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Inspired Equine Assisted Learning CIC

Inspired Equine Assisted Learning (IdEAL) is a fully insured Community Interest Company that offers everyone the opportunity to experience how horses can enhance their wellbeing. To those with particular needs, Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) offers an effective alternative to traditional forms of counselling or psychotherapy.

3 February 2016
East Midlands
Care, Charity, Children Young People and Students, Communication, Education Sector, Faith Groups, Health, Hospitals and Hospital Trusts, Membership Organisations, Recreation, Research Sector, Schools, Social Care, Voluntary Sector
Local Alliances:
Boston Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Equine Assited Learning (EAL) is a unique learning experience that uses horses as active participants. Horses make perfect learning partners as their natural responses give immediate and honest feedback.

EAL does not involve riding and no prior experience with horses is required.

EAL has been shown to benefit a wide range of adults and children looking for a new way to improve confidence and self-awareness, including people living with dementia and also the people who care for them. 

Therapeutic work with horses has been shown to:

Improve confidence and self-esteem

Reduce stress, anxiety and depression

Enhance communication and relationship skills

Manage emotions and behavioural issues

Encourage nurturing skills and self discipline

Develop focus, balance and coordination skills

Provide a connection with nature and the environment

Clients can undertake a variety of enjoyable activities and exercises with our horses, enabling them to learn new skills as they develop a partnership with the horse based on trust and mutual respect.

Activities may include:

Discovering how horses use body language and energy to communicate

Watching the herd to gain an understanding of equine behaviour

Taking care of horses: feeding, grooming and general stable management

Interacting with the horse: leading, long-reining and liberty work

The horse activities are carried out in a safe, non-judgemental environment in a way that encourages personal development.

Each session is designed around the participants and there individual needs and abilities.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

Making contact with target groups.

Lack of research in Lincolnshire to show the impact of EAL for older adults and their carers.

Access to suitable funding to help cover the cost of sessions.

Member website


2. Actions

  • Run an EAL pilot scheme

    Run a small pilot programme in the near future in order to gain additional evidence to allow us to apply for funding that would allow us to offer the service to all local people living with dementia and the people who care for them who believe they would benefit from EAL.

  • Hold a "Discovery Day"

    We plan to hold a "Discovery Day" in March so that anyone living with dementia or their carers who are interested in EAL can visit the centre to see demonstrations and obtain further information about it. 

  • Become dementia friendly

    Take all the necessary steps/training to ensure staff and facilities are dementia friendly, including Dementia Friends.