Think Like a Pony

Empowering Children Through Horsemanship


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An Award-Winning Approach That Changes Children’s Lives

Established in 2013, we are a leading organisation in children's natural horsemanship and the field of equine therapy. Our holistic riding school, therapeutic interventions and Online Club empowers children to develop confidence, resilience and powerful communication skills that they can use in their daily lives. The Think Like a Pony approach has helped many children develop their horsemanship and riding skills to a higher level than they thought possible. It has also proven to be particularly life-changing for vulnerable children or children struggling with behavioural issues. The effectiveness of our work has been recognised in a peer reviewed studies by Leeds University and the Leeds Therapeutic Social Work Team.

Our Key Services Include:

"My son has autism, he has experienced school induced trauma and bullying. Because of this intervention, he has stopped self-harming, started eating, has returned to school and is interacting with peers. Thanks to the support from Think Like a Pony, his long term prospects both socially, emotionally and academically have improved dramatically." - Parent of Think Like a Pony student

“The sessions have been transformational for my daughter. Her anxiety levels were high, she was nervous around people and was hyper vigilant in all situations. She’d been out of school for 2 years because she was being bullied. Now, her anxiety has melted away, she has self-confidence, and she absolutely loves being at Think Like a Pony.” - Parent of TLAP Student.

"I used to feel worried all the time. Because of Think Like a Pony, I am back at school and making friends. I used to be scared that I might be taken away from my family, but now life at home is better because my pony has taught me to be calm and brave." - Youth Development Student

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A Riding School With a Difference

The mental, emotional and physical well-being of both child and pony are at the heart of our holistic riding school in Leeds and our Online Club. Our educational approach and significant investment in the training of our ponies, means that we have incredibly high safety standards and high levels of horse welfare. Our method of teaching children fosters empathy, understanding and communication with the horse. This enables young people to excel as horse riders and handlers at the same time as developing important life skills.

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Empowering Vulnerable Children

Our Youth Development Programme changes the lives of some of the most at-risk children in our community. Through learning to build a relationship with a pony, children learn strategies that empower them to take control of their physical, mental and emotional state. This in turn helps them to build stronger relationships, re-engage with learning and see a future for themselves. The programme is suitable for any child with social, emotional or mental heath difficulties.

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Guiding Families and Carers

The program is delivered as a four-week course for carers where they learn new strategies to be more effective in their emotional, and physical response to the young people in their lives. The course illustrates how subtle but significant shifts in your mental and emotional state impact a pony, teaching you how that impacts other relationships in your life . By understanding this process, we can give carers specific strategies to implement at home to deal with difficult situations that may arise day to day.

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