Equine Facilitated Therapeutic Activities (EFTA) and Children and Young People

Pony Partnerships’ activities provide benefit to children and young people by making a positive impact through equine facilitated therapeutic activities (EFTA).


This includes:

  • enabling young people to participate better in society;

  • organising activity and alternative education programmes centred around equine facilitated activities;

  • helping young people advance in life and develop their skills, confidence, capabilities and capacities through equine facilitated activities;

  • developing an evidence base to support the use of equine facilitated activities with children and young people with a variety of issues.


The principles that apply to building a relationship with a horse transfer to healthy human relationships. People often repeat patterns of relating when working with a horse; the non-judgemental response of the horse can make it easier for clients to identify how they create those same problems in relationship with themselves and others, taking appropriate responsibility for the relationships in their lives. This process can help young people to address and move through past or present damaging life circumstances, understand how those circumstances affect their current interactions, and make the personal changes necessary for healthy, fulfilling relationships in the present and future. Where group work is appropriate, this will also provide an environment to practice the development of practical, informal networks that allow clients to receive advice, make friends, reduce isolation and grasp positive opportunities.


Evidence shows that this demographic often struggle to engage with mainstream therapies.  EFTA is an experiential therapy and a unique environment to explore and experience different ways to behave or think. EFTA can help children and young people to develop the skills to support them in accessing education, employment, and mainstream support. Evidence from a variety of sources (on request) also shows that EFTA help young people develop social and emotional capabilities including: 


  • improved well-being; 

  • psychosocial benefits; 

    • managing feelings – regulating emotional behaviour is correlated with higher wages   

  • positive change;  

  • increased perceived social support; 

  • self-esteem and self;  

  • more consistent behaviour:

  • lower cortisol levels; 

  • increased problem-solving skills and general self:

    • planning and problem solving –problem solving, alongside resilience, provides young people with a ‘positive protective armour’ against negative outcomes associated with risky life events;

  • fewer mentally distressing symptoms; 

  • improved nonverbal and verbal communication and interpersonal effectiveness:

    • communication – good communication is essential for a successful transition to work or training, for independence and to access a range of life opportunities (Clegg et al., 1999). The Rose Review (Rose, 2006) and Bercow Report (Bercow, 2008) highlighted the role of communication in attainment, and forming positive relationships. Improved communication skills have also been linked to reductions in reoffending.  

    • relationships and leadership – there is a strong relationship between emotional intelligence, positive school transitions and academic success;

  • trust; 

  • boundaries and limit-setting.


Participants must wear hard-soled, fully enclosed shoes or boots and socks to protect feet, and long trousers to protect legs while working around or interacting with horses. Participants must also have appropriate clothing for the weather, including waterproof clothing.  Pony Partnerships CIC can provide this equipment with prior notice given regarding sizes required.

Session Locations:

  • Bridle Gate Ln, near Punjab Times, Alvaston, Derby, DE24 0QW

  • Life on Dreams Ltd., Rosliston, nr Forestry Centre

  • We can also host sessions at your venue by prior arrangement

Contact us:

Email:   info@ponypartnerships.com

Mobile: 07505951793

Business Address: 84 Cheal Close

                                Shardlow                                                      Derbyshire

                                DE72 2DY

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