What is Schools Therapeutic Horsemanship (STH)?
These session are completely customisable by the school to meet with their needs. Students can either work one-to-one or in small groups with the horses. Schools Therapeutic Horsemanship (STH) is Natural Horsemanship based program.
Our qualified facilitators enable the students to discover things about the horses and also some new things about themselves. The students will practice gross and fine motor skill, refine behavioural patterns, develop the skills and resources that they may not be aware they have, and find new skills. The exercises we have are developed to provide a metaphor for situations outside the environment they are conducted in.
Schools Therapeutic Horsemanship is ground based (no riding)
Who is it for?
Anyone of any age can enjoy these sessions and will gain from them. We do find they are particularly effective when working with teenagers who thrive from positive one to one attention and quickly gain confidence in their ability learn a new skill.
We have found small group sessions very beneficial for things such as friendship group issues, when students are going through similar life events ie bereavement, exams, family breakdowns etc, and also for groups with autism, sensory processing etc.
Like our Therapeutic Horsemanship (TH) programme, this programme helpful for those who may have experienced some of these life events: bereavement, low self-esteem, fear, domestic violence, school refusal, behavioural issues, self-harming, suicidal behaviour, sexual exploitation, mental health issues, anxiety, bullying, post traumatic stress, elective muteness, and things like Autism, ADHD, Aspergers, Sensory Processing.
Schools Therapeutic Horsemanship is effective because working one-to-one or in small groups with a trained facilitator, the student(s) will try new things and as we are careful to set them up for success they will experience the joy of achievement and the development of a new skill. STH is particularly effective for teaching patience, emotional regulation, perseverance, communication skills trust and overcoming a fear of failure. It also builds confidence and courage as the student(s) is encouraged to step out of their comfort zone and experience something new.
We can also tailor make this programme for those students who are about to go off to college to work with horses. This helps them gain confidence, skills, and experience to set them up for success in their chosen career. We have had a lot of success with it being beneficial for young people who are on the Autistic Spectrum
No horse experience is necessary, we will show you everything you need to know.
We are also a West Sussex Alternative Learning Provider
What happens in a session?
After some time connecting with the horse and settling back into the environment the student(s) will develop their horsemanship skills building week on week until they can ask the horse to perform complex actions with them.
Playing football is often an activity that both will enjoy, as well as mastering obstacle courses and asking the horse to knock over cones on request.
At the end of the session there is a chance to relax with the horse and thank it, celebrating the partnership and all that has been achieved in the session.
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.
How long are the sessions?
Each session lasts approximately one hour. We stop when the right point has been reached rather than when the clock dictates. We usually run these sessions in a series of 6 sessions (although we can do more or less sessions depending on each case and funding requirements)
When do they take place?
These sessions take place during school hours. We have set days and time put aside for Schools work, although these are flexible in order to work around your timetable. Some schools choose to have a set day every week for students on an ongoing basis, where as others work on a more ad-hoc basis.
In September 2013 we were asked by Muntham House School near Horsham to provide Horsemanship Training for the boys from the school who all have Emotional Behavioural difficulties. Many of them have a diagnosis of Autism.
This programme is based on our School Therapeutic Horsemanship, and uses NLP linguistics and a Brief Solutions approach to enable them to think about life and how they might improve their life outside the field.
We previously held these sessions at Lower Sparr Farm, Wisborough Green thanks to the kindness of Mr and Mrs Haines who allowed us to use their premises. (The school could not get the boys to Littlehampton as it is too long a journey). We now hold these sessions at our new site in Wisborough Green
Michelle Dewsall from Muntham House School said :
"Our students at Muntham house School have benefitted enormously from Fran’s warmth, empathy and understanding of complex needs.
What Fran has managed to achieve in regards to raising children’s self-esteem, confidence, self-awareness and general wellbeing through her work with them and the horses is nothing short of magic!
Equine therapy is a popular and well attended intervention. As such, we feel grateful to have found Equine Partners CIC and blessed that they have become a valuable source of on-going support to our community"