Equine Assisted Coaching Courses

Do you want to work alongside horses to help people improve their lives, achieve personal goals, make professional progress or experience well-being? Do you have a background as a riding instructor, teacher, coach or human services professional?  Our Equine Assisted Learning practitioner training will enable you to build on the training you already have and learn new skills so that you can have a sustainable and profitable career doing what you love.

 

The With Horses certification process prepares practitioners to work as professionals in the field of Equine Assisted Learning. 

What is Equine Assisted Learning?

Equine-assisted learning (EAL) is an experiential learning approach that promotes the development of life skills for educational, professional and personal goals through equine-assisted activities.

 

“In an EAL setting, the experiential approach integrates equine-human interaction that is guided by a planned learning experience to meet the identified goals or desires of the participant(s). Working with equines provides opportunities to teach critical life skills such as trust, respect, honesty and communication. Equines use mostly non-vocal communication and are in-tune with human behaviour. This can help participants to better understand and learn how our non-verbal communication might be impacting or influencing others in their lives. Equines ask people to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Through interactions with the equines, participants learn a heightened self-awareness. Self-awareness is important in order to reveal patterns of behaviour and gives participants the opportunity to think in a new way. Furthermore, participants gain self-esteem and self-confidence while learning how to work with such a large and powerful creature. In all, equines provide us with a way to see our internal landscape and modes of operation exposed. They offer us the opportunity to experience humility, compassion and challenge - all critical elements to supporting self-growth and self-awareness.”  - PATH International

 

Who can become a practitioner?

People from all walks of life who have an interest in or affinity with horses can become Foundation Level Practitioners who teach horsemanship and horse care skills to those wishing to relax in the outdoors, develop motor or memory skills or to have a deeper connection with horses. Professionals with a variety of certifications, experience and backgrounds can become Advanced Level Practitioners who incorporate EAL into their programs. In EAL there are three main areas of concentration:  education, professional development and personal development. Our Foundation Level practitioner course will enable you to gain knowledge and skills in the areas of natural horse care, ethical horse training and human/equine interaction. Our Advanced Level Practitioner course will build upon your skills to shape you into a facilitator who can work alongside horses to help people achieve their educational or therapeutic goals. You can build upon and get credit for your past experience, including lived experience, and your existing qualifications.

 

What does the training involve?

Ordinarily, the program involves both practical and online learning. However, while Covid-19 restrictions persist, it is available exclusively online. It is competency based and assessed. Passing the course requires participants to meet the highest of standards.  Our mission is to promote best practices and produce not just competent but world-class practitioners.  Topics covered include:

 

  • History of Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies

  • Definitions and Scope of Work

  • The three specialty areas

  • The Experiential Learning model

  • The Empowerment Dynamic

  • Client populations, assessments, contraindications

  • Learning and communication styles

  • Handling and Managing Horses in Equine Assisted Learning

  • Working with Individuals and Groups

  • Managing and understanding human behaviour 

  • Equine ethology

  • Ethical horsemanship

  • Facilitation skills and practice

  • Safety and ethics

  • Activity design and planning

  • Business development, sustainability and marketing

 

This training has been 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. The terminology, definitions, standards and guidelines we use are set by PATH International.

 

Our expertise is derived from real projects that have been created, piloted, implemented, evaluated and marketed by With Horses over the past seven years and then published them as curricula. These curricula which are available to all our trained practitioners, give you pre-planned, tried and tested sessions that lend credibility and sustainability to your practice.

 

Benefits of With Horses Certification

  • Certificate and professional title of Equine Advocate, Foundation or Advanced Level Equine Assisted Learning Practitioner.

  • With Horses Practitioner logo to put on your marketing materials

  • Discounted curricula and educational resources

  • Free monthly online or telephone supervision for your first year in practice

  • Access to continuing professional development training

We offer a range of fully accredited training courses and workshops for people from all walks of life. Whatever your level of equine knowledge or experience, you can gain a nationally recognised OCNCredit4Learning accredited qualification. ​Our accredited courses include:

 

Introduction to Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies

 

This LEVEL 1 short course has a 3 credit value. It is ideal for anyone who wants to learn more about the basic premises of Equine Assisted Learning.  It is an online course that usually takes approximately six weeks to complete but you can work at your own pace and you can study from anywhere. Learning outcomes include:

  • Understand and define what Equine Assisted Learning is.

  • Understand the experiential learning process and explain the experiential learning cycle.

  • Know how Equine Assisted Learning can benefit participants.

  •  Be able to participate in an equine assisted learning session.

  • Understand the potential hazards and risks of equine assisted learning.

Cost: £99 per person.

  

                                                               

 Equine Advocate

This LEVEL 2 course qualifies you to assist in Equine Assisted Learning sessions. This course is the first step for anyone who is interested in becoming an EAAT practitioner in a horse-focused role. By the end of it, successful candidates will be able to assist an equine assisted learning practitioner in their practice.  It can be taken by anyone who wants to find out about the growth opportunities and therapeutic potential that horses share. Learning objectives include:

 

  • Understand the different models used to involve equines in learning and therapy.

  • Describe the differences between equine assisted learning, equine assisted psychotherapy and hippotherapy.

  • Understand the experiential learning process.

  • Know the ethical and safety considerations involved when working with equines and vulnerable people.

  • Demonstrate awareness of the ethical and safety considerations involved when working with equines and vulnerable people.

  • Develop practical equine handling skills.

  • Demonstrate safe equine handling

  • Be able to perform the role of Assistant at an Equine Assisted Learning session.

  • Describe the role of the Equine Assisted Learning Assistant.

  • Know how to monitor and evaluate learning.

  •  Analyse and evaluate a variety of learning and evaluation tools.

  

Cost £299 per person.

 

                                             

                           

Foundation Equine Assisted Facilitation Skills

 

This LEVEL 3 course qualifies you to be able to lead sessions that use basic horsemanship skills and present moment exercises to help people who want to gain sensory input, relaxation, enhanced cognitive skills or improved mobility. It takes approximately six months to complete and includes a blend of self-paced online learning as well as the opportunity for hands-on practice at our Porthmadog, Wales or Scottish Borders centre. Practice hours can be completed either on a fast-track residential weekend or week by week at a time to suit you if you live close enough to one of our centres. If you live too far away but have access to horses, you can complete your practice hours via the distance method under the supervision of one of our trained mentors. We currently have mentors in the UK, Germany and Sweden. Learning outcomes include:

The learner can:

  •  Understand the different models of equine assisted learning, equine assisted psychotherapy and hippotherapy.

  • Describe the theory of experiential learning.

  • Demonstrate awareness of the ethical and safety considerations involved when working with equines and vulnerable people.

  • Demonstrate safe equine handling.

  • Be able to perform the role of Foundation Practitioner.

  • Plan, deliver and evaluate five consecutive sessions, showing how observations and evaluations inform future session plans.

  • Analyse and evaluate a variety of learning and evaluation tools.

Cost £550 per person.

  

                                         

Advanced Equine Assisted Facilitation Skills

 

Step 1: On site 5 day workshop in Wales or the Scottish borders. This Level 4 course is designed for people who already have equine experience as well as a background in human services in the areas of coaching, instruction, teaching, caring, advocacy or management. It introduces and explores an approach to EAAT that will be specific to each candidate while being consistent with our philosophies regarding safety, ethics and the role of the horse as sentient being. Each candidate will choose a specialism at this workshop, becoming either an Equine Assisted Coach who leads personal development based sessions or Equine Assisted Educator who leads education based sessions. This training enables practitioners to work with a wider variety of clients with more complex needs using more advanced horsemanship techniques.

Step 2: Practice Hours and Portfolio

Following the onsite Workshop, you need to complete a minimum of 12 practice hours of leading EAL sessions under the support and guidance of a mentor. Your mentor will be a practising With Horses Certified Practitioner and will be matched with you according to the specialisation you choose during Step 2. Alongside the Practice Hours, you will complete a portfolio detailing your hours and personal progress as a practitioner. Practice hours can be completed either on a fast-track residential weekend or week by week at a time to suit you if you live close enough to one of our centres. If you live too far away but have access to horses, you can complete your practice hours via the distance method under the supervision of one of our trained mentors. We currently have mentors in the UK, Germany and Sweden.

 

Step 3: Certification Workshop

A two day workshop during which you will review and confirm your understanding of With Horses’ principles and philosophies including those regarding role of the horse, safety and ethics and their application to your professional work and practice in the field; deepen your understanding of the theoretical model and its integration; develop applied understanding of the theoretical model to the work through discussion, practice and case examples with different populations and different formats in accordance with your Scope of Practice; create, prepare, introduce, facilitate and debrief practice sessions within your Scope of Practice; and finalise your Scope of Practice Statement and Personal Progress Plan

 

Prerequisites:

  1. Completion of the Foundation level qualification or equivalent.

  2. Completion of twelve hours of direct client contact under the supervision of a mentor

  3. Completion of a portfolio that includes the trainee’s Scope of Practice, Personal Progress Plan, Session Plans detailing practice hours and practice-related online assignments.

  4. Current valid CPR and First Aid Certificate

  5. Evidence of safeguarding training and clean DBS check.

Total Cost £1995 per person.

Certification Pathways

Level 3

Foundation Practitioner

Level 2

Equine Advocate

Level 1

Intro to EAAT

Level 4

Advanced Practitioner

We recommend that everyone begins with the OCNCredit4Learning Level 1 Introduction to EAAT certificate which provides a comprehensive overview of all areas of our industry as well as introducing you to the basic terms and concepts you will encounter in later courses. Then you can choose to follow the equine focussed practitioner path, becoming a Level 2 certified Equine Advocate who can assist in therapeutic horsemanship sessions OR take the human-focussed practitioner path, becoming a Level 3 certified Foundation Level Equine Learning Practitioner who can lead equine assisted learning sessions alongside an equine advocate. Alternatively, you can choose to take both paths, becoming a dual-certified Equine Advocate/Foundation Level Practitioner. After certifying at Foundation Level, you can choose to move on to become a Level 4 Certified Advanced Equine Assisted Learning Practitioner.

Sources of Funding

To find out more about potential funding sources please visit: 

https://www.gov.uk/grant-bursary-adult-learners

https://gov.wales/react-individuals

For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11