Equine Assisted Learning

UpReach offers equine assisted learning workshops, which are interactive and involve no riding. All activities occur on the ground, and are geared towards team building, leadership skills, improving communication skills, etc. The horse becomes a partner, helping to bring about growth, change, and enhance the learning process. Basic horse safety is taught prior to working with the horses. UpReach staff partner with horses to facilitate activities specifically designed to achieve desired outcomes. Half-day and full-day workshops are available.

Please see FORMS section to download EAL curriculum participant paperwork.


Curriculum Based

UpReach partners with parents and educators to develop goals and utilizes proven curriculum that improves academics skills for those students that are not showing success in the traditional school setting. The Strides Learning ModelTM is purposeful, meets goals, addresses academics, teaches life skills, and encourages positive behavior. Success of each student is measured through the use of rubrics specific to the goals of the program. Ongoing success is measured through reduced drop out rate, increased school attendance, positive learning attitude, fewer behavioral issues, and improved grades and test scores. A variety of curriculum is available ranging from 12 to 36 weeks in length.

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Please contact Kristen at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (603) 497-2343 for further information.


EAL Fact Sheet

What is Equine Assisted Learning?

  • Equine Assisted Learning is an opportunity for participants to partner with horses to facilitate the learning and growth process. Whether or not we are ready to hear it, horses reflect back to us exactly what we need to improve as leaders, communicators and team members. All horse related activities happen through ground work and does not involve horseback riding.

Why use horses as a modality for learning?

  • As prey animals, horses are constantly attuned to their environment. Their perception of their surroundings is an immediate and honest expression communicated through body language. This can be less offensive than being told by a human being because it is learned through self-discovery in interacting with an equine partner. Horses naturally test for leadership in order to ensure their leader is capable of guaranteeing their safety. Leaders are just, assertive, trustworthy, clear communicators, and preserve the dignity of their herd.

How does equine assisted learning translate into human relationships?

  • Equine assisted learning is directly transferable to humans because participants learn and practice skills. The skills learned are relational skills because life happens in relationship, whether those relationships are boss/employee, teacher/student, leader/group. It does not affect the value of the skill if it is initially learned from and practiced with horse partners and it is often easier to risk more of ourselves when we are not faced with the judgment of others.

Who can benefit from participating in the HOPE Program?

  • Students with behavioral problems, disengaged learners, individuals in danger of dropping out of school, and students that have special learning styles benefit from the unique experiential learning opportunity by building skills revolving around life skills and academics.
  • Workshops are targeted towards businesses, organizations, and groups interested in improving teamwork, developing trust and enhancing communication and leadership skills. Both ½ day and full day workshops are available.

Are the horses and staff specially trained?

  • All the horses used in the equine assisted learning program have been certified by the Delta Society (www.deltasociety.org) as Pet Partners. The instructor leading and facilitating the HOPE Program is a NARHA certified riding instructor (www.narha.org) and has a thorough knowledge of horses.

What is the format for each curriculum based class?

  • A lesson plan is prepared by the instructor incorporating predetermined goals and objectives for each curriculum component.
  • The class begins with each student greeting instructors and volunteers. Students then recap what was learned in the previous class and how they implemented their new skills/behaviors. A “word of the day” is introduced and instructions relating to the horse activity are reviewed to ensure clarity and safety.
  • An unmounted horse activity takes place. This activity includes observation skills as well as participation.
  • Students, volunteers and instructors discuss the outcomes of the exercise. What did they observe? How did their activity and observations relate to the “word of the day”. How can they apply what they have learned?
  • Rubrics are completed by the instructor for each student at the conclusion of each class. Pre and post program rubrics are also completed by a family member, school staff, or residential manager.

What is the format for each workshop?

  • Workshops open with general information on horses, Horses 101, to ensure a safe learning experience for all participants.
  • In each workshop, activities are tailored toward the area(s) of focus for the group participating. (i.e.: communication, teamwork, leadership)
  • Upon completion of an activity, the group processes the experience as well as outcome.

What is the cost of the HOPE Program?

  • The budget for the curriculum based program is based on several factors: curriculum, number of students in the program, and the duration of the program. The budget does not include transportation to UpReach. Please contact us for pricing.
  • Workshop cost is $495 for ½ day and $995 for a full day for up to 12 people. Lunch and refreshments can be provided for an additional cost.

HOPE Testimonials

“Challenges kids to push themselves past their comfort zones and helps them to figure out they can do things they didn’t think they could do.”  ~Margot S., Clinician, Jolicoeur School

“Students pushed comfort levels trying new things and trusting that they would be kept safe.”  ~Margot S., Clinician, Jolicoeur School

“They became very compassionate and empathetic while working with the horses.”  ~Nicole B., Teacher Assistant, Jolicoeur School

“I saw the children let down their guard and also put the horses needs above their own.”  ~Melissa W., Teacher Assistant, Jolicoeur School

“Respect helped us all learn to work together.”  ~Shamaya, Student, Jolicoeur School

“I liked learning about honesty because I learned a lot about myself and others.”  ~Savanah, Student, Jolicoeur School

“Fun, eye-opening, unique twist on team-building”  ~Granite United Way Workshop attendees