FAQ

Do’s & Don’ts – Questions & Answers

Horse Assisted Education do’s and don’ts:

Do's
  • Always wear closed toes boots (even during the summer). They will protect your toes in case one of the horses accidentally steps on your feet.
  • Wear comfortable clothes according to the expected temperature and general weather conditions. Hats are a good idea. Sunscreen (if not in a covered arena) might be useful even in wintertime.
  • Pay very close attention to the “safety around horses” instructions and demonstrations at the beginning of your activity.
  • Ask for help, at any time you feel you might be in need.
  • Come with an open heart and an open mind.
  • Have fun!
Don'ts
  • Don’t drink alcohol and attend an activity involving horses.
  • Do not use your mobile phone while working with the horses. It derails your attention.
  • Do not wear perfume. It confuses the horses.
  • Do not participate in a horse assisted education activity if you are under the influence of any substance (even prescribed medication) which might affect your coordination and/or your perceptions (sight, walking ability, general motor coordination). You could hurt yourself, other participants or the horses.
  • If possible, when it’s your turn to work with the horses, don’t wear sunglasses. The horses can read micro expressions and the sunglasses prevent them for having an accurate feedback from you.
  • Do not run, shout, produce loud noises or do sudden moves. Surprising a horse is always a bad idea.
  • Never, under any circumstance, are you to hit any of the horses included in our programs.  You will be excluded from the activity and the facility.

Curious? Read More Below:

1. What is the role of the horse?

The horse is your partner: it might be that he is a member of the team and you need to adapt your ways of working to include him. It might be that he is a follower or a leader of an exercise. The horse is also a metaphor. When doing the exercises, we invite you to think “who is the horse in your life?”, or “what in your life is represented by this horse, now?

7. What if I’m used to working with horses?

You will still learn a lot because horse assisted education is about you, not about the horses. This is not horsemanship training, it’s a learning experience with you at the core.

2. Will I be riding?

No. Horse assisted education means you will be partnering with a horse at ground level. On rare and specific occasions, we might propose a mounted exercise (meaning you will be on the back of the horse), but you’ll know it upfront because we will ask you to wear a helmet.

8. Is it dangerous?

All horses you will work with are socialized with humans and among themselves. As long as you are present and aware, the risks are similar to any other outdoor activity.

3. Can I attend if I’m afraid of horses?

Yes you can. Fear is an important part of working with horses and it is something you can put to good use with the help of our team. Please read this article on this very topic: The value of fear in horse assisted education .

9. What about medication?

You can attend if the medical treatment does not impair your general motor skills, as long as you are not a threat to your own safety and that of those around you and as long as your ability to perceive the reality around you is not altered. All psychoactive substance consumption (even under medical supervision and recommendation) is not compatible with horse related activities.

4. Can I attend if I’m allergic to horses?

Probably not. Our experience is mixed: we’ve had allergic participants who participated in 1 or 2 activities without prior or post treatment, we’ve had participants who suffered a mild allergy in the first 20 min of interaction with horses. Please check with your doctor.

10. May we have a drink at lunch?

Alcohol and horses do not go together. We apply zero tolerance to alcohol consumption and horse related activities. If we can’t trust a person to operate a machine under influence we can’t trust him/her to safely handle a horse, especially around other people and other horses.

5. When are you open for business? What if it rains or snows?

We operate the Horse Touch and Horse Dream programs all year round. In some of the locations where we work, we use covered arenas. Should there be any dangerous weather conditions, especially thunderstorms, we will change the agenda of the day or reschedule it.

11. How about participants with physical impairments?

In most of the cases the answer is “yes, participants with physical impairments can attend and benefit from horse assisted education programs”. We kindly ask you to contact us so we can assess together the specific situation of the participants on your team.

6. What should I wear?

Wear comfortable clothes, in layers, according to the season. Closed-toes boots are mandatory all year (even in summer). Consider a hat for sunny days or for low temperature. We advise layers of clothing because the temperature difference can be significant. We recommend gloves for the cold season.

12. What certifications does your team have?

The human members of our team have certifications in: education, psychology, anthropology, horse handling activities and equine sports and economics.