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Professional Courses


Do you love horses and want find out more about the life-changing 

benefits they have to offer? Maybe you wish you could work alongside your own horses or donkeys to help people improve their lives, achieve personal goals, make professional progress or experience well-being? Maybe you have a background as a riding instructor, therapist or teacher? You may already work with horses and be curious about adding an extra dimension to the services you offer. Perhaps your lived experience uniquely qualifies you to help other people in a way that only you can. 

Whatever your background, with our training, you could have a profitable and sustainable career helping horses to help people.


 Our certification process prepares people from all walks of life to work as professionals in the field of Equine Assisted Learning or Therapeutic Riding. The accredited professional courses are designed with both online and onsite elements that can be taken in stages to fit around a busy life. Our training has been created by experienced practitioners and structured in line with the most recent developments in the ever- evolving field of Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies across the UK and the world.


 Why not start your journey towards becoming a certified equine assisted  professional today?




Training Pathways

We offer two training pathways for equine assisted professionals:


Equine Assisted Learning Practitioner

Equine Assisted Learning Practitioners use ground-based equine activities to help people work towards personal, educational or corporate goals. 

Horse Training

Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Therapeutic Riding Instructors use mounted activities to help people to improve their mental and physical health.

Course Structure

Our professional training pathways each take two years to complete. The courses are designed to begin with two introductory distance learning modules that you work through from the comfort of your own home to take the first steps towards your career as an equine assisted professional. You can work your way up through each step, studying when you are available, fitting your learning around a busy life, stopping or pausing when necessary. Our distance learning trainers will offer help and support virtually throughout. 

To progress further, you then attend one or more of our intensive residential training courses at Whisgills Farm in the Scottish Borders. We also run an annual practitioner training course in Wales when venues are available. Working through the distance learning units ensures that, by the time you are ready to attend one of our onsite intensive training courses, everyone is on the same page, has the same knowledge and starts on a level playing field. You then consolidate your learning with immersive, hands-on practice and have the opportunity to network with other trainee equine interaction professionals.

Horse Whisperer

Training Overview

Stage 1

Duration approx. 6 weeks

All candidates begin by completing the online Introduction to Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies course. This OCN Credit4Learning LEVEL 1 distance learning course has a 3 credit value and is ideal for anyone who wants to learn more about the basic premises of Equine Assisted Services.  It usually takes approximately six weeks to complete but you can work at your own pace and you can study from anywhere.  

Stage 2

Duration approx. 6 months

Pathway 1: Equine Assisted Learning Practitioners complete the online Equine Advocate Course. This LEVEL 2 distance learning course provides an awareness of the most up-to-date equine welfare and science-based training practices.

Pathway 2: Therapeutic Riding Instructors complete the online Assistant Therapeutic Riding Instructor CourseThis LEVEL 2 distance learning course helps candidates to understand the role of the Assistant in a therapeutic riding lesson.

Duration 4 days

Onsite Residential 1

The next step is for all candidates from both pathways to complete the onsite intensive Level 3 OCN Credit4Learning accredited Therapeutic Horsemanship Coach Course.  They gain practical equine handling skills, learn the core concepts of coaching and explore how to develop ground-based activities (e.g., grooming, handling, leading, observing) that help participants attain horsemanship skills, and allow for the naturally healthful benefits horsemanship activities to occur. These include present moment exercises to help people who want to gain sensory input, relaxation, enhanced cognitive skills or improved mobility. It  includes the opportunity for hands-on practice as well as classroom based theory during a 4 day onsite workshop. 

Duration 5 days

Onsite Residential 2

The final step is to attend a 5 day onsite practitioner certification intensive. 

Pathway 1: Equine Assisted Learning Practitioners attend a 5 day Equine Assisted Learning Practitioner course where they complete a minimum of 10 practice hours of  EAL sessions under the support and guidance of an experienced With Horses Certified Practitioner and complete a final portfolio.  For final assessment, they are required to complete a groundwork skills test and plan and deliver an assessed equine assisted learning session. If successful, candidates then become Certified Equine Assisted Learning Practitioners, gaining an accredited Level 4 OCNCredit4Learning qualification. They may then incorporate horses in three distinct unmounted nontherapy services: equine-assisted learning in education, equine-assisted learning in organisations, and equine-assisted learning in personal development.

Pathway 2: Therapeutic Riding Instructors attend an intensive 5-day residential course to work with trained therapeutic riding horses and learn coaching and behaviour modification techniques. They get hands on practice in all areas of therapeutic riding including lesson planning, horse selection, safe mounting and dismounting procedures, adaptive tack, task analysis, contraindications and safety precautions as well as a theoretical grounding in the science of why therapeutic riding is such a successful intervention for a range of client demographics. For final assessment, they are required to complete a mounted skills test and plan and deliver an assessed therapeutic riding lesson. If successful, candidates then become Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors, gaining an accredited Level 4 OCNCredit4Learning qualification. They may then incorporate horses in three distinct mounted nontherapy services: therapeutic riding for physical health and wellbeing, therapeutic riding for mental health and wellbeing, and therapeutic riding for children .

The program offers professional training and skills, in a relaxed, supportive and 'allowing' atmosphere, and being able to be around the horses is therapeutic in itself. Knowing that participants have different backgrounds and experiences, also makes it less intimidating. Having someone believe in me, when I wasn't really able to do so myself, made a huge difference in so many ways. Experiences and ' baggage' which I had seen as negative, a failure and something to be a bit ashamed of, now turned out to be something positive, even a strength. 18 months on... (I have) now actually started working towards having my own donkey EAT business! 

Mia Harri

Discount Pricing

Courses can be booked one stage at a time or you can book the whole course upfront. The complete Equine Assisted Learning and Therapeutic Riding Instructor Courses each cost £2000 per person inclusive of all course materials. Book the complete course now and receive free ensuite bed and breakfast accommodation for the onsite residential intensives at our centre. 

Courses for 2023

If paying in installments is the best option for you, please use the links below to book each stage as and when  you are ready.

Horse Whisperer

Intro to EAAT

This online introductory course is the first step in your career as a therapeutic riding instructor or equine assisted learning practitioner.

Animal Love

Equine Advocate/TR Assistant

Following on from Intro to EAAT, these courses are the next steps for equine assisted practitioners.

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