Outdoor and Equine Assisted Services
At the Tinnis Trust trust, we offer two types of nature therapy:
On the farm, we offer Therapeutic
Care Farming (the therapeutic use of farming practices within a structured nature program for health, social care or educational benefit). It includes learning to care for animals including horses, pigs and poultry as well as learning to grow, harvest and use plants in the sensory garden. Participants can gain ASDAN qualifications in Animal Care, Gardening, Environmental Studies and Land-based skills.
In the nearby forest, we offer an innovative Nature Therapy approach for working with children who have experienced stress or trauma that incorporates Expressive Arts.
We also offer Forest School, a child-centred inspirational learning process, that offers opportunities for holistic growth. It supports play, exploration and supported risk taking, developing confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting.
From 2024, we will offer a range of therapeutic riding lessons and off-road forest treks provided by a qualified and experienced instructor who is trained in Integrative Somatic Therapy and internationally certified through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship and Hooves for the Heart LLC. Our horses are calm, well-trained and suitable for a range of rider ages and abilities. We can tailor our lessons and treks to suit you, focusing on improving behaviour, aiding relaxation, addressing the physical effects of trauma or disability,
improving mental health or increasing well-being.
People of all ages can learn valuable life lessons while riding horses including courage, assertiveness, patience and problem-solving. Riding teaches us not only physical skills balance, coordination, sensory integration and small and gross motor skill development but also leads to increased interpersonal skills. Through learning to listen and effectively communicate with horses, we can gain transferable qualities that enrich our lives far beyond the arena.
Trauma informed practice is at the centre of everything we do here at the Tinnis trust. Ours is an intentional approach to understanding and interacting with people who have or may be experiencing trauma. It assumes that most people are likely to have at least one traumatic event at some point in their lives and that, for some, this impacts the way they perceive the world and engage with others.
Equine Assisted Learning
Equine Assisted Learning, also known as Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL), is best described as Life Coaching with a horse. It is an experiential learning approach that promotes the development of life skills related to academic achievement, behaviour, personal growth or professional leadership development. Though participants can learn horsemanship skills through the sessions, it is usually not the primary goal.
Sessions focus on the here and now, helping clients to increase self-awareness, develop new skills and operate in the moment, rather than processing past trauma. There is no riding, psychotherapy or counselling involved. Through activities such as grooming, leading and lunging, participants begin to understand the effect that their tone of voice, breathing and body language can have on another living creature.
During the process, the horse acts as a mirror, reflecting a person's emotional state back to them so that they can increase in self-awareness. As a result, powerful changes in behaviour, anger management and self-esteem are seen.