What is Equine Facilitated Learning/Therapy & how can it help with anxiety?

There is no riding involved and no previous experience with horses required.

Working together as a team, building rapport with the horses, discovering your own personal boundaries and realising how this can affect your communication with others is all a part of it. 

Spending quality time outdoors in nature can be a great healer and helps to still the mind.  This is rapidly becoming recognised by psychologists and doctors as a helpful alternative to pharmaceutical drugs for stress reduction.

Horses work purely on body language and energy levels so we have to switch off the logical thinking mind and learn to develop our other senses in order to communicate effectively with them.

“But I am afraid of horses”. We have heard this many times and people have come to our workshops specifically to overcome this fear.  I am pleased to say they have indeed overcome the fear within a very short time of being here. Therefore, proving that fears and phobias can be overcome quite quickly.


Horses communicate through body language and are very clear and honest about their feelings, intentions and boundaries. Although large and powerful they are very sensitive animals with the ability to pick up on our emotions and mirror them back to us. They are very willing to work with us once trust has been established.

Congruence is a big part, meaning your words and actions have to match your body language.  If they don’t horses will pick up on it instantly. Horses are prey animals and as a result need to have these senses really heightened in order to detect danger from predators.

Observing a herd can give great insights into “Non-Verbal Communication”.

Humans communicate through verbal language. Very often the language we use is not clear to others. All too often we allow our personal space and boundaries to be breached and wonder why certain situations leave us feeling uncomfortable or lacking confidence.

Being with horses can teach us to “move out of our heads” (our logical thinking mind) and “into our hearts”. Thus, enabling us to explore our feeling and other senses. Helping us to still our minds, to turn off the mind chatter, control our energy and effectively reduce anxiety.


  • Confidence
  • Communication skills
  • Setting and managing clear boundaries
  • Stilling our minds and managing anxiety
  • Conscious breathing
  • Awareness of our bodies and surroundings
  • Managing our energy levels in accordance with varying situations
  • Mindfulness
  • Leadership skills
  • Team work
  • Clarity of mind
  • Overcoming obstacles and solving problems
  • Creative thinking
  • Assertiveness
  • The ability to lead with firmness coupled with kindness and the list goes on.

At Horse Haven Uk we offer you the opportunity to spend time in the presence of our horses in a safe, fun and friendly environment.

You will never be put in a situation that is uncomfortable for you, however, we will encourage you to explore your boundaries.

Being outdoors in the fresh air. Spending time with the horses in a peaceful environment surrounded by nature can have an amazing therapeutic benefit on our mental health.

Whether you want to become more confident, develop leadership skills, communicate with others more clearly, overcome obstacles in your life, improve relationships or any areas in your life our horses are here to help.

We have a team of experienced, qualified Equine Facilitators, Therapists and Horse Handlers to whom your safety and enjoyable positive experiences are of the utmost importance.


1 Day Group Workshops. Please see our workshop page.


Alternatively, if you have a group with specific requirements email suzannah@horsehavenuk or telephone 07545 139009 and we can tailor to your needs.

WE ARE BASED on the Somerset Levels in a very peaceful location. Approx. 4 miles from Glastonbury town.

Suzannah Leighton is a Hypnotherapist, Trainer and Master Practitioner of NLP. She is also lead trainer for our Equine Facilitated Learning Diploma held at HHUK.

Dean Dibble is Trainer to the horses at HHUK, Horse Handler and Equine Behaviourist. He is qualified in hypnotherapy and assistant trainer on our EFL Diploma.

Helen Williams is a Hypnotherapist, Horse Handler and Care Worker. Helen offers support to those attending our EFL 1 day workshops and participates in horse handling.  She is also an assistant trainer on our EFL Diploma and gives amazing support to delegates on the training.

All facilitators are trained and experienced in Equine Facilitated Learning



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