Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Commonly asked questions about Freedom Equestrian, Therapeutic Horse Riding and EFL.

In terms of a fear of horses, how can you assist?

We understand horses can be imposing, so we never push and never leave participants in an unsafe or unsupervised environment. We have processes to interpret signals and continually check in with the participants before and during each task in the session; additionally, facilitators are always willing to pause or cancel a session if the participant is feeling uncomfortable.

We are passionate about creating a fun and welcoming environment. Participants and their supports can trust communicating with the facilitator if they need to stop the session. It’s another reason why we offer a free first session to give our participants a trial in the environment, and if fear is present, give participants a chance to confront it or leave it. It’s their choice.

Do you have different size horses?

Yes, we have 3 different sizes of horses that we work with, a Shetland 85cm (Bubbles), a Pony 120cm (Hank), and a Horse 160cm (Banjo). Our horses can cater for small children to a 6”+ adult. Please contact our facilitators if you would like more information and to check availability.

What is the difference between EFL and Therapeutic Horse Riding?

The primary difference is structure and activities. Therapeutic Horse Riding generally follows a less structured session and focuses primarily on horsemanship and leisurely riding.

On the other hand, Equine Facilitated Learning is typically (subject to the participant’s goals) conducted in a structured approach that uses learning activities both on the ground and mounted. EFL activities are one of the most obvious differences; for example, an activity might be creating an obstacle course and learning to guide a horse through it. EFL activities are used to give feedback and learnings to the participant. The observations are reported on for the development of the next session, hence progressing the participant toward a goal. In EFL, the facilitator takes goals, develops a session plan, and conducts activities toward those goals. This isn’t done in Therapeutic horseback riding.

Additionally, In Therapeutic horseback riding, we don’t typically use reflection and observation like in an EFL session. We offer both Therapeutic Horse Riding and EFL because while both experiences overlap somewhat, they offer different outcomes, allowing our facilitators to be flexible in delivering different outcomes to each participant. For example, Participant A may look to work on a particular skill such as communication and anger management, then EFL will benefit. Participant B, however, enjoys horse riding, isn’t looking for structure, but rather wants to enjoy learning to ride and the mind-clearing benefits of horse riding. Then participant B would benefit more from Therapeutic Horseback Riding.

Please talk with our facilitators if you are unsure or ultimately book a session. Our facilitators will help you determine if EFL or therapeutic horse riding suitability during the first free session.

Do you have an example of a typical EFL session?

Yes, we recommend reading our quick infographic on a typical EFL session.

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Session Information

What to wear/bring

To ensure a comfortable and safe Freedom Equestrian experience, we recommend you wear;

  • long pants,
  • closed in footwear (Mandatory),
  • Sun-safe clothing, 
  • water bottle, and
  • a hat.

All horse riding equipment is supplied.

Cancellations

We understand that unforeseen events may require you to cancel your appointment. It’s kindly asked that if you need to cancel your appointment you do so at least 12 hours before its scheduled start, typically the day before if possible.

Cancellations can be made via:

On Arrival

We strive to create a calm, welcoming and safe environment for all our clients. Therefore on arrival, please consider if another session is being conducted. If you are unsure or can see a session in progress, we kindly ask to avoid distraction and interruption to another client session, that you wait in your car or in a shaded location near the parking area.

Our Facilitators pay attention to new arrivals and will come and greet you after the previous session is concluded.

Wet Weather

In the event of wet weather, our Facilitators will contact you the day before your session if forecasted weather isn’t set to improve or grounds aren’t suitable to safely conduct your session.

Parking

Parking is available and signed locations conveniently inside the front of the property near the main session arena. All parking is wheelchair accessible and the ground is flat.

FREEDOM EQUESTRIAN

More Information

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Meet Our Horses

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Why Horses?

Why Horses?  The overall concept of using horses to improve human health (mental and physical) is nothing new. In fact, most people aren’t aware but Greek physician Hippocrates in ~400BC first pointed to the benefit of horses.

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Why Therapeutic Horse Riding?

Why Therapeutic Horse Riding?  Ask anyone that rides horses “why they enjoy horse riding”, and most often, they can’t tell you the exact reason why.

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Infographic: An Example of an EFL Activity

Example of an EFL Session Activity at Freedom Equestrian This popular activity is introduced once basic horse handling has been grasped.

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Infographic: A Typical EFL Session

What does an Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) Session with Freedom Equestrian look like?

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VIDEO: Equine Facilitated Learning

Great video that explains what EFL is. Special Strides is not affiliated with us, this video however demonstrates the concepts of EFL.

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Video: TEDx – Finding our authentic self with the help of horses

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Video: TEDx – Wisdom of the herd

Looking through the eyes of a horse changes your consciousness, it changes as it were in a “we” consciousness and immediately gives other information.

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