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What to expect at a HorseSense UK session

Horsesense UK is a leadership and development business in the heart of the High Weald offering unique learning and wellbeing experiences to children aged 4 upwards, and adults.

Our core values are based around facilitating people to have access to and learn from the wisdom of horses so we might better know and understand ourselves.

Co-founder Becci Godfrey grew up with horses and realised they had formed a huge part of her childhood education. Appreciating that not everyone might be fortunate enough to have this experience, nor understand their benefits, she set about making learning from horses better known and more accessible.

Our work is therefore very much educational and our sessions are based around stepping into the horse's world and learning valuable insights from them. Insights such as what is important when it comes to health and wellbeing, safety, relationships, communication and being part of a herd.

Arriving for a session

Horsesense UK is based a private venue with indoor and outdoor space for interacting with horses.

On arrival, we ask people to wait by their cars for safety reasons till a facilitator collects them. For day and half day sessions we have a dedicated classroom space with refreshments for initial chats and introductions. For our shorter sessions we'll likely gather in the barn to allow people to settle and transition into 'horse time' where we let ourselves settle from the journey, acclimatise to the environment and become more centred and grounded.

The classroom provides a cosy place to start and end day and half day sessions

All our sessions start with some kind of mindfulness activity, whether it's finding the centre point in your body, noticing the environment around you, engaging soft focus or observing how the horses are moving and interacting.

Horses are flight animals, which means their tendency is to flee when scared or under pressure. As we work with our herd at liberty, engaging with them requires us to be in a calm place before we step into their space, or they will remove themselves to a place of safety. Hanging out close to but not in direct contact with the herd gives them a chance to check us out and decide whether we're safe to be around.

A group grounds and centres themselves before going in to meet the horses

Giving our horses as well as our participants choice is an important part of wellbeing. Honouring and respecting them and their space sets up relationships to be equal and trust-based, allowing for a safer environment and a deeper connection.

Being generally sociable it rarely takes long for the herd to introduce themselves and make their presence known. We teach participants basic safety to be around horses such as being aware of their size, weight, methods of interaction, flight nature, blind spot and indicators of stress and how to introduce yourself to a horse. We also explain how we too are responsible for our safety when around the herd making it clear to them what is and isn't acceptable to us when they approach into our space.

Saying hello is an important horse greeting

From here, we have built a foundation for all future interactions, which may extend on to grooming, leading, offering healing aromas, drawing and artwork, journaling and asking the herd for help and insight. When the weather is poor, we will be indoors. When the weather allows we will be outside in nature.

Sessions are shaped by the requirements of the herd, the individuals present and the environment. Safety is a key priority along with having a stretching learning experience, whether that's around mastering a new skill such as reading body language or horse care or understanding your own feelings and emotions.

Each session ends, if appropriate, with reflective time ascertaining what the day's learnings were and what from the session will be taken forwards. This is a chance to connect the dots between why we may have done things the way we did or understanding the horses feedback to us and how that might relate to ourselves, our relationships and how we behave.

Our aim when people leave, is to have grown or developed in some way. Sometimes this is as simple as having enjoyed a hour of being in the presence of horses and the relaxation that brings, whilst others may have profound and life changing insights that shape their future choices. Either way, we aim to leave everyone that visits that bit better than we found them, with valuable memories and a knowing that they are powerful, accepted and loved.

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