Our Programs

Connections Program - Mental health and wellbeing

Our Focus

This program focuses on personal development through the work with our horses.
Equine-facilitated psychotherapy (EFP) and equine-facilitated learning (EFL) are experiential forms of psychotherapy and learning that involve horses. RDA (NSW) has developed a coach accreditation program to ensure standards of professionalism and safety in offering these services to local communities.

Why horses and experiential learning?

The prey nature and intense sensitivity to reading energy and subtle changes in their environment enable horses to co-facilitate teaching a wide range of life and coping skills.

Due to their sensitivity, horses react and respond to people differently based upon the person’s emotional state. The horse supplies biofeedback, providing the clients and the therapeutic team or coach with information regarding the clients’ moods and changes within those moods. This provides an opportunity for learning and skill building.

Horses mostly use non-verbal communication and interacting with them helps people understand and learn how their own non-verbal communication might be impacting others. Horses also demand that we are aware of our surroundings at all times. In order to stay safe around horses we must be observant, present, focused and attentive – all skills which many people struggle with.

Benefits from a Connections program at RDA(NSW) Tall Timbers Centre

Clients gain self-esteem and self-confidence while learning how to work with such a large and powerful creature to achieve objectives.

Skills learnt throughout the program may be able to assist Clients develop skills in the following areas:

Clients also learn how to care for horses, which can improve responsibility and work ethic in their daily lives.

About the Tall Timbers Connections Team

The RDA(NSW) Tall Timbers Connections Team consists of Coaches, Volunteers and Horses.

RDA(NSW) Tall Timbers Connections Coaches have undergone training to ensure they have the skills and knowledge to provide a safe, warm, accepting, challenging atmosphere whilst ensuring RDA(NSW) guidelines are adhered to.

Coaches have also completed a Mental Health First Aid course and participate in on-going self development.

Volunteers that assist in these programs are selected for their nature and life experience as appropriate and provided with training to ensure they are aware of their role in the program.

Horses are also selected for their nature and temperament and they must also enjoy these sessions.

If you would like to find out more about accessing our programs please contact our office today.