Enabling personal development &
improving mental health
Programmes are designed to meet the needs of every client. Click below to find out more about:-
For individuals and organisations that have completed the Online Introduction to EFL, limited opportunities are available to host 2 day practical workshops that cover the essentials of planning & delivering effective non riding activities that support mental health. A note of interest may be submitted using the link below and a member of the team will be in touch to discuss practical training opportunities.
Online Introduction to Equine Facilitated Learning
Due to the impact of coronavirus, planned practical activities during 2020 had to switch to online delivery. Feedback from participants led to us continuing to offer regular online opportunities for people to learn about different types of equine facilitated activities from the safety and comfort of their own homes. This is the recommended starting point for everyone wishing to build skills in facilitating safe and effective non riding activities with horses. These courses (a series of three 2 hour zoom workshops) are suitable for a wide range of people with an interest in building their knowledge and bookings can be made through the book now button below…
New Income Streams for Equestrian Centres
Equi-Scotia CIC is open to developing new partnerships with existing equestrian centres to help them create new income which does not cause physical wear and tear on their horses. The work lends itself to centres where horses live as natural a life as possible, preferably in a herd, and indoor facilities are required. Establishments that keep horses stabled but create maximum opportunities for horses to socialise might also provide suitable venues. Please contact us to explore potential opportunities for your centre which can support mental health of individuals and groups in your local community.
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is a developing treatment in which humans interact with horses in their natural environment as a tool for emotional growth and learning. It is a collaborative effort between a mental health professional / therapist, a horse professional and the patient.
EAP is experiential in nature; this means that participants learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses, then discussing and processing feelings, behaviours and patterns.
The focus of EAP is not riding or horsemanship, it takes place purely on the ground. The therapy involves activities with the horses which will require the client or group to apply skills such as assertiveness, problem-solving, taking responsibility, relationship building and leadership.
This alternative but highly successful treatment method rapidly breaks down defence barriers, providing immediate cause and effect situations and promoting change from dysfunctional patterns to successful ones.
EAP is a powerful and effective therapeutic approach that uses the dynamic nature of horses to address addiction and a variety of mental health and human development needs including challenging behaviour, attention deficit disorder, depression, abuse issues, eating disorders and relationship problems.
EFL Practitioner Training
Directors of Equi-Scotia CIC are able to offer a high-quality learning experience for practitioners at a tranquil venue of Shiresmill Therapy Riding Centre, in the heart of Central Scotland. Whilst most students will take 12 months to complete their learning journey, those with the necessary skills and experience can expect to fast track their training to qualify as practitioners within 6-8 months. Applicants wishing to apply to study on the SQA quality assured Professional Certificate in Equine Facilitated learning & development are encouraged to complete the Online Intro course prior to submitting an application.
“Being an experienced coach and trainer in the hard-nosed world of business, I thought it was important to explore new ways to get through to tough minded business-people who wanted to embrace change and new ways of leading, but were sceptical about pretty much everything. I feel that learning about leadership through working with horses firstly:-
Takes them well away from familiar territory and avoids the excuse ‘I’ve tried that and it doesn’t work’
Secondly, the horse cannot answer back! The leader is therefore left with their own actions and behaviours to examine and no one else to blame. It’s an incredible experience that all good leaders ought to have the privilege of experiencing.”
Rebecca Bonnington, CEO, Tricres LLP
“I came away from the day feeling wonderful. There’s something really special about being close to animals and nature isn’t there?
I remember when we initially approached the horses, that part was probably most powerful. It had been a while since I had been around horses and I forgot how nervous they made me. So I certainly think that was a very important part of the day in terms of appearing confident but also relaxed and unthreatening as you approach the horse.
Also, the grounding thing where we tried to push each other over, that was really quite surprising and effective and is a technique I think about still to this day. It was certainly helpful in not only building my own confidence and self-esteem and giving me techniques to do that but also making me aware of the importance of body language in how I present myself. I think that self-confidence and self-esteem are really key when you’re having difficult conversations and especially with clients…”
Leigh Fell, Founder and Chief Executive Officer
At Shiresmill we have worked with Julie Anne and latterly Mike on a few projects, which has introduced a whole new way of appreciating just what horses and humans can learn from each other. It has been an amazing journey to date, and we look forward to growing this area of our service so that we can truly contribute to changing lives of all involved., participants, families and our volunteers. The creation of Equi-scotia by Mike and Julie Anne who are experts in this field provides a clear pathway to train, learn and evolve Equine Facilitated Therapy.
The Shiresmill team
Thank you, Mike and Julie Anne. The course opened my eyes to what is possible within myself and horses. They are amazing teachers and it would be great to be able to open this up to many more people. It encouraged me to question long held beliefs, and to notice and acknowledge horse behaviour, without judgement of them or myself.
Lesley Furnell, Retired Physiotherapist and Hippotherapist
“Julie-Anne and Mike, Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to learn from you both, I have really been taken to a new place in my work with our horses and I am sure for the better both for their good and mine I hope this is somewhere we can go with RDA with our coaches for the future, how we would all benefit and especially our amazing horses who so deserve us to do better by them and let them be horses and not machines.” Anonymous