Hands-On Learning

During this program we use Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL).  We work with children & young people aged 5-25 from across Tayside and Angus who are struggling with mental health issues, emotional and behavioural problems / or learning difficulties.

The young people we work with tend to struggle to engage in a traditional classroom setting and find the learning opportunities in our outdoor setting more appealing. 

To help us monitor our impact on the lives of our clients we use the Goal Based Outcome scale (GBOs) which is simply a way of deciding at the beginning of an intervention where you want to make improvements, and to track progress along the way, or at the end to see how much progress has been made. The GBO scale is also a powerful tool to facilitate shared decision making in children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.  Every process starts with a joint understanding of what the goals of the intervention are and the methods we will use too get there.

At the start of the program each client will set 3 personal goals for what they would like to achieve, ​these are based on what changes they think would make the most positive impact on their lives. They rate themselves for these goals at the start, middle and end of the program on scale of 0-10 using the GBOs.

Helpful goals tend to be future focused, positively framed and realistic!

Tracking and discussing progress regularly allows the client and the program leader to monitor progress together.

​The Ponies Helping People Program is an intervention where Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) is delivered across block sessions as either 1-1 or small group sessions.  They are fun and effective. Each session is tailored to the individual client's needs, these are client-led sessions, and goal oriented.

 EFL sessions are great for promoting

  • confidence,

  • communication skills,

  • relationships,

  • responsibility,

  • teamwork and

  • personal achievement.  

Working with ponies who have naturally calming natures can have a powerful impact on a person's social, emotional and mental wellbeing and the benefits have been shown to improve cognitive and sensory processing, emotional regulation and overall physical development

The Ponies Helping People Program is aimed at children & young people who are struggling with mental health issues, emotional and behavioral problems, learning difficulties, additional needs or a neurocognitive condition such as Aspergers, Autism, ADHD ect

What's included?

  • 1hour session

  • 6 sessions per block

  • child-led at their pace

  • certification upon completion

  • skills development

each session offers time spent with the ponies and time to self reflect. 

More about EFL

During The Ponies Helping People Program sessions may be short or long term. Each block is 6 sessions long each lasting 1 hour and offers time to reflect. No experience with horses is necessary.

Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) is the type of intervention used during our Ponies Helping People Program and the methods we use includes equine activities and/or an equine environment in order to promote physical, occupational, and emotional growth in persons suffering from ADD, Anxiety, Autism, Dementia, Depression, Developmental Delay, Genetic Syndromes (such as Down Syndrome), traumatic experiences, brain injuries, behavioural issues, abuse issues, and many other mental health problems.  Our program can help the individual build confidence, self- efficiency, communication, trust, perspective, social skills, impulse control, and learn boundaries.

As well as equine based activities we use other techniques such as meditation and mindfulness.

Get in touch for more information.



Equine Assisted Activities

Pony agility is just one of the activities we use during our sessions. Agility with the ponies is a great way to build a trusting relationship, learn problem-solving skills and teach patience.

Annalese and Rosie demonstrating exercise #1 Building trust.

This is the simplest course with minimal 'scary spaces' a great starting place for clients. As their confidence grows the more challenging we create the course and in turn, the more learning opportunities present themselves.



to help align the body and mind

When we work with clients, its important for them to be present in the learning and healing journey.

Movement and Mindfulness are just one of the techniques we use during our sessions to help align the body and mind.

Activities like these have physical benefits as well as mental, they improve balance and co-ordination skills - much-needed skills when working with horses and ponies. They help manage stress through breathing and incorporate concentration techniques.




Muirhouses Farm, Errol Airfield, Grange, Perth & Kinross PH2 7TB

©2019 by R&J Equestrian.