Heads & Tails works collaboratively with mental health professionals, GP’s, FACS case workers, parents and carers. All children and adolescents are assessed by our clinical psychologist to determine the suitability of equine therapy. As every child is unique, a clear treatment plan will be designed based on the specific needs of the individual.
We work alongside a team of miniature horses to assist children, adolescents and families in understanding feelings, relationships and behaviours. It’s not skill-based, and no horse mounting or riding is required as every session is ground-based.
Horses have many characteristics which lend them to being effective agents of change, including honesty, awareness, and use of nonverbal communication. Equine assisted therapy relies on the horse behaving naturally and spontaneously, allowing our clients to engage in a safe and authentic connection. This provides situations and conditions where change is possible as clients begin to see things in a new way.
We focus on allowing our clients to experiment, problem-solve and be creative through the relationship they build with the horses. This is a combination of psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, and clinical psychology that allows the clients to generate flexible and healthy responses to life’s situations and challenges by finding find their own solutions to apply to their everyday needs and experiences.
Activities involving the clients and horses take place, and the clinical team will observe the responses of both the horse and the client during the session. It is a solution-orientated approach, believing that the client knows what answers are best for them.
During the session the Clinician and the Equine Specialist work together, and the horses are carefully chosen to support he therapeutic goals that have been set. As such, each session is perfectly tailored to match the needs of the client.
The activities themselves will involve the horses and props to represent real life situations, which provides an opportunity for the client to experience emotions, behaviours and increase self-awareness and understanding.
Mounted sessions are not required as all Heads & Tails activities are ground based. Our clients work with miniature horses, which are less intimidating for work with children and adolescents.
Observations and discoveries during sessions will be taken into account in future sessions to further enhance the experience for each horse therapy client.