TheHorseCourse

TheHorseCourse

At a glance

Causes

  • Community safety / victim support / domestic violence
  • Criminal justice
  • Education
  • Health and well being / research and care
  • Mental health
  • Social care
  • Substance misuse
  • Training / employment support
  • Women
  • Young people

Other details

Organisation type: 
Charity
Geographical remit: 
International

Objectives

Our objective is to reduce social exclusion through horsemanship-based interventions. We help troubled people at the margins of society for whom talking isn't working.

TheHorseCourse is an innovative small charity - praised by funders and organisations such as New Philanthropy Capital and Charities Evaluation Service for our impressive evidence base, built from scratch (starting in 2010).

We succeed in re-engaging 80% of participants back into education/training/work or progressing in talk-therapy where before they were "stuck" or disengaged. We have six external studies showing positive results, including a 27% point reduction in reoffending (peer reviewed by Min of Justice).  

Working across multiple "silos", we take referrals from statutory Mental Health, Education, Offending and Social Work agencies as well as 3rd sector specialists (e.g. substance abuse, domestic violence).

We run a successful HQ in Dorset - working 1:1 with 140 'hard to reach' individuals per year and offering lighter touch interventions for more. We are beginning to scale up through replication in other regions and need help to develop and monitor appropriate systems. We are looking for someone willing to get their hands dirty, at least for a while, and we are looking to expand our board.

The impacts proven so far have led to international interest in our work.
 

Activities

If you have seen equine-assisted therapy, that is not what we do! Ours is a challenging skill-building course utilising the demands of high level Parelli horsemanship (a relationship based 'horse-whispering' method). Participants learn emotional regulation, responsibility and clarity through rehearsal and repetition with specially trained, sensitive and responsive horses. The course consists of a series of tasks, like asking the horse to kick a giant ball, jump over something or place a specific hoof on a spot. Man-handling or force is not allowed and the horses will only perform when participants become calm, focused and effective. The activities are difficult, worrisome at times, but highly rewarding - creating lasting change. 

Our specialism is in reading body language and using physical strategies to help participants become calm and "ready to learn". This skill set comes from our facilitators' skills and knowledge in the horsemanship (typically having ten years or more Parelli training and practice as a pre-requisite for our training). This specialism is much admired by our referrers and we are beginning to pilot skills-sharing workshops with frontline workers to improve their ability to reduce difficult behaviour and re-engage people in talk-based interventions.
 

No current opportunities

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