What we do at Taking the Reins

Our team of specialist facilitators and our incredible herd of ponies and horses help people across the UK to develop skills in:

  • Communication
  • Relationship building
  • Confidence and self esteem

We work with people one to one and in small groups to learn to communicate and to experience working positively with our herd of equines.

A session at Taking the Reins could involve a whole range of activities. Our facilitators will match activities specifically for the individual' abilities and needs, and gently encourage them to face issues or a new challenge to gain skills and experiences and to learn about the horses and themselves.

Every session is flexible and centres around the person being supported, their needs, goals and circumstances. Sessions may include:

Horse Care

Grooming provides a tactile environment of textures which helps the individual to become more self-aware and at one with the horse of their choice.

These sessions also help us to talk about what equines need to stay well and healthy.

Working in the Round Pen

The Round Pen enables the person and the horse to really get to know each other and helps them to bond within an enclosed and safe space. The horse acts like a mirror, reflecting the persons emotions in their own behaviour and movement.  These reflections help the young person to understand themselves and the attitudes, actions and postures that they are presenting to other people. Children get involved in lunging and leading the horses on a long line in the pen, using their voice and body language to get the equine to cooperate.

Creating an Obstacle Course

Obstacle courses can create great team work environments, where everyone mucks in to create the course, or, this can be an individual challenge asking someone to consider their own barriers and obstacles as they build a course for a pony. This can help open up conversations about these difficulties, feelings and possible solutions.

Problem solving games

Our facilitators have a wide range of problem based activities which can support a person to explore alternative approaches and solutions, using outcomes to reflect on their own situation and actions.

Creative sessions

With access to indoor and outdoor 'classrooms', a stage, a secret fairy garden and a more traditional garden, people can get involved in all aspects of art, we even have equine safe paints for decorating the ponies in the Summer months.



Reflective sessions

Everyone who attends Taking The Reins has a personal journal which allows them to reflect on their learning and to record things they feel they have achieved. The journals help to consolidate learning and encourage people to apply their experiences to their own lives.