Equine Assisted Therapy

Model of work

Michelle completed her accreditation as an Equine Assisted Psychotherapist at The Equine Psychotherapy Institute in Daylesford, Victoria. Institute founder, Meggin Kirby, has developed this uniquely Australian model of work, founded on solid psychology, psychotherapy, neuroscience, equine studies and ethical horsemanship principles. Visit the Equine Psychotherapy Institute website to find out more. 

Who can benefit?

People from all walks of life can enjoy the benefits of this work. You do not necessarily need to be a horse or animal lover to take away something special from a session.  We only ask that you come with an open mind and be willing to see what our team has to offer.

What horses can offer us

Horses are emotionally intelligent, physically strong and incredibly sensitive animals. Their beauty, power and size often draw people to work with them. As prey animals horses must live fully in the present, as a matter of survival. With this presence, horses can offer clients a non-judgemental acceptance that is deeply healing to experience.

What happens in a session…

Sessions occur in a safe and natural environment, such as a paddock, arena or round-yard, with a Trained and Certified EAP practitioner.

There may be one or many horses participating in the session.

After an initial check in and assessment of the client’s needs and issues, the client is offered a relational experience with the horse/s that is specific to the needs/issues presented.

The Equine Psychotherapy Institute (EPI) Model works with relational horse experiences, including horse observations, meeting horses at liberty, ground/lead line sessions, herd sessions, led mounted sessions, and riding sessions.

These experiences with horses are offered to clients, given the unique needs, goals and wants of the client, and, the wants and feelings of the horse/s.

The client is offered some clear guidelines about the process, the horses, and supported in ways that are appropriate.

Relating with horses and accomplishing ‘tasks’ or activities with horses can encourage the development of skills and values that promote emotional health, i.e. patience, fairness, commitment, emotional congruency, relaxation and good breathing, clear communication, care and slowing down, firmness and determination, good and consistent boundaries.

These activities with horses and the skills required can be further integrated and explored with clients as excellent skills applied in all areas of life.

“The opportunity for the Vocational College students, including young mothers and kids, to walk with the horses and develop that bond and belonging to each other is amazing to witness. Michelle has a calming and active listening demeanour which empowers courage rather than fear, she and the horses are gentle and caring for all the young people.”
Mark Morrisom

Principal, Macleay Valley Workplace Learning Centre