Taylor Made PA Equine Assisted Learning Taster Day

The Tales and Travels of Taylor Made PA – Equine Assisted Learning


Published 07.05.2022



Last week I took some time our of my regular day to explore something I have wanted to look at and understand more for a while. Equine Assisted Learning.

It’s interested me for a while, since it first came to my attention. I have been around horse most of my life. I actually always thought they were my future career path. All my work experience at school was spent at an Equestrian Centre. And I was accepted at Agriculture College on an Equine Course at 16-years.


Equine Assisted Learning Taster

So when some connections of mine from networking posted on LinkedIn that they were offering a Taster Session. I jumped at the opportunity to join them.

We met up, with 7 other delegates. Mostly from an HR and Coaching background. At a beautiful new Equestian Facility in Northamptonshire – Glapthorp Manor. Alongside the hosts for the day. Sarah Veall and Claire Burgess.

We started the afternoon with an Intro to each other and our goals for the day, and a grounding sessions.

We followed this by breaking into smaller group for a grooming session. I was partnered with a gorgeous bay pony called Toby.

We all approached the session differently. In terms of our thoughts and how we approached the ponies. The coaches came around and ask questions as we worked. How were we feeling. What may the pony be feeling. What could they be telling us subconsciously.


Conscious vs. Subconscious

Did you know that humans are 93% subconscious. Whereas horses are the opposite. They are 93% in the moment.

For me personally I realised that it is probably only when I am with horses that I truly switch off. And stay in the present. Be in the moment. Most of the time I always have something else on my mind. Something that needs to be done. But you can’t do that around horses without consequences.


Working with the Ponies

We then had the opportunity to work individually with the ponies. Leading them for a walk around the indoor school. Leading them. Letting them follow.

Did the come willingly or did they stop? And why? What was the pony telling you?

For this I was partnered with a coloured pony call Captain. For me it was building trust with Captain. So he followed me physically and in pace. Slowing down. Being more active. And this is what I need to take forward in my life. Be assertive and build the trust. So people willingly follow me and with confidence. This showed as when I was more confident in leading Captain he followed me without hesitating. With questioning why I was asking him to do what I was.


Partnering Up

Next up was an exercise working in partnership. Partnered with Chloe the human and once again Toby the pony. We were given 3 obstacles to work with. And say why and what it represented to us.

We opted to work with some cones laid out. Chloe and I almost simultaneously recognised that the salom nature of the cones represented the fact that life isn’t a straight road. But a journey that is full of twists and turns.

We agreed that to make it easy for Toby to navigate with us both leading him. We should keep him close and maintain a close contact. And with a plan in place we set off to navigate the cones and path we had chosen. And to our delight Toby willingly followed and without any sign of resistance. He did start to cough at one point. But never slowed down. Or resist us continuing.

But on reflection after we finished. Should we have stopped for him? Did this reflect what I always do and push through. But is that necessarily the right thing to do? Should I have listened to what Toby was maybe trying to tell me and stopped? Was he telling me that taking a moment to stop is ok.

But Chloe and I were sure Toby felt confident in following us. Maybe because we had a joined up plan to start with. And he felt he just had to stay with us.



Finishing the session we took time to reflect. Not just on our own experience. But on Equine Assisted Learing too.

One thing that became really clear to me during the reflection time was just how much Equine Assisted Learning was for everyone. You didn’t have to love horses. And actually I feel it could be more beneficial to those not experienced with horses.

Does having the experience in leading and handling horse actually give you a disadvantage. Because you know how to get the horse to move and so what is needed. Whereas without that knowledge you work more on instinct.


In Summary

I LOVED IT! And what a great learning opportunity for teams. Perfect for both Leadership Teams looking to improve ways of working together. Or newly established teams getting to know each other.

I would highly recommend talking to Sarah and Claire to arrange a session for your team.

They also have a womens only session for individuals lined up for September.

Happy to do a personal introduction. Drop me an Email jules@taylormadepa.co.uk.


Until next time!


Jules x