that will overflow to other areas of their life
Please note: We are not a riding school. All our Natural Horsemanship Sessions generally do not include ridden skills.
Equine Partners CIC is dedicated to education and will be supporting people in gaining the skills they need if they wish to gain Equine Qualifications.
Our training method
We use the Parelli Natural Horsemanship method of training with all our horses and ponies. Everyone handling a horse or pony is shown how to play with them in this way. We find that this approach and the ethos of Parelli fits well with what we do and supports the young people with many positive qualities and life skills such as clear communication, patience, a sense of justice and a willingness to constantly learn and improve.
It is import to be clear that we do not 'teach' Parelli as we are not Parelli instructors, we simply support our participants on this journey if they wish to take it.
Our staff have regular lessons with a Parelli instructor and we can arrange for them come to teach them on request. If you want to find out more about Parelli please have a look at their website www.parelli.com
Disclaimer “Parelli Natural Horsemanship™ is a trademark of PARELLI NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP, INC. which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site”
Who is it for?
Bella's Buddies is for children and young people who are in need of a slower and more long term form of horsemanship than our Therapeutic Horsemanship or Equine Assisted Learning Sessions. It's primary focus is for children with Sensory Processing needs.
We purposely keep the group small so that it is a comfortable environment for the children and will tailor make the teaching to the needs of the individual children attending.
No horse experience is necessary, we will show you everything you need to know.
Are they weather dependant?
The short answer is no! In the nice, dry weather we hold our session outside in a paddock or stable yard. However if it is raining, cold or windy, we have a lovely big indoor barn in which to get away from the weather.
When do they take place?
Bella's Buddies takes place on the 4th Saturday of every month.
How long are the sessions and what happens?
Each session lasts one hour. These sessions are broken down into approximately 40 minutes of Stable Management / Horsemanship Training and 20 Minutes of free time with their horses to do whatever they please, whether thats just hang out with their pony or Chat to us over a hot chocolate!
Due to the needs of the children we always ensure this down time is built into the session to allow them to process things before they leave the site. If a child turns up in a challenging place that day we have trained staff who can give them the one-to-one time they need to re-group and get back on an even keel before they leave.
All our horses and ponies are selected specifically for this programme because of their nature and character. They vary in size from very small to very big and different ability and challenge levels, which enable us to match the right horses to the children depending on their needs that day.
A Young Girl That Attends Bella's Buddies
"I love the horses. Bella is my favourite, or Tom. They make me feel excited and happy! I like playing with them and grooming and cuddling with them. Fran and Jo are very nice and they help me. They talk to us about things and we do Bella breathing to feel ok."