Plumpton College introduces industry leading course; 'Changing Lives Through Horses'

01:00 - 01:00

Plumpton College introduces industry leading course; 'Changing Lives Through Horses'Plumpton College introduces industry leading course; 'Changing Lives Through Horses'Plumpton College introduces industry leading course; 'Changing Lives Through Horses'

Changing Lives through Horses (CLTH) is a relatively new programme that the British Horse Society (BHS) has designed and Plumpton College is the first land-based college to deliver this. The programme is targeting young people who are either not in education, employment or training (NEET); offering an alternative to mainstream education, or those who have learning needs or mental health problems particularly anxiety or low self-esteem. 

Through equine facilitated learning, the programme aims to develop six key life skills,

  • Communication
  • Confidence
  • Relationships
  • Teamwork
  • Responsibility
  • Personal  Achievement


For many young people communication can be inhibited through fear of saying the wrong thing. The wonderful thing about working with horses is that communication between horse and handler is not verbal. Horses are also an excellent tool for reflection as they are able to mirror one's feelings and emotions, thus giving immediate feedback to how one is feeling (Dixon- Clegg, 2018 and Dr Grummitt, 2017). 


Working with such big animals can initially feel quite scary and intimidating, but as the young person spends more time handling the horses and progressing and achieving on the course, particularly achieving something with a partner (the horse), their confidence naturally begins to grow. (Dixon- Clegg, 2018).


Good relationships will develop with other peers including acceptance and trust, as well as a two-way trusting relationship with the horse. These skills required for a good relationship can then be transferred to relationships with appropriate family members and friends (British Horse Society, 2018). 


Working with horses in an outdoor environment, means that the young people on the programme will be facing new challenges and problem-solving activities daily. This provides excellent opportunities for teamwork amongst peers and achieving mutual goals (British Horse Society, 2018).


Looking after a horse requires a great deal of time and care. Whilst on the programme, learners understand that horses within a domesticated environment are unable to fend for themselves, and are therefore very reliant upon humans to care for them. Learners will be responsible for and take pride in grooming, mucking out and feeding the horses on a regular basis.

Personal Achievement:

As learners progress through the programme they will receive certificates for their achievements. We hope at the end of the programme, learners will then have the confidence to further their education and potentially progress onto one of the horse management courses here at Plumpton College.


Category: Equine Management