At Westland Farm we have an amazing group of therapy and learning partners; our horses, ponies and other animals. They help us to develop and learn new things about ourselves and each other. The sessions are therapeutic, encouraging growth, self-awareness and development. 

At the farm we support and facilitate Animal Assisted Therapy and Learning.  What this means is we offer sessions and programmes where our animals play a significant part in supporting the process.  We see children, young people, families and adults.  We facilitate both individual and group sessions.  The sessions are structured differently depending on the needs of the clients, and their goals.

Animal Assisted Therapeutic Learning – AATL

On the farm we offer a number of therapeutic programmes.  One of these is called Animal Assisted Therapeutic Learning (AATL).  These are a client lead and goal orientated activity based, planned and structured sessions for children and young people.  These are particularly suitable for children and young people as they are activity focused in their approach to working on goals.  The AATL sessions at the farm have a track record of achieving significant positive outcomes.  AATL is an effective process that supports improving relationships, communication, self esteem and general self development and working on any specific issues.  These sessions are particularly suitable for children and young people who benefit from an alternative to talking therapies, a space to be calm and reflect and a space to bond (groups) and develop their social communication and self awareness.

Targeted Equine & Animal Therapy

We have a team who integrate their expertise into the therapy session, including Occupational Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Holistic Social Work and attachment models.  Our practitioners work with an integrated approach, lead by the clients needs, wishes and feelings.  Every client’s first session at the farm is an ‘initial session’, which is an informal activity based assessment, which initiates a care plan approach to the potential therapeutic work going forward.  This is discussed with clients and referrers at the referring stage and following the initial session.

Animal Assisted Occupational Therapy

Animal Assisted Occupational Therapy is widely used around the world and is becoming an increasingly popular choice for client recovery and development.  These sessions work with animal assisted activities to provide practical and emotional support to empower our clients to facilitate recovery and overcome barriers that are currently preventing them from doing the activities (or occupations) that matter to them.  This support increases people’s independence and satisfaction in all aspects of life.  Animal Assisted Occupational Therapy is widely effective for a range of rehabilitation, recovery and development needs and is also thoroughly enjoyable for the clients.  You can read more about our Occupational Therapist, Yvette and her areas of expertise in the ‘About Us’ section.

Siblings Together

Siblings Together is essentially animal assisted therapeutic sessions, usually working with horses, where siblings work together in semi-structured sessions, towards common goals and challenges.  The aims of the sessions are to provide a space for communication, conflict resolution, relationship development while being able to ‘play’ together.