Our Ethos

Think Like a Pony is a natural horsemanship approach with great therapeutic and educational benefit for all children. At our not-for-profit horsemanship centre in Leeds, we focus our work on children with mental health difficulties and special educational needs.

"I have seen Think Like a Pony change the lives of some of the hardest to reach children in our community. These are children who are at high risk of self-harm, suicide, depression and chronic anxiety.” - Annie Mandelstam, Registered Child Clinical Psychologist.

Our mission is to support young people by offering experiences that facilitate positive youth development as well as helping them to achieve horsemanship goals. We pledge to provide a safe learning environment so that a young person can thrive physically, mentally and emotionally at the same time as excelling practical horsemanship skills. 

To find out how Think Like a Pony can empower a young person, take a look at Max's story...


Key Life Skills

To develop a relationship with a horse a young person needs to understand:

  • The horse’s innate needs.
  • How horses communicate with each other.
  • What the horse’s priorities are.
  • The difference between being assertive and being aggressive.
  • The difference between discipline and punishment.
  • How to be calm and have a plan.


Through these considerations, young people learn the value and need for clear rules and boundaries as well as the need for consistency, clarity, predictability and congruency.

Through understanding these factors, the young person develops confidence, empathy and important life practices which include:

  • Respect for self.
  • Respect for others.
  • Responsibility for everything they do.

We also run an active riding school for families from the local community looking for a more educationally holistic approach to learning to ride.