Equine Supported Therapy

Equine Supported Therapy

They provide a space of no judgement, so one is able to unearth whatever is ready to be released and healed in that moment.
— Retreat participant, 2018

Horse Sense works with the dynamics of the horse and human interaction, where we help create a sense of unity within. Connecting to our core self, to our whānau, friends and to our natural environment.

We invite you to join us for an integrative experience and re-connection with yourself through horses.

Moving from manuhiri to become tangata whenua with our herd.

Our approach is to focus on the nonverbal communication in this collaborative process. We combine the wisdom of the mind, body, spirit connection with contemporary understanding. The emphasis is on the horses and nonverbal communication in this interactive process.

We believe in creating an environment where human consciousness can be explored which allows space for the integration of self. Being in the horse environment in this way provides the opportunity for enhanced awareness and widening perspectives. 

We are dedicated to providing a unique experience that strengthens and enriches lives. The Horse Sense facilitators partnered with horses create opportunities that promote well-being and positive behaviour changes. This process is called Equine Supported Therapy and Development.

Effective and long-lasting personal growth occurs through active participation in the paddock with the horses, with 90% interaction and 10% talking. This can play out in various ways.

Boys and Frank

We provide a safe environment to work through what is holding you back from connecting to yourself and others authentically.

In the paddock, the process begins with quieting the mind, connecting to the breath and slowing the heart rate. This helps to raise awareness of our senses, making it a somatic experience.

The interaction with the horses brings out what is happening inside ourselves. It creates a micro version of our world and aspects of our life. Watching the movement of the horses opens up metaphors, and insights about ourselves.

Horses are finely tuned observers of even the subtlest behaviours. Instinctively, as prey animals, their survival depends on their ability to sense any underlying emotional current in their environment. Thus, they are experts at mirroring back what humans project through emotions and behaviours. It is the task of the Horse Sense facilitators to invite the client to explore their interactions with the horses, and the metaphors that inevitably emerge, to bring about insight and change.

These special teachers have dramatically accelerated personal growth and have proven to be masters of empowerment, creativity, inspiration and joy. The horse embodies the characteristics of mindfulness; being centered in the here and now, completely aware of their surroundings on an intuitive level. To interact successfully with horses, humans must also be centered and focused in the present.


By becoming aware of both self and others in a very conscious way the client sees how their behaviour and actions are affecting their present life. The facilitators assist the client to look to find the tools and skills to change these unwanted feelings and behaviours as they come up in the moment. Developing empathy for the horses and learning to support their equine partners creates an awareness of others feelings, interests and needs.

Individuals who learn to treat horses with kindness, respect, responsibility and loving discipline are empowered to be better parents, better partners, better students, employees and friends, both as children and adults. Learning to share power and develop partnership with a 500 kg animal is a tremendous boost to self-esteem. The joy, confidence, and infectious sense of accomplishment gained from life skills learnt at Horse Sense transfer to a clients life.

No previous horse experience is necessary, and it does not involve horsemanship skills.


At Horse Sense, we assist with:

  • PTSD

  • Grief

  • Burn- out

  • Suicide

  • Self-harm

  • ADHD

  • Anger Management

  • Relationship Difficulties

  • Behaviour Problems

  • Abuse and Neglect

  • Eating Disorders

  • Depression and Anxiety

  • Parenting

  • Self-worth

  • Workplace Issues

  • Personal Development