Our goal is to help equestrian centres to increase the range of services that they offer to include non riding activities supporting mental health and well-being. We do this through providing practitioner training and also engaging in collaborative projects where our specialist practitioners work alongside experienced horse people to deliver new services supporting health and wellbeing. As horse riding is rarely involved, these projects bring new income streams without any physical wear and tear on the horses. These activities are unique in the way that they promote horse welfare as they can be designed to allow horses choice around whether or not they wish to engage with people. So our model creates benefits to all parties including the horses!
Equi-Scotia CIC was set up in February 2020 following a couple of years of pilot activities with Shiresmill Therapy Riding centre. The founding Directors are Julie-Anne Griffith, a horse riding coach with experience in leadership and business coaching, and Mike Delaney who is one of the UK’s leading practitioners in Equine Facilitated Learning and Psychotherapy. The intention had been to deliver equine facilitated learning (EFL) and therapy for a wide range of clients in Central Scotland. But lockdown prompted a shift to providing online training in the field of work to help prepare riding centres, including member groups of the Riding for the Disabled Association, across the UK prepare for reopening so that they could provide meaningful activities for those unable to ride due to social distancing restrictions. Online clients now come from as far afield as Greece, US and Barbados, and practical training for Equi-Scotia practitioners began in April 2021 in Central Scotland.