Patrons: Martin Clunes and Lord Knight of Weymouth Registered Charity No. 1141654



Having proven our work in prisons, we have now established a busy community-based HQ near Weymouth, Dorset, UK. Employing 3 facilitators and 8 horses, we work primarily with young people 8-24yrs old and families, with an additional project working with drug & alcohol misuse. 

Eleven facilitators so far are trained and approved to replicate our method and we are working hard to support them in setting up their own centres around the UK, with funding being the greatest hurdle.

TheHorseCourse ReStart

In Dorset, we provide our intensive ReStart programme to 150+ people each year, for free, referred by Schools & PRUs, Children's Services, NHS Mental Health Services, Troubled Families, Offender Services and other specialist agencies (such as charities working with Domestic Violence or D&A).

Our Gloucester centre is getting busy, working with similar cohorts. Centres will soon open in Barnet, North London, Wiltshire and Surrey.

Our participants have serious problems – typically more than four from the list below.  And they are referred because they are ‘stuck’ or disengaged from talk-based support. We teach, rehearse and repeat key resilience skills in an intensive and challenging, but fun, 5 day course with feedback in-the-moment from specially trained horses and 1-to-1 facilitator support.

  • ADHD
  • ASD
  • anxiety diagnosis
  • not attending school (training, work)
  • relationship difficulties
  • mood swings/impulsivity
  • highly disengaged
  • self harm
  • bullying, aggression, anger management issues
  • being bullied
  • risk taking behavior
  • drug & alcohol misuse
  • eating disorder
  • offending
  • domestic violence
  • neglect / abuse
  • poor parenting
  • parents with mental health problems, offending or D&A
  • living in care or leaving care
  • from area of high deprivation


We are held up as an exemplar in our approach to evidencing the outcomes of our work (see evidence).

A recent report published by NPC & CLINKS and peer reviewed by CSAAP (the academic panel at the Ministry of Justice) showed a 27 % point reduction in reoffending (where 10% is large).

A study by Bournemouth University is tracking the outcomes for our young people post-course at 2 months and 12 months and early results show that 80%+:
  • are less anxious (with 33% average improvement)
  • have reduced problem behaviours,
  • improved attendance/engagement at school
  • better relationships
  • increased self belief


We also offer a half-day training in our specialism, non-verbal behavior change, for frontline professionals.

To refer

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.g for referral and consent forms.


Raffle - xmas 2016

The first prize in our raffle, a walk on part in the Doc Martin TV show, was won by the father of a young person who has participated in our programme. We couldn't be more pleased and we look forward to hearing who takes the part! Runners up came from all over Dorset and further afield including Cambridge and Essex. All have now been contacted and sent their prizes. Thank you to EVERYONE who supported us by buying tickets and to our sponsors Boots and Neals Yard - a great help towards improving our premises.


  • It is an intervention for the most difficult to engage

    Russ Trent, Governor, HMP & YOI Portland

  • I hope this work which I understand the PCT Commissioner has been impressed with, is able to continue

    Jeremy Wright, Minister for Prisons

  • TheHorseCourse has succeeded in getting through to some of the most difficult and disruptive Young Offenders...

    Lord Ramsbotham, former Chief Inspector of Her Majesty's Prisons

  • A new option which shows great promise to reduce exclusions and to reduce ongoing mental health issues.

    Kirsty Dring, Wellbeing Team Leader, All Saints School, Weymouth

  • THC has made significant impact - one student learnt she is able to succeed, another has doubled her time in lessons.

    Allan Wood, Headmaster, Compass Learning Centre (Pupil Referral Unit)

  • We are working in partnership with TheHorseCourse on a number of pilots including Rehab Services, Crisis Service and Acute Inpatient settings.

    Sarah Rose, Dorset Mental Health Forum

  • A uniquely powerful course for installing mental and emotional self control...I am excited to be a part of this project.

    Stephanie Gaunt, licensed 3* Parelli Professional Horsemanship Instructor

  • Students have to take control of the situation, be effective... that is huge.

    Tracey Hodder, Specialist Support Worker, Compass Learning Centre

  • We train our people by doing, but when things go wrong we try to fix them by talking. It doesn't make sense.

    Reverend Simon Beveridge, Royal Marines, Poole

  • Preliminary findings from the evaluation research are incredibly positive.

    Professor Rosie Meek, Criminal Psychology, Royal Holloway University

  • Engaging and motivating prisoners is notoriously difficult and yet TheHorseCourse has managed to do just that consistently and effectively.

    Lord Jim Knight of Weymouth (former Minister for Education)

  • I'm amazed by the work of Parelli practitioners such as Harriet Laurie... There is no-one horses cannot touch!

    Linda Parelli, Parelli Natural Horsemanship, USA

  • Seeing these kids getting a horse to do something for them simply by controlling their own moods is incredible.

    Martin Clunes (Actor, Presenter & President of The British Horse Society)

  • THC empowers prisoners as teachers and leaders of horses, rather than trying to further diminish them as pupils.

    Emily Bolton, Trustee, Solicitor, Founded the Innocence Project New Orleans

  • Society would benefit from this sort of intervention earlier, I would like to see it in primary schools.

    K Forrester, Trustee, School Teacher & Head of Year

  • It's great to see an intervention where there is such good evidence of effectiveness.

    Helen Price, Lead Commissioner for Families, Gloucestershire County Council

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