Working with a team of retired racehorses, Racing Hearts offers Equine Assisted Therapy programs and individual ongoing consultations to assist people of all ages with whatever challenges life throws at them.
What happens in an equine assisted therapy session?
Equine Assisted Therapy is essentially traditional counselling offered in a non traditional way. Sessions are conducted in a similar fashion to traditional counselling and exercises with the horses are integrated in ways that are relevant and meaningful to the client.
Equine Assisted Learning focuses more on somatic experiencing and behavior change and less on the counselling process or mental health diagnosis. Sessions are carried out in a similar way integrating exercises with the horses in a meaningful way based on client feedback.
Navigating the world can be a confusing time even without a mental health diagnosis. We focus on any challenges that clients feel are important to their wellbeing as well as focusing on helping to develop an awareness and understand the connection between our thoughts, physical feelings, emotions and behaviors and how to manage these in a healthy way. Themes that are common for many people to explore are:
How to deal with symptoms of stress
Coping with change
Expression of emotion
Feeling of being stuck
Emotions linked to illness
Challenging thoughts and feelings
Issues with trust to name a few
Living with a physical disability
All of these are explored through exercises with the horses both on the ground and mounted depending on what best suits the clients needs.
EQUINE ASSISTED THERAPY SESSION
Research has shown that when people come into contact with horses the area of the brain responsible for memory and emotion is activated therefore allowing the practitioner to have easier access to these processes that may be causing challenges for the client. When we practice exercises with the horses and the client has the opportunity to experience change, this creates new neural pathways in the brain and therefore healthier coping mechanisms and behaviors. Also, when people are in contact with horses, hormones such as oxytocin that are associated with feeling good and relaxation are released in the brain assisting the client in relaxation. When clients are more relaxed they often find it easier to talk about their issues and this aids the practitioner in their treatment method.
After an initial consultation session with a client we would agree on a plan moving forward. We can formulate a set program over a number of weeks or we can have open ongoing weekly or fortnightly sessions. The plan can easily be changed as we progress as it is important to be flexible and meet the clients needs.
We work with many clients with NDIS, DVC and other referrals and are always open to a conversation with you to establish how we can help.
Duration: Individual sessions are 60 mins or 45mins for very young clients
TAKING THE REINS PROGRAM
*Starting after Stage 4 lockdown within government guidelines.
Taking the reins program is a group ridden therapy program run over a period of 6 week blocks. Each group has a maximum of 5 participants and these participants remain in this group throughout the program. This enables us to establish routine and foster a safe, trusting and respectful space where participants can share their thoughts, feelings and experiences without judgement.
Each session includes activities such as catching, grooming and saddling/unsaddling your own horse. Each riding session will begin with a check in to establish how everyone is feeling, any events that have happened and anything that might be coming up in the near future. After discussion and consultation with the practitioner, a theme will be chosen and agreed upon to work on in the session.
Exercises are carried out with the support of the horses in the session. These sessions are not classed as riding lessons, however some basic riding instruction will be given for safety of the participant.
Sessions are facilitated by suitably qualified riding coaches with certification in Equine Assisted Therapy and/or Learning
Both adult and youth groups are catered for.
Duration: Sessions are up to 90 minutes once a week for 6 weeks. Mid-week daytime, after school sessions and Saturday groups available.
Cost: $750 payment is required before the first session or can be invoiced through your funding provider.
Note: All participants must provide their own helmet that meets CURRENT approved safety standards. Helmets can be purchased locally at The Tack Box in Tyabb or Horseland in Mornington and prices start at approximately $50. Someone at the store will assist you in finding the correct standard and fit.
YOUTH AND TEEN HORSE WISDOM PROGRAM
Duration: One session per week for 6 weeks. Each session is approx. 60 mins (45mins for younger clients). This program is suitable for individuals and groups.
Cost: Individual program $600 payment is required before the first session or can be invoiced through your funding provider.
Please send us a message for group quotes.