Over the past 50 years the understanding of the value that horses can make to people’s lives has become better understood. As a result individuals and organisations have created meaningful and impactful programmes that bring considerable benefit to those involved.
In recent years there has been remarkable growth in the number of people working in this field around the world. Their scope, size, backgrounds and methodologies vary greatly and there is little apparent coordination between many of them. This can present difficulties to those who need to understand the powerful outcomes that equine assisted or facilitated interactions can deliver.
One Equine Trust seeks to address this by providing a platform to inform, support and promote all aspects of Equine Assisted Therapy and Equine Assisted Learning. It will collaborate with other bodies locally and internationally, engage proactively across government departments in NI, and seek funding for research and development. Our initial purpose is to raise the profile and awareness of the significant benefits this diverse field of practice can have on society.
Setting up One Equine Trust as a charity is only a start. We need to build relationships with service providers, research and educational establishments and key decision makers in human well-being in NI. It is anticipated that One Equine will facilitate seminars and workshops, run webinars and encourage progress in training and qualifications that encourage new practitioners to enter the field. Eventual establishment of well-equipped EAT&L centres would be a major measure of success.
In order to attain our vision we wish to:
- facilitate and support those already providing service to optimise their offering;
- provide a forum to facilitate connection between all those involved in provision of equine assisted services, those who work in allied areas, and those who require the services. This forum would be a knowledge exchange of best practice and relevant research;
- provide a web based platform through which those wishing to avail of equine assisted services can readily discover what is available, where and by whom;
- provide business knowledge and skills to those who require this assistance;
- increase the knowledge of equine therapies within local and central government in Northern Ireland;
- facilitate access to these services for local and central government. Initially demonstration facilities should be considered; and
- provide a source, or sources, of accredited training for therapists, facilitators and assistants in Northern Ireland.