Rainbow Horses, site logo.
Alternative Education
Saturday Family Sessions
Counselling and Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy
Contact us
Our horses
Sponsor a horse

Saturday Family Sessions

Saturday sessions for Families with Children with Autism

Our family sessions focus on the interaction and communication that occurs between the child with autism and the horse as well as between the child and session leader, and child and family members. The opportunities to interact with the horses are provided through meeting the herd in the field, sensory exploration, brushing, feeding and leading as well as in games and activities when riding.

With younger children we also use singing: familiar action songs and made-up 'commentary songs' where we sing about what the child is doing, looking at or listening to, in time to the horse's movement. This helps to focus and engage the child and provides repeated, structured language. 

Research has shown that being with horses, and horse-riding, has the potential to benefit children with autism in many areas including verbal and non-verbal communication, social interaction, motivation and attention. It also improves motor skills, assists sensory integration, increases confidence and has a calming effect, as well as being a fun and healthy physical activity!



Do not expect your child to be ready for all the activities on the first session...it may take time for them to get used to the new sights, sounds and smells. It is not unusual to take several sessions before they will approach the horses. There is still a lot they will get out of being around the horses and in the outside environment.

The first part of the session is 'saying hello' to the horses, approaching them in the field or the enclosed schooling area. The child can do this in their own time as it is important that they are not rushed. Parents, grandparents, carers and brothers and sisters are encouraged to join in.

Hi, I’m Ruby!

I run the Saturday sessions at Rainbow Horses Learning Centre and it’s a joy to cross paths with you here.

After qualifying as a vet in 2017 my interest in the healing potential of the horse-human bond, and in particular its interface with autism, drew me away from the career I had trained for and down a different path.

That path led me to the discovery of Sue and Rainbow Horses Learning Centre, training in Equine Facilitated Learning through Eponaquest (https://eponaquest.com), and the development of key skills through working with children with autism and other challenges at Rainbow Horses.

During this time, I have developed particular interests in neurodiversity and demand avoidance.

The focus of these sessions is the development of relationship over time to support children (and families) through their challenges by building social and emotional skills in a gentle, indirect way. This can take time and happens in an organic manner. The pressure to ‘achieve’ something is removed and replaced rather by a deep acceptance and belief in the natural ability of our young people (and ourselves) to learn and grow when supported in the right environment.

I can’t wait to welcome you and your child(/ren) to Rainbow Horses Learning Centre – a safe space of acceptance, empathy, curiosity and playfulness where everyone is invited to explore at their own pace.

If you have any questions or would like to know a more about Saturday sessions get in touch at [email protected]