Frequently Asked Questions
What is Equine-Assisted Services?
Equine Assisted Services (EAS) allow people with physical, cognitive, behavioural or emotional challenges to find strength, improve wellbeing and independence through the power and connection with the horse. The variety of programmes and services we offer to children and adults from age 3 through senior citizens all use the holistic approach of working with the unique qualities of horses. Each programme/service meets different needs. Determining which programme and service best meets the needs and the desires of the applicant depends on the results of an assessment.
How is EquiPotential different to Riding for the Disabled (RDA)?
The core purpose of RDA is to provide interaction with horses for people experiencing disability. Participation at an RDA group usually includes a diagnosed disability. EquiPotential still has a very well supported disability service but now includes a broader range for clients which aligns with the increase of demand by the community for other services which help improved mental health, wellbeing and personal growth.
What services and programmes do you provide?
We offer a range of Equine Assisted Services and programmes, these can be either ridden, unmounted or a combination for both. The services we offer are:
Disability: Teaching individuals with disabilities equine-oriented riding skills though an educational approach with the goal of facilitating life skills. This service has the purpose of contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, and emotional development of the individual.
Horsemanship: The process of teaching people with mental health disorders, anxiety, depression, and traumatic brain injuries, how to handle and care for horses. Aimed at supporting personal growth and increase wellbeing.
Equine Skills: Is an experiential learning approach involving the interaction between the horse and an individual to promote the development of life skills that aid in academic achievement, personal growth and exploration, or professional development.
Therapy: Qualified equine therapeutic riding coaches in tandem with licences health professional, partner with a horse to achieve client treatment goals.
Wellbeing: Either ridden or unmounted, this is recreation time with a horse to help improve general wellbeing, self-esteem and personal goals, can be individual or as part of a group.
Corporate Days: Utilises horses in team building activities that address the issues of communication, hierarchy and leadership, while building productive working relationships.
Private functions and parties: Call us to discuss how we serve your needs.
Youth Volunteers: To encourage youth of today to help others by improving their horse handling skills and interacting with others.
Certificate: Offering the New Zealand Certificate in Equine Skills (Level 2) (50 Credits), you can complete the full certificate over 12 months or unit by unit.
All services can be customised for an individual or to meet the needs of a group
Who benefits from Equine-Assisted Services?
To date we have 190 people enrolled and though our range of services and programmes, we benefit people’s general wellbeing and health to over 50 different medical diagnoses or reasons for attending. The most common diagnoses is: Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADD/ADHD, Traumatic Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Developmental/Intellectual Disorders, Behavioural/Emotional Diagnoses, and Mobility issues. We also have clients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Dementia, anxiety, depression and mental health issues and a growing need to improve general wellbeing.
How do sessions operate?
We run morning and afternoon sessions.
Our Disability Service mainly operates in the mornings. Clients are allocated a time-slot and each class has clients that are of a similar age, ability or have similar goals. These are ridden sessions are between 45-60mins in duration depending on the programme and clients needs.
Our afternoons are focused on our other services and range from 60-90 mins in duration. Each session is carefully planned with the client’s safety and goals in mind. Each client has short- and long-term goals that are developed in conjunction with the clients, parents, caregivers, therapists and support workers. We also encourage physiotherapists and occupational therapists to be a part of the goal setting and session planning.
How many horses do you have?
We have a team of 14 horses that range in height, build and age. Full details on our team of horses can be found on our website.
When are you open?
We are open each weekday during the 4 school terms, starting at 8am to 3pm. During the school holidays we offer pony rides and training days.
What are your fees?
Clients are enrolled for 12 months and are invoiced per term. The fees depend on the programme enrolled in and range from $25.00-$50.00 per session.
Are your coaches qualified?
Yes! We have two Therapeutic Riding Coaches – Level 5. We also have an equine coordinator, arena assistant and administration officer.
What is the enrolment process?
A meeting and or assessment ride needs to be carried out prior to being enrolled. This is to discuss client outcomes and goals, assess suitability and to determine what programmes will provide the best benefit. Once this is carried out and there are spaces available a time will be allocated. We also have a client application form to be completed and some clients also require a medical consent form. Once a client is enrolled, upon completion of their first session an invoice is sent out.
Are you government funded?
No, we receive no government funding. We rely on rider fees, grants, sponsorship and donations to enable us to provide our services. We thank our current sponsors for their ongoing support. If you would like to become a horse sponsor or make a donation, please contact us for more information.
Are there volunteer opportunities?
Yes! All our morning sessions run with the help of our dedicated team of volunteers. We also have a youth volunteer programme and opportunities for youth to volunteer in our school holiday programmes. No horse experience is needed to volunteer, just a willingness to learn and full training is provided. We also have volunteer roles available that are outside of assisting in the arena, please contact us for more information and details.
Are there qualification opportunities?
Yes! We offer the New Certificate in Equine Skills (Level 2) (50 credits), this is open to everyone, please come and speak to the one of us if you are interested. This qualification can lead to many employment opportunities.