The Quick Answer
No, you don’t! There are several ways to do this work without owning your own facility or horses. On the other hand if you do have horses and a facility to work from this offers you many options, including partnering with another professional who may have training and credentials that are a good match for your facility and equine skills!
Remember that everyone on the team also needs training and certification in Equine Therapy which matches the scope of practice of their work and role within the program.
Within the broader field of Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) the animal and handler are often trained and certified as a team which will usually require you to have your own therapy animal. There are however many different ways of doing this work and certainly some that would allow you to work with someone else’s animals, for example on a therapeutic farm. Non equine animals are also often much more transportable meaning greater flexibility with regards to where you work, including the possibility of travelling with your animal partner to client and program venues.
The remainder of this article refer mainly to equine work. That being said, most of the considerations also apply to working with animals others than horses. If you have questions about working with non equines that we have not answered, please ask!
The Longer Answer
While there are certainly some benefits to working from your own facility with your own horses, it is possible (and sometimes preferable) to work from someone else’s facility and/ or with someone else’s horses. This can be particularly beneficial when you are first starting out, if you are still building your equine experience, or if you only plan to work part time or part of the year.
There are several different ways to do this. If you are a Mental Health or Equine Facilitated Learning Professional, partnering with an Equine Professional who has the facility and horses can be a great option. That way you bring the human services expertise and they provide the horse expertise (and the horses).
Alternatively, you may have the equine skills but just not the facility and/ or horses. In that case renting time and space at a facility is an option many people have used.
We find that people often meet potential work partners and come up with creative partnerships during training workshops. The facebook group we have created for training participants and graduates is also a great way to make these connections.
There are a number of considerations that are relevant wherever you work, but which usually require some extra thought and planning if you work out of someone else’s facility and/ or with someone else’s horses. These include:
- Client Privacy and Confidentiality: The nature of your work and your client population will impact this consideration but all EFW practitioners need to be able to manage the potential for and impact of interactions with other people when working with a client in an EFW session. This is usually much easier to manage and control if you own the facility. If you work from someone else’s facility, particularly if the property owner or other people regularly access the same space, you will need to discuss this with the property owner and quite possibly also with your clients.
- Insurance: We have a subsequent post dealing specifically with this question. For now, just note that (at a minimum) general liability insurance, which extends to cover the nature of the EFW work you are doing, needs to be in place to cover you, the property owner, and horse owner/s.
- Safety Standards: Ensuring the environment you are working within is safe for your clients, the horses and other therapy animals, and yourself is critical. This includes consideration of many factors including fencing, fire safety, first aid, state of the equipment, and general physical safety of the property. For example, you would not want to be working in a facility where there was loose wiring in the barn, old tractor parts in the yard or barb wire in the arena!
- Horse/ animal Care, training and well being: Again, this a big topic which is explored in depth within most EFW training and is part of the Pro EFW learning objectives for training and certification. How the horses are selected, trained and cared for matters, and may be harder for you to influence when they are not your horses and/ or they don’t live with you. We explore this topic a little more in our next blog discussing the role of the horse in EFW and Equine Therapy and in depth within all of our training workshops. At Healing Hooves we dedicate a significant part of each training course to this critical aspect of the work and build it into to all aspects of our work.
- You will also want to take time to build and maintain relationships with the horses and other animals that you will be working with. This can sometimes be a little harder with other people’s horses, but it is still usually possible, and is always beneficial. At Healing Hooves the relationship which a client develops with our animals is a key part of our therapeutic context, and much of our work will be done through and within the context of this relationship. Facilitating such a relationship is much easier when you have a positive and healthy relationship with the animals yourself. Again this does not mean you need to ‘own’ those animals in order to develop these relationships, but it certainly helps if you are able to spend a lot of time with them, including non work time. This relationship also makes it easier for you to care for the therapy animals you work with including understanding and meeting their physical and emotional needs, both within and outside of client session times.
All of the above considerations are explored in more depth within our training workshops.
Note: If you are unsure of any of the terminology or acronyms we used above please refer to our earlier blog post where we defined and reviewed these terms for you.
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Next Question: What is the Role of the Horse in Equine Therapy?
What about you? If you have any questions you’d like us to answer in this series, or questions on any of the above material, please use the comments section below!
Challenging to consider safety, convenience, practicality of using a facility without an indoor arena. Trying to incorporate ‘nature/ rustic/ roughing it’ type atmosphere and still be appealing to clients.
This question is one which I have been contemplating a lot, and I am curious to hear other people’s experiences of what they did, how they set up their business, what worked/didn’t, etc. I would like to use my own horse and the facility where I ride but I don’t know how it would work in terms of confidentiality, in particular.
There are definitely lots of things to consider here but also lots of different ways to make things work. Much depends on the client base you will be working with and the nature of the work you will be doing. I look forward to discussing this all with you at trainings!
Awareness of the concerns in using another facility and other people’s horses is so important. Not impossible but there may be some challenges to work around.
I have a similar question as Diane in regard to using a riding facility where there are other people around. I would also like to hear how people have successfully navigated this issue and what the experience was like for the client and facilitator in this scenario.
Hi Twyla. There are lots of different ways to make this work and it depends significantly on who you are working with and what you are doing. My preference here is to keep things very private – but there are other programs who make things work in different ways. If you ask the right questions of yourself and communicate clearly with your clients you are on the right track.
Quite honestly, as much as I feel drawn to do this work, this has been the biggest deterrent for me delving further into the training whenever I revisit it. I have neither horses nor a facility (although know an individual that I believe would be a great EP to team up with), but the steps seem a bit daunting. I don’t really have a question; rather, I would love and appreciate to hear from any others who may have been in this situation and felt similarly, and what has helped them move forward in pursuit of this work.
Great to put this out there Charlene! We often have people connect with other people during trainings and/ or through our group for trainees and find people to partner with. This usually works better than ‘renting’ time and horses at a facility although there are certainly people who have made it work this latter way too.
I relate to this! I’m still just searching out this field and seeing what all AAT entails, but I lack facility and, for the most part, animals! Good to see someone else has this question and is still exploring too 😉
After reading this article I am really hopeful to meet other equine professionals in my area, Parkland County, that would be interested in partnering with me. I have a 10-acer property and 3 horses that I plan to use. I have a small barn and an outdoor arena and have future plans to create an indoor riding area in the upcoming years.
Have you joined our FB group yet Kerie? This is a great place to connect with other people you may be able to work with. Please feel free to post up there to share your plans and what you are looking for. You also may make these connections at the training workshops of course!
Hey Sue! Yes I did join the FB group but this has been my first free day since last weekend as I was away at work retreat for 4 day and am just playing catch up! I am going introduce myself to the group today and hope to connect with some people in my area! I am also really looking forward to meeting everyone at the work shop!!!!
Having my horse in a facility seams good for me at the moment since it’s a small facility and I can do almost everything I want. I’m looking foward to read about the training of the horses.
This was an interesting article. My wife and I have the horses ,but currently do not have the facility. We have discussed the pros and cons of practice at the facility we board our horses at verses waiting to purchase of our own facility. Privacy and Confidentiality may be difficult to achieve with everyone utilizing the same space.
I think that personal preference plays a huge role, and acting within your values. I prefer that we have horses, and hope that some of them may have their suitability for EFW. As Frank mentioned, it will be interesting to discuss running such a practice out of the boarding stable where we currently have our horses, or waiting for a future private facility.
I am definitely in this boat and thank you for posting the information. I do not have my own place and therefore would be looking at working out of someone else’s place. Looking forward to creating new professional relationships and making new friends along the way. It will be a challenge to at first but one that I am up for!! I believe with the right person it could be beneficial for everyone.
I do not have my own horse or facility so I will very likely be aiming to partner up with someone who does or eventually purchasing my own horse and looking into a boarding situation. Do you have any recommendations for how one might reduce confidentiality concerns when a space is shared/open to other boarders, particularly for those clients that would be attending for counselling/mental health purposes?
Every situation differs so usually results in a different plan – depends who you are working with, how much control you have over the environment and who else may be around. The environment can often influence who you are able to work with too. But there is usually a way to make it all work. Clear proactive communication is usually a big part of it all!
Until I started reading the information you have provided, I had never considered working in a team. The people I know who are doing EFW work are all working as individuals with horses and clients. At first I thought this meant that I would be limited in what I would be able to do, but after reading this post, I am thinking of it more as an opportunities for partnerships and thinking outside the box to create multi-disciplinary teams. Thanks!
I found this article to be very informative and it has given me lots to think about in terms of the issues regarding safety, confidentiality, horse care, and insurance. Since I do not have my own horses or place to keep them, I am looking to partner with someone in the Strathcona County area. I look forward to meeting everyone at the Explorations training to explore this topic further.
I appreciate the comments from all the above about this article. An issue that I have in my area is the wind, often we have high wind that can make this practice difficult outside. I would love to offer EFW outdoor, but afraid of the environmental factors. Do having access to indoor riding arena worth the investment?
Good question Martin
It really depends on the size of your business and how active you plan to be. We have both an indoor and outdoor arena and use the indoor a lot – year round. But when the weather is nice we like to stay outside too! There are cheaper options though – a small barn where you can bring in a couple of horses to groom and hang out with can go a long way, especially if you have an enclosed outdoor area to work more actively in when the weather complies.
With wind you also need to consider the safety factors when inside if it is noisy – spend lots of time getting the horses used to what the barn/ arena sounds like on a windy day!
This blog gives a lot of insight into this topic which is helpful. I live in Saskatoon and know of a few places around the area that offers different subsets so something to consider definitely. Similar to any practice within the helping fields, safety, confidentiality, and insurance are all important considerations.
Great comments here! I have three of my own horses and live on 4.33 acres (including my house and garage). So it’s small but i think it doable. The horses are very sheltered but the wind can still be an issue as well as the extreme heat in the summer. I tend to work with the horses first thing in the morning after an early feed to beat the heat.
It is great to see the flexibility that is possible. I am really looking forward to meeting everyone at the course and hoping to find those connections and potential partnerships that you refer to!
I am really looking forward to meeting and getting to know other participants in the program! I also never previously considered partnering with another professional. Currently, I have a wonderful gelding who may be suitable for EFW, but do not have the facility! Although, this may come in the near future!
I like to idea of partnership/team/co-facilitation work in general as it provides opportunity for ongoing learning from others (human and equine). As I do not own horses, it’s great that through partnership, there are opportunities to start building this type of practice.
So great to hear that there are opportunities for collaboration as I don’t own horses YET, however this makes me think of future practices and opportunities I may have and how having my own horses and facility may be beneficial or perhaps a liability.
One thing that makes me anxious is liability. Horses are such big animals! Thank you for this post. Lots to consider. You brought to attention such a great point regarding knowing your client’s and not letting them go places unattended (tools, sharp objects ect, risk of hurting themselves)
I think the most challenging thing is making sure everyone has their butts covered( if you will) through paper. I feel as though it’s easy to keep people safe around horses and horses safe around people. I think a lot of it has to do with prevention and harm reduction. Wearing the proper equipment (helmet, boots, jeans) and proper education for the client.
Confidentiality is certainly a concern at a public, multi-use facility. I have my own critters and place, but we do not yet have an indoor arena. So we will stay weather dependent until such time that we do have something. 🙂
I’m in the same boat as Diane P’s comment from 2018. Who, what, where, when, how are all factors that need to be figured out. Right now, I have no idea what direction to go in and am beginning this journey out of interest and curiosity.
One day I will have my own indoor arena and I can’t wait! I am located near Martin as well and the wind is just ridiculous.
I’m using someone’s private property currently (I run an EAL program) and they are so wonderful (and so are the horses), but I find myself very eager to have my own space where I don’t have to feel like I am invading someone’s space. I also find myself refraining from getting too close to many of the horses because I know I won’t be able to take them with me.
I’m interested in some info on your facility. How many acres do you have and how many horses? How much land would you recommend looking for? (I know that is hard, if not impossible, to answer because there are many different variables) Who built your indoor arena and how big is it?
We have nine horses on 20 acres. Our arena is 120 by 60 (feet) and that includes the arena, my office, tack room and a couple of stalls. It’s a little on the small side for group work but great for individual. We have a larger outdoor arena we use for groups when we can. Our indoor was built by D Bar D
Hope this helps!
This is so great, I have met many people over the years who have horses that would be perfect for EAL or Equine Therapy and the owners just want to see the horses in use. With the proper insurance and confidentiality in place, I’m looking forward to starting my practice before I own my own horses.
This is definitely a question I had when I started thinking about EFW as something I would like to be a part of. I don’ t think I would ever own my own horses, so I would need to work with someone who does. I would love to own horses but I don’t think that is a long term goal my husband has! Never say never though. 🙂 I think it is easy to start to think about the “what ifs” and start to worry about the future..but I just want to enjoy the journey and hopefully as I go things start to line up and I find the right people to work with.
Something new I just learned from reading this article is that “you may have the equine skills but just not the facility and/ or horses. In that case renting time and space at a facility is an option many people have used.” I never knew this was an option. Personally, I haven’t been around many horses. I’ve been riding once and have been in contact with donkeys and mules in Greece seeing as my family members own them there. Here in Canada, I’ve primarily been in contact with cats and dogs. Knowing that there are options to renting time with equines makes sense to me and will keep this in mind when I need to be in their presence.
While I don’t have horses/facilities myself, I am so thankful that over the last 9 or 10 months, I have been able to meet amazing people with both/access to both.
I would most definitely prefer to not rent/lease horses/facilities without doing a ton of research on so many things – location, accessibility, etc – and I would want to know the horses as well as I could prior to doing any of this work with them.
I would love to have my own facility one day, I have a small barn and outdoor arena, however wouldn’t have public access to washrooms etc. I have a few horses here that I think would excel in this!
Great information, especially for people who want to involve themselves in this field of work but feel they may be unable to do so without the appropriate facilities and animals.
This has definitely been a question on the top of my mind! I am really interested in this field and would love to have my own practice doing Equine Facilitated Wellness but am lacking in the horse department! I happen to live somewhere where we could have our own horses, but we don’t necessarily have the facilities to have my own practice. have been debating whether its worth it to try and develop something here where I live so we could get horses or whether it makes more sense to try and find somewhere else to work with horses. I am very interested in what other people may have done and learning more about what options ay be available to do this sort of work.
A great reminder about the importance of the safety component. Do you have to formalize the safety procedures and complete regular field level hazard assessments (FLHAs) and Hazard IDs like many other industries? I am wondering what documentation is required or recommended for safety assessments?
Great question Tonia! Some certification programs do have onsite inspections. For example to be a CanTRA certified centre you need to have someone come check your facility prior to being approved and I believe you also have ongoing assessments. Pro EFW ask you to provide various examples of documentation such as emergency procedures plan, description of a safety session etc. plus if you are applying for certification as an EP you are required to provide videos showing you working with horses safely, plus all candidates need to complete a minimum of four session evaluations with their mentor. We also talk about and explore safety – and all the different aspects of this within different set ups and programs – throughout all of the trainings but most specifically within explorations. It is a big topic!
Until recently, I had the perfect facility to run an EFW program. I have also owned many horses and ponies over the years that would have been outstanding therapy partners. I have several options with friends and former trainers, to partner at a facility, and with good therapy horses as well. And I even know of a couple of dogs that I could incorporate into the program, as they are already amazing therapy animals.
I’m looking forward to meeting like minded EFW professionals in this training program. Perhaps a successful team will be created?
I’m really looking forward to connecting with like minded EFW professionals in this training program. Perhaps the collaboration of strengths will result in a successful EFW team.
This information has been helpful to “rein in” some of my anxieties around not having access to an equine property or horses of my own at this stage of my life. My goal is to work towards having a small property with several equine and other animal partners however this is likely to be some years away! I am encouraged that there is collegiality in the field and that trainees have forged supported and creative partnerships with providers from other streams within EFW. I very much look forward to meeting everyone and exploring potential partnerships are we progress through this journey together!
This has definitely made me look at my own horse differently! I am really looking forward to building connections with other people in this field. It’s also reassuring reading the other comments and hearing about the different situations people are coming into this work with.
It is interesting to see that there are so many options/potential work settings for an EFW practice. My husband and I plan on working through my own facility and with our herd, so that will likely have its own quirks and challenges. Some I can think of at this early stage are creating space for play and work-life balance for us and our horses, having non-EFW time with them, ensuring adequate safety and insurance considerations, and being very intentional about the client population since our home is on the same property.
When we found the place we purchased last year, we felt it was a great location and offered an opportunity to work within our own facility. This presented us with many challenges early such as obtaining insurance, safety considerations such as fencing and cleaning up the place to make it safer, etc. In terms of teamwork, we live in a highly equine populated area with many different equine professionals to potentially work with. Looking forward for the future!
I remember when you were first looking for a place Frank – I’m so glad you are finding ways to make everything work – there certainly are man things to think about!
While I’m not pursuing certification at this time, it does seem daunting to try to do equine therapy. It feels much more manageable to have animal assisted therapy with a dog that could come with me wherever I go!
My BSW supervisor contracted work as a MH professional with three different equine professionals. I always thought the flexibility of that role is very cool in this field. However, I would prefer to work with my horses when possible, just because I know them so well! I definitely value the importance of getting to know the horses we are partnering with. I also think it’s important to “click” with the person you are teaming up with for facilitation. I have witnessed facilitator relationships that have different styles and values and this led to conflict which subsequently impacted the sessions.
I understand the challenge of using a larger facility for EFL work due to the concern of protecting confidentiality. I think approaching a therapeutic riding facility is a good idea. The set up is already in place, with therapy horses, facility safety, an environment with privacy. Do your research in making sure the facility is accredited, have a good conversation with the main person who knows the horses, as therapeutic riding is a different job for horses that EFL work is.
I found this article and discussion interesting and informative. I have never considered what it would be like to work out of another persons facility or use other peoples horses. I am fortunate to own my own property and horses, but I have been wondering what I would do in the winters. I thought maybe I would just provide seasonal work. This is giving me a new outlook and more to consider, as there is an indoor riding arena down the road. I may look into the possibility of renting times. I would worry about confidentiality and not being in control of who is coming and going. I would definitely have to go over with property owners and clients prior to scheduling.
I am fortunate enough to have a property and farm that lends itself naturally to an EFW program. As a property owner, If I were to expand an EFW program here, I can see that it would be very beneficial to team up with another professional from a different field. Also, there are so may people with farms of varying sizes and animals that love to share with others the land and the animals…they are usually passionate people because, lets face it, you have to be to care for a farm and all the lives on it:) If you are a professional looking for a place you could start a practice, ask around the community, look on the local farm Facebook sites and if you find someone who has a property you think might be a good fit, get to know them and spend alot of time with them and their animals to make sure you could work well with. I know that for myself, it brings such joy knowing the peace and happiness that our property and herds bring to others.
Yes – partnerships can be a wonderful way to approach this work!
I am so excited to start working with my animals in a different fashion. Racing I focus on the training and conditioning and will be interesting to explore or personal relationship better. I am also very interested in the insurance as I would like to start my own practice in some form.
This has always been one of my biggest questions. As a facility would cost so much, and I’m a long ways a way from any major city.
But I’ve very blessed now as my work is partnering with another agencies that has the facilities and the horses. So it’s pretty exciting that that aspect doesn’t seem to be a barrier anymore!
yes – partnerships can be wonderful things!
I am fortunate that I have my own horses. I do, however, think that if I were doing this business full-time, that I would need a variety of different horses, with different personalities and backgrounds, so I can best match a client with their equine partner. Often, these needs to be a connection, and having more horses gives the opportunity for this. Where I currently struggle with this, is that I work full time. I just purchased a very small farm, that needs a lot of work (the house, barn and land). Since I live in Canada, with harsh winters, I would also need proper facilities, which will take time for me to buy.
I question how to get going, knowing that I do not have the facilities yet, and to get the facilities will require a great deal of work and maintenance. I know I will need to grow, but it order to grow I need to work, which pulls me away from my responsibilities on the farm. The more horses or land you have, the more daily responsibilities and costs you have. I think in some ways, it almost might be easiest partnering with a person who already has an established equine facility, where I could build up my practice first. I have also thought about how to combine EFW with other equine business models, such as lessons, camps, boarding, etc, so that the overhead costs of running a EFW program is reduced.
This is important for me as I do not currently have horse or facility. I like that I can still work in this field without it and partner with someone who has the facility. This is most likely how I will start out in the field.
Great article. I may have a few options to look into. I know of a local psychologist who has taken some training, just not sure if she has a horse and facility. I, myself have access to a horse but the facility is not mine. I do see some opportunities for partnerships, so I am looking forward to initiating some conversations in my community.
Lots to think about. I really like the CHA Standards for Equestrian Program and their approach to safety is very thorough. To be a CHA certified location there are a lot of safety standards to meet . I am curious if there are other organizations that have safety standards? Is there any EFW safety standards to follow? I think often safety can focus on the horse or the person but not necessary the facility and program.
great questions Johanna. Pro-EFW incorporate a lot of safety considerations into their approved trainings and certification process. This includes basic safety around horses and also safety (both physical and emotional) considerations specific to EFW contexts which includes consideration of the facility and program. They also require all their EP’s to complete an online equine care and safety course.
I never thought about using someone else’s horses! I have been thinking about how I would begin working within this field without the land or the horses, and the article presents some great food for thought.
yes – lots of options!
I am grateful to have a partnership with a local horse stables as I am only doing therapy part time. I am wondering what the typical rates are for using the horses and arena at another facility?
that’s a tough question Amanda as I don’t think there really are any typical rates and so much depends on your area, the facility and your arrangement with the property and horse owner/s. It also depends sometimes on how much you are charging for your services. Some places will have a fee sharing arrangement and others a set rate per hour. You’d be welcome to post this as a question on the FB group if you’d like? I know we have several students who have similar arrangements and they may be open to sharing what they’ve set up. Some things to also think about are your relationship with the horses you’re working with, insurance needs (so everyone is covered) and confidentiality if other clients/ boarders etc. may be at the facility at the same time as your clients
My initial thought with doing this training is that I would have my own herd and own area to do this work. However, in discussion with others, I know I could work within another fabulous facility and also with another person who is in training for counselling. I am not sure which is more daunting – develop your own facility/program or collaborate with others to set it up?
Hi Ginny – there would likely be pros and cons of each approach. Great to have options though! As you continue your training journey please be assured that we will give you lots of support as you make these decisions!
I really like the idea of working at a facility, particularly during cold winter months when my outdoor pasture environment may not work. I enjoyed the considerations here about client privacy. I think I would still prefer to continue working with my own horses due to knowing them and for safety reasons. Luckily I don’t mind trailering them somewhere if it worked! Thanks for bringing these considerations forward Sue!
you’re very welcome Elicia!
Good read. Thankfully, I have my own facility, but no indoor arena, which does present a challenge when the weather does not want to cooperate!
While an indoor facility of my own is still in the “I wish” phase, something amazing I have discovered is the kindness and support of my local horse community. When I started to openly talk about my plan to pursue EFW training, I was amazed by the responses. So many are willing to help for a good cause and by simply sharing my intent and current needs, I have found new friends and partners to help me along this journey.
that is so wonderful to hear Charis. I love hearing examples of people working together and supporting each other in this field.
There is a lot to consider here, and all very important!
This article is really interesting as it helps to bring the practical considerations to the fore. I am interested in eventually setting up my own facility and have just recently bought a small property, so these things will be key for me when thinking about renovations and planning. It would be interesting to know what the licensing considerations are here in the UK, I know that riding centers must be licensed by the local council in my area, so I wonder if this would apply too… Something for me to research. Thank you so much for raising these points.
That’s a great question Sarah! It would make for an interesting discussion when the Scottish group meets in person. Our hosts (RDA Highland) may well have the answer. In Canada you’re required to have a business permit for any kind of home based business and depending on your zoning may also need a special permit for different animals on your property. But this varies depending on your municipaility and likely varies between different areas in the UK too I’d think?
I agree on building a relationship with the animals you are working with. The horses I worked with with my clients are not my own, but were trail horses I had done rides with for several years. The rapport I had with the animals and the way they responded to me and followed me helped build rapport with the client. The clients connected with the animals and seeing that the animals knew me and trusted me helped my clients increase their ability to trust me.
sounds great Ashley!
Good food for thought as I consider how to incorporate EFW into my social work practice. I’m unlikely at this stage of life to own my own horses, so I need to consider what environment I am likely to work within and how to build relationships with horses that are not my own. Great point about client confidentiality if you are renting space/access to horses in someone else’s facility.
Thanks for this article and it’s helpful to know that there are other people out there who are in similar situations and can provide support. I am fortunate to have a good relationship with the owner of the barn where my horse is. It’s also a local riding school so is a business that many people in the community come to access. I have been able to discuss with the owner some logistics of running my practice out of the barn and it sounds promising. One thing I will need to take into consideration is the insurance I will need to cover both myself and clients and from the barn’s perspective of having an outside service using the property.
I find this very important, as I do not currently have my own facility or horses. I find that this information and the possible options helpful to start making the needed connections and networking to find the right fit for myself.
and I highly recommend the FB group to help you find other people in your area to connect with!
I’ve worked my entire life to be able to have my own indoor facility and my horses out my back door and it is wonderful. The only tricky thing is we are about an hour from any major center, so for some that would be too far of a drive.
My questions would be: what is the ratio of Healing Hooves students aiming to be: equine professional, mental health professional, and/or equine facilitated learning professional? I’m guessing that it is not an equal balance with the equine professional having a higher number of students?
I couldn’t tell you a precide ratio Judy, and many of my students are on the path to dual or tri certification. I would say that there are actually less in the EP route (especially as a single cert) than the other two though.
Interesting article and certainly food for thought! I wonder how/if it would work if you only had one horse/pony for example, as opposed to a herd? Sorry if I’ve missed this on the thread!
That’s a great question Selina and one we will definitely discuss later on in training. It can definitely be done with just the one horse but you need to be careful of not overwhelming the horse or asking him/ her to work with clients who may not be a good fit. having other (non equine) ways of working becomes more important as does a good screening process. Plus normalising it from the start with all of your clients that there will be days when the equine is not able to participate
Great – I look forward to learning more about this and can appreciate all of the factors that would need to be taken into consideration. Thanks Sue!
I appreciate this post as it makes this work more do-able. I hope to facilitate EFW on my own property and slowly increase the number of horses I have. The one thing I keep pondering is how people navigate running a business on their own property, outside of business hours. I keep thinking about my comfort of having people on my property where I live.
These are important considerations Mikayla and the answers really depend on so many factors including your scope of practice, practical set up, client base, approach, boundaries and more. You need to consider everyone’s safety (physical and emotional), confidentiality, privacy and lots of practicalities. It can certainly be done in ways which work for both clients and families but is important to ask the questions you’re asking now and then seek answers which work for you, your family, you horses and of course your clients. This is something we will come back to both during trainings and within mentoring sessions
I would have to collaborate with a horse owner on their property, and you raised some important issues here. I’m wondering would there be any value in herd observation of unknown horses in videos or in real life?
Definitely lots of potential vaule here! I’d say in person (but could certainly be across the fence, and this can often be much safer) is better if it’s possible as it engages all the senses but through a video could work too. You’d be welcome to use the ‘meet the herd’ videos from explorations and foundations training if that would be helpful!
Although I don’t own the horses we work with at Liberton Vaulters I have been spending 2 days a week with them for the last ten years and feel I know them really well. Lots of food for thought here and appreciate the practical advice, lots to think about Re insurance etc.
This article has encouraged me to see how i can use my current situation to explore options as I am very lucky to be able to use the horses where I work to put the theory into practice whilst I explore my options further. I look to apply some of my learning with the horses and people I work with to get a better understanding before offering a service.
I am very fortunate to have my horses at my property but there are still so any factors that need to be sorted out. I know that these training courses and mentoring sessions will help me to make informed decisions to support my pursuit in creating a positive healing place for my clients and horses.