Sharing insights at the HETI UK Spring Forum 2023
The Mare and Foal Sanctuary are proud members of The Federation of Horses in Education and Therapy International AISBL (HETI). This year, we travelled to Horseworld Trust in Bristol to share our insights on this year’s theme: How can we ensure our Equine Assisted Services provide a positive experience for our equine partners?
More than 40 equine assisted service practitioners and providers attended the event. Sarah Jane Williamson (Chief Executive), Dawn Neil (Head of Education and Equine Assisted Services), Amy Dearlove (Equine Support Lead) and Ali Murray (Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator) represented The Mare and Foal Sanctuary.
We were delighted to not only attend but be asked to share a practical demonstration of our typical introduction to sessions, which emphasises that our equine partners are equal members of the equine-human team.
We asked participants who were taking part in the demonstration to observe the equines at liberty in silence and consider equine wellbeing and choices the horses had within the session. They then went on to work in pairs with participants from different organisations. In their pairs they discussed how they fulfil the role of equine support in their own settings and what they might be able to do to improve this.
The forum was a wonderful opportunity for us to share our good practices in creating meaningful experiences for participants that are both human-centred and equine-centred.
The HETI forum also provided a platform for Dr Carol Hall Director from National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) to share the draft standards for equine welfare in Equine Assisted Services. The Mare and Foal Sanctuary are active NEWC members and have been part of the working group involved in developing these standards which were positively received by attendees of the forum.