From foals to facilitators


By Sue Blagburn

For many years I ran my marketing and design business (BWA Marketing Design) from studios I converted from a redundant farm building in rural Dorset. I know what it’s like to run a stressful business, grow a business and employing staff; but being surrounded by beautiful fields containing my horses meant even though I worked long hours, my spare time was spent hanging out with my herd. I reared and trained young horses and ponies (Thoroughbreds and New Forest ponies), the close proximity to my work meant I was often still in ‘work mode’ sometimes feeling stressed and inadequate, at other times creative and in my power when I was engaging with my horses. I slowly realised how they were mirroring my strengths and weaknesses, and giving me honest non-judgemental feed back! It was with this knowledge that I began to realise how being around horses was (and still is) helping support me and learn skills transferable to running a successful business, building relationships, and keeping me grounded, mindful and in my body. But in 2008 when the recession hit I felt it was the right thing to give up my horses, it was only then that I really began to understand the extraordinary effect horses had on my life.


Today I am very lucky to have three members of my original herd Arthur, William and Harry as co-facilitators in Adventures with Horses, Arthur and William were both born in 2004, and Harry in 2005. The pictures here are taken in 2004 and 2005. Since being very young these three highly intelligent horses (along with their relatives and ancestors) have adventured with me through my own business and personal development journey. With the knowledge that horses have the potential to give honest, non-judgemental feed back, since the late 1990’s I started paying attention and encouraging my herd to show me more, eventually I discovered I had entered the field of equine guided experiential learning and much more.


With the insight that horses had been a big part of my personal development, coupled with the knowledge that horses were helping a wide range of people from children with autism, soldiers and others with PTSD, young offenders, people with addictions, as well as personal and organisational development, I furthered my journey with what became a clear calling to be of service to helping others through horses. I needed to know more, and started to train in equine facilitated learning and therapy, volunteering at horse assisted education and therapy centres both in the UK and abroad. This entire website is about the outcome, but here is a film of the reunion of my three beautiful co-facilitators Arthur, William and Harry.

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