Learn How EFL May Help Autism
Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) provides unique and inspiring horse to human interactions, helping participants to learn more about themselves, who they are, build self-esteem, confidence and a sense of purpose. At Freedom Equestrian, the horses don’t judge based on someone’s appearance or what they say. They don’t judge participants on their past. Our horses meet people for who they are in the moment.
Each EFL session is tailored to the individual, their goals and aspirations. Through the specific interactions with our horses, it’s often easy to reflect learnings to real work/life challenges. The way a participant responds to different scenarios with a horse will often show they respond in real-life situations. There is no horse experience required, and everyone can participate regardless of their physical or fitness limitations.
Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) & Horse Riding may assist Autism with outcomes, such as
- developing perceptual skills, e.g. being able to see the difference between colours, shapes and sizes,
- improving interactions between the participant, horse, facilitator and caregivers,
- learning how to self regulate and appropriately express feelings,
- improving attention span,
- decreasing aggressive behaviour,
- increasing in physical & mental stamina,
- tuning fine & gross motor skills,
- helping improve daily living skills,
- increasing body awareness,
- improving visual skills (numeracy & literacy),
- developing problem-solving skills,
- assisting in developing social skills,
- practising and implementing communication skills,
- learning how to focus on a task,
- increasing everyday motivation,
- improving eye contact, and,
- developing individual strategies to help in everyday life.
Each EFL session is different as it’s tailored to the learning outcomes and goals of the participant. EFL sessions have 3 parties, the Facilitator who coaches the session, the Participant and of course, the Horse.
Before each session (after the Introductory Session), an activity plan is developed by the facilitator that takes into consideration the participants limitations, goals and third party contribution (if applicable).
Sessions then follow this plan with outcome-driven activities. Generally, 1-3 activities are conducted per session. All activities are conducted at the pace of the participant with minimal pressure. Our EFL session activities are designed to be fun and rewarding, not overwhelming.
Before each session, a reminder safety briefing takes place with spectators and the participant, while as an on the ground or mounted activity, EFL does hold a lower risk compared with competitive horse riding, safety is paramount.
After each session, an observation report provides feedback on progress and the next session’s goals. While sessions are structured, we allow for flexibility based on the participant and continually review the plan.
Yes. If outcomes of our sessions & programs are deemed reasonable and necessary within your NDIS plan, you maybe be able to access funding to undertake our programs and sessions. If not deemed appropriate for you through the NDIS; then alternative payment options are available.
- Our Introductory Session is at no cost. This allows participants and decision-makers to assess if introductory outcomes will support ongoing participation.
- Sessions after the Introductory Session are charged as per our Fee Schedule.
Our Sessions and programs are held at a specially designed facility at:
438 Abel Rd, Lower Wonga QLD
Travel: We are approximately 25 mins north of Gympie. Property access is car suitable. Disabled parking is available.
Meet Our Facilitators
Meet the Freedom Equestrian brains pioneering Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) in Australia.
Natalie WiltonFounder & Facilitator
BanjoFacilitators Equine Assistant & Super Horse
Frequently Asked Questions
Are sessions safe? Are you insured?
Yes, we take safety very seriously. Facilitators are trained in Horse Handling Safety, Insurance provided by IICT & Gow Gates, First Aid, Blue Card and much more.
Will participants be riding horses?
EFL can be facilitated on the ground or mounted. Participants are in control, and activities are chosen based on their preferences and confidence.
What do participants need to bring to sessions?
Safety is paramount, so enclosed shoes need to be worn before a session can take place. It's recommended that a hat and sun-safe clothing be worn as EFL is mostly conducted outside. Sunscreen is provided.
After sessions is a report / observations / feedback provided?
Yes, after every session, an observation report is completed by the facilitator at no additional cost. This report outlines the activities conducted, outcomes and future goals. This ensures the participant & facilitator are moving toward aligned outcomes. Reports can be provided to Third Parties such as NDIS Plan Managers, Psychologists, Counsellors, Case Workers and more, providing approval has been given.
Can the session be held at the participants premises?
No. Due to safety risks, access to equipment and insurance obligations, we can't offer a "we can come to you" service.
How are session payments made?
Session invoices are issued after each session. Invoices detail payment options in more detail, but payments can be made online or by bank deposit.
What Our Participants & Supporters Say
I was somewhat skeptical at first but EFL has been amazing for my son that has ADHD. He loves every session and is making very apparent progress in learning techniques to control and reflect on his behaviour. Truely Amazing!
Mario J.Parent, ADHD Child
The meaningful outcomes that I see from participants undergoing EFL is often remarkable. The reporting after each session helps me to work with the client during my sessions. The feedback has been outstanding!
I have always loved being around horses, when I found Natalie I knew it would be great for me. After my first session I left knowing I had made the right choice. She is so kind and accommodating and I felt so comfortable. Highly recommend!
My 11 yo ASD Daughter absolutely loves her sessions with Natalie and looks forward to them every week! Her ability to self regulate and manager her emotions and anxiety has improved so much since working with Natalie & Banjo.