Welcome to Adventures with Horses

 
 

We offer learning and growth through transformative interactions with horses. This includes one-to-one equine assisted coaching or counselling, and experiential learning facilitation. Regarding the later, we will be running a range of group workshops from 2019 covering topics from leadership for corporate groups, to helping young people through times of transition.

 

"Our mission statement is to facilitate learning and growth through the naturally occurring therapeutic and transformative opportunities horses can provide, in order to develop potential, self awareness and skills, which are transferable forward into peoples every day lives."


How we work:

We focus on the eco-psychology principles of developing and understanding ways of expanding the connection between humans and other-than-humans and the natural world - through ecological and psychological principles.

 

Magic happens when healing and awareness is reciprocal - when nature makes us more - and we make nature more by becoming more aware of our selves, others and the world at large.

In a session or a workshop you get the chance to work with horses in away that is power with - not power over. The learning and awareness is in the relationship - not goal orientated, not about fixing anything. This is also rooted in the humanistic and coaching principles we work with:

• Humanistic therapy is a positive approach to psychotherapy and counselling that focuses on a person’s individual nature, rather than categorising groups of people with similar characteristics as having the same problems. Humanistic therapy looks at the whole person, not only from the therapist’s view but from the viewpoint of individuals observing their own behaviour. The emphasis is on a person’s positive traits and behaviours, and the ability to use their personal instincts to find wisdom, growth, healing, and fulfilment within themselves.

• Coaching at it's core is about partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

 

Meet the Founder

 

My name is Sue Blagburn, I am the founder, managing director, counsellor, coach and main facilitator at Adventures with Horses CIC. I founded the company as a not-for-profit social enterprise in June 2015.

 

Becoming a social entrepreneur feels very natural. I ran my first horse business when I was only 21 years old, and then ran a marketing communications and graphic design business for over 20 years. I have always worked in away where the emphasis is on providing a service which makes an impact on human and other than human life, where the focus is on developing a sustainable holistic organisation based on integrity and a passion for the service we provide, which is integral to the needs of all, rather than focusing on the bottom line. A Social Enterprise is described as an organisation that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being, which completely fits with my values and way of running a business.

Developing Adventures with Horses is exciting and it’s also occasionally terrifying! However, I think feeling fear at times, when running an organisation where you are impacting on other peoples lives is healthy, it’s a responsibility that I take seriously. Part of this is about developing a team of people who have the qualities and qualifications that support my vision and collectively sustain our mission. Another part is about how to develop Adventures with Horses into a sustainable social enterprise that will flourish and thrive and can offer more people the benefits of equine facilitated learning.

 

This includes each and everyone of us who work at Adventures with Horses. Working with horses in this way is a journey of learning, for our clients this may just be over a programme of 6-8 sessions, or a workshop, or a course, but to facilitate this work to others, we have to practice what we preach! I see “the art of horse whispering” as listening to how horses prefer us to ‘show up’ when we engage with them. For some of us, including myself, this is a life long journey of deepening my insights into the reciprocal relationship between man and horse, on how horses can enhance our well being, and how we can enhance theirs.

My Adventures with Horses

My journey started when I was a child, connecting with horses in their natural environment was something I did from a young age. At the time hanging out with herds, and engaging with the wild ponies in the New Forest were the only opportunities I had of being around horses. Of course at the time I didn’t realise how important what I was observing and learning was, like most children what I wanted to do most was to ride. I started riding at 9 years old, and found a riding stables where I could work at the weekends from the age of 12, I have worked with horses either full time or part-time ever since.

 

From my teenage years onwards I had wonderful opportunities to compete at a professional level in eventing, dressage and showing, and train horses and hang out with various natural horsemanship teachers. I coached and taught people to ride full time from my late teens until my mid 20s. The work I am doing in partnership with horses expresses all of what I have learned and am still learning on my own equine guided personal and professional journey. Guiding others to connect with the gifts horses can give feels like a great privilege.

 

I started to have a strong callings to work in equine facilitated learning since it’s early stages of development in the UK. I had already worked with young people with disadvantages and neurodiversities as a horse riding teacher, I had already naturally developed ways of facilitating, coaching and mentoring business people, and had worked with horses professionally either full time or part-time for many years. All this, plus my own inner experiences of how horses had helped me, as my teachers, facilitators, coaches and therapists became the foundation I continue to build on.

 



 
 
 

"Horses have been transporting us on outer journeys for thousands of years. In the 21st century, equine facilitated experiential earning is a profound new way of horses transporting us on inner journeys from where we are to where we need to be."



Equine Team
When I chose to work in equine facilitetd learning I had no expectations that Arthur, William and Harry who have been with me since they were foals (2004/2005) would choose to come on this adventure with me, but they did. This work doesn’t suit all horses or ponies, so to be working with three horses that I have trained and hung out with they were foals is extraordinary. Arthur, I bred, (I was the midwife at his birth, and like wise his mother, and his grandmother was with me from the age of 8 until she was 30 years old). William and Harry, (two New Forest ponies came to me at six months old and I have been learning from about 6 generations of their ancestors since I was a child). Arthur and William are now 14 years old and Harry is 13, experiencing their growth and development with clients is awesome and amazing. In the summer of 2017 Honey joined us, she is a second cousin of William and Harry's and aged just 5 years old, she brings both youth and feminity to the herd!

 

Horse Reunion Video

Back in 2008 having decided to train in equine facilitated learning I sold my property and land in Dorset. In June 2008 Arthur aged 4 years old also went to a new home in Kent. On 14 December 2012 I bought him back, and he was reunited with his two play mates from foal-hood, William and Harry. This magical horse reunion (which was filmed and has gone viral on YouTube) was really the beginning of Adventures with Horses, and the seed was sown for the work we are now doing. Arthur, William and Harry are Adventures with Horses! They continued to inspire and open hearts; mostly this is now face to face. We moved to Middle Stoke Farm, Holne on Dartmoor in December 2014 and began working with people officially in the summer of 2015. Watch the You Tube video here. 

 

My Qualifications, Training and Experience

Before starting Adventures with Horses, I spent 6 years (2009 - 2015) studying, working and volunteering in equine assisted learning and therapy. I work with various models, including the European Association for Horse Assisted Education and Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association. I am a certified professional committed to upholding EAGALA's code of ethic and standards in the practice of equine assisted psychotherapy and personal development. 

 

My main focus today is: 1. working with young people aged between 10 yrs and 30 yrs with disadvantages, neurodiversities and mental health issues. 2. Working as a coach and facilitator with individuals and groups in personal and professional development, leadership and organisational change.

 

I am in the final stages of studying towards an advanced diploma in humanistic integrative counselling specialising in gestalt, I am a BACP student member and abide by the ethical framework for good practice in counselling and psychotherapy. Until Februay 2019 when I qualify I am running low cost equine assisted counselling which is fully supervised.

 

I am a professional coach and member of the ICF and bide by their code of ethics. I am presently working towards ICF accreditation, have a ILM qualification in coaching and Mentoring, and a diploma in NLP.

 

I have over 30 years experience working with small businesses and medium size businesses with marketing communications and business start up qualifications.

 

I am also studying and practicing as a facilitator in ecopsychology and organisational change. 

 

Last but not least I am also a accredited professional coach with the British Horse Society. Although I no longer coach or teach horse riding I believe the professional back ground it has given me in equine welfare, health and safety, and codes of conduct involved in keeping both the people and horses safe in an equnie environment is paramount.



Summary of Equestrian Qualifications and Training
• British Horse Society Accredited Professional Coach and BHSAI
• EAHAE  Certified Professional Member (European Association for Horse Assisted Education)
• EAGALA Certified Professional, model practice level 1 & 2 (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association)

• Foundation training with IFEAL

• Work placements, volunteering and training in horse assisted education and therapy for people with special needs: Fortune Centre of Riding Therapy, Horse Boy Foundation, INTRA in Israel, Sirona Therapeutic Horsemanship and Erme Valley Riding for the Disabled Group.

 

 

Meet more of the human team

coming soon...

 

... and if you would like to join our team or get involved in other ways please click here

     
     
 
 
 
  International Association for Horse Assisted Education   The British Horse Society - Accredited Professional Coach   Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association   The School for Social Entrepreneurs - Associate Fellow  
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