Nature & Equine Assisted Therapies

 Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)    & Social-Emotional Learning               

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Social-Emotional Learning

We offer children, youth and their families safe (physical and emotional) experiences with horses for the purpose of learning to regulate and resource themselves, develop self awareness, strengthen relationships and family connections, and develop the 'inner life skills' necessary for building resilience and social-emotional health and wellbeing.

The diverse equine experiences that we offer may include: observation of horses; meeting horses at liberty; lead-line activities that include touching and grooming

horses; 'horseplay,' where horses are invited into imaginatory play, and projective

exercises involving the creative use of materials  (such as poles, cones, ropes, natural materials like wood, stones, flowers and pine cones etc. ) to represent, depict or

become a metaphor for a person's  inner worldnature art with the herd; liberty

leading(leading without a lead rope); mounted experiences and journeys into the


10 Acre Wood on horseback.


The EPI model of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning

Our approach to EAP and social-emotional learning is based on the EPI model 

which is a unique and comprehensive psychotherapy model developed in

Australia that is relational, mindful, trauma-informed, ethical, effective and deeply respectful of clients, horses, practitioners and nature. It is an experiential approach to psychotherapy and mental health that is facilitated by a registered psychotherapist or occupational therapist who has undertaken specialized training and certification in

EAP and has demonstrated skills in understanding horses and horsemanship.

The Way of the Horse




Horses live in the present moment in awareness and direct contact with the world around them. As such, they are highly perceptive to subtle changes in their environments and within their herd, and respond immediately through their body language, energy and behaviour.  These resiliency traits have served them well and ensured their survival over millions of years.  


When it comes to relationships with humans, a horse will respond to each person uniquely, just as it does with members of its herd, providing immediate feedback and often mirroring the persons emotions and energy through their own behaviour.  This provides a rich opportunity for learning and growth, leading to greater self- awareness, body awareness,  emotional regulation and capacity to communicate effectively

We view horses as teachers, partners and supports in the therapeutic and learning process, modelling living in the here and now (awareness and presence), living in the body (somatic awareness and embodiment), and living in relationship (contact and authentic relationship).

Individual Therapy: 45-60 minutes

Equine-Assisted Social- Emotional Learning (small group):

Please note:  Equine assisted Psychotherapy and Occupational Therapy services are not covered by OHIP,

however the cost may be partially or fully covered by private health insurance plans or other government funding programs under mental health/psychotherapy, occupational therapy benefits, or core clinical funding (e.g. OAP funding).




Three Horses

Contact us for more information

Phone: 905-630-1909

Location:  1010 Effingham St. Fenwick, ON.

Nancy Rushford 
PhD, MSc.OT, Reg. (Ont.), M.A
Registered Occupational Therapist/