Equine Assisted Learning Services

Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is a process where people work with horses to develop their emotional growth, personal awareness, relationships, and trust.


Equine Assisted Learning is fast becoming both a recognised and innovative approach to assist people of all ages in increasing their levels of self-awareness, and in doing so, facilitating improvements in areas such as:

  • Self-confidence

  • Personal responsibility

  • Boundary setting

  • Teamwork

  • Communications

  • Problem-solving

  • Leadership skills

What does the research say?

A number of studies have shown that participation in Equine Assisted Learning Programmes have shown improvements in the above areas. Equine facilitated programmes are experiential by nature allowing a dynamic to develop between the person and the horse providing excellent opportunities for developing self-awareness due to the horses immediate responses to people’s reactions, mirroring people’s emotions and thereby providing instant feedback.


What does Equine Assisted Learning involve?

The team involved comprises of the horse, the participant, an equestrian advisor and a facilitator. The focus of the sessions is generally on the person working with a horse on the ground, so riding is not usually involved.


What is involved in an Equine Assisted Learning Session?

  • The Equine Assisted Learning session starts with an observation session where people observe horses interacting with each other within an arena space.

  • This is followed by an opportunity for people to approach each of the horses and explore levels of self-awareness when in the company of horses. There are number of activities that can be used as part of the Equine Assisted Learning sessions; in most cases the horses will not wear head collars.

  • Team-focused activities can include individuals or groups to build an obstacle course through which both they and the horses/s walk where the focus is on communications, problem solving and relationships. Other activities explore the individual’s level of awareness and boundaries and how these affect relationships.

Why is working with horses so beneficial?

  • Horses are able to read the most subtle cues and respond to the messages people give them in that moment with complete honesty.

  • Horses reflect back the emotional state of the participant, so that people learn that if they can understand their behaviour the horses will respond differently.

  • Accomplishing a task involving a large and powerful horse instills confidence and self-assurance which the participant can bring to other challenging and intimidating situations in their lives.

Do you learn to ride a horse?

No, the focus is on working with horses on the ground, observing and interacting with the horse or pony based on the individual’s own level of comfort so you do not need any experience with or riding horses.


Is it Safe?

Yes, the role of the Equine Assisted Learning Programme Facilitator is to ensure the safety of both the people and horses at all times.


How many people can do an EAL session?

Ainrush Stables’s Equine Assisted Learning Service is now available to people as a group or one to one. It is also available to families, corporate team building and really anybody that would like to participate in an equine assisted learning and personal development session.  A group is made of between 2 and 4.  Sessions may be a once off or can be availed of over a number of weeks.