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Equine Therapy/Equine Assisted Learning with Riding

This project offers the individual a chance to experience a holistic equine experience which is based on relationship building with the horses and the donkey. Getting to know the horses on the ground and also in the saddle. The use of trained helpers to support and communicate with the child or young person enables him or her  to enjoy the activity in a safe environment. The horses give the children a sense of independence and boosts their confidence and self esteem. Physically challenged children enjoy the freedom of movement, feel an improvement in their balance, flexibility, mobility and strength. The children are taught to ride correctly and give the correct aids where possible or an alternative signal to the pony/horse and  find it rewarding when the pony follows their instructions. 

The child will get to know each horse and their different personalities. The sessions are run by a qualified social worker and BHSAI (riding instructor) with volunteers supporting. Each session is tailored to meet the needs of the particular individual and some sessions can be arranged with another child with similar needs if required. The sessions run for one hour unless a shorter or longer session is specifically requested.

The natural world of the horse is based on relationships and these relationships hold the herd together and assure its survival. At the core of these inter-herd associations are mutual feelings of trust, respect and confidence in the leader and connectedness is always present between all the members of the group. Teaching equine relationships and communication skills assures successful outcomes with the interactions between horses and humans.  The relationship on the ground is then transferred to the saddle.  The movement of the horse and the rhythm of his or her motion releases oxytocin (hormone that reduces anxiety) and opens learning receptors. This improves communication skills for autistic children and children with communication difficulties. We believe that children and young people with disabilities should not be prevented from challenging themselves, learning to go faster on the horse and ride independently where appropriate. The project is also working with children in care to help recover from trauma and address attachment disorders, and who display difficult behaviours.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Alison Couzens
Contact Position
07958 367915

Where to go

Homelands Farm
Hogs Lodge Lane

Homelands farm is an off road venue and although rural, is not isolated. It is situated on the South Downs way, an area of outstanding natural beauty. 

Accessible changing, Secure environment, Wheelchair access, Accessible toilets, Disabled parking

Time / Date Details

When is it on
Open Monday, Tuesday and Friday 10.00am - 6.00pm, Saturdays and Sundays 10.00am - 5.00pm
Time of day

Other Details


As above sessions vary according to request but an hour costs £75. Special rates when siblings join sessions.


Referral Details

Self referral or referral from friend, family member or local authority.

Please ring mobile 07958367915 or email  for more details or go to South Downs Equine Therapy CIC Facebook page. A referral form will be completed over the phone and a discussion of the child/young person's needs.

Local Offer

Local Offer
What does your service do?

As detailed above, the service provides a full equine experience including riding.

Who does your service provide for?

Children,  Young People and Adults

How can I start using the service?

Contact Alison Couzens via telephone 07958 367915 or via email


Where is it located and what areas does it cover?

The service is located in Hampshire, but it also provides a service to those living in neighbouring counties such as West Sussex and Surrey areas. 

How are decisions made about who can use your service?

Depends on weight (if riding involved) up to 10 1/2 stone


How do you communicate with service users and how are they involved in decision making?

Each individual is consulted depending on the best communication method. They are listened to throughout the process to ensure they are comfortable with the activities they are undertaking. 

Is your service fully accessible?


What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEN and Disabilities had or are having?

The staff are horse aware and have a good knowledge of horsemanship skills. This is continually being updated. The staff are DBS checked and are  from a social work or teaching background.

How will I know my child is safe?

Riding is a risk sport and  there is always a risk that a child could fall off the horse or be injured around the horses in the yard. However the horses used are well mannered and well trained and are used to many different visitors. They are well kept and their wellbeing is paramount.  No child is expected to do anything outside their capability and they are closely supervised at all times. 

Which of the following applies to your setting?
Our service is delivered in the community
Accessible changing
Disabled parking
Accessible toilets
Wheelchair access
What communication methods are you familiar with?
Signs and symbols
Sign language
Does your service include children and young people with:
Signs and symbols
Sign language
Who can I contact for further information?

Alison Couzens 07958 367915

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