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TheHorseCourse is a world leader in well-evidenced high impact equine-assisted interventions. Having started in prisons, we now run a busy community-based HQ in Weymouth, Dorset, UK – an area of high deprivation - specialising in helping people with complex challenges and needs to achieve proven outcomes. Employing 6 facilitators and 14 horses, we work with young people from 8yrs old, families and adults. In Dorset we help over 700 people with  each year, and we do not charge the participants – our funding comes from a mix of commissioning and charitable grants/donations. We also provide Alternative Provision for young people out of education, accredited qualifications, and supported volunteering through our Working Wellies project. Our Non-verbals Toolbox training is a unique approach to emotions and relationships which we offer to professionals and the public in face-to-face workshops or online.

We train and assess others to replicate our programmes and we work hard to support them in setting up their own centres around the UK. Independent centres running our programmes are becoming increasingly busy and more are opening. We monitor their impact data to ensure they are as effective as we are, and provide ongoing training.

We hold an Animal Activity Licence from Dorset Council, No: 8060, licence holder: Harriet Laurie MBE, TheHorseCourse CEO. We also maintain Social Farms & Gardens Green Care Quality Mark and the Charity Excellence Framework Quality Mark. We are members of HEIR (Human Equine Interactions Register), and we are working towards membership of the new PSA (Professional Standards Authority) Accredited Practitioner Register (for Equine Assisted Services). TheHorseCourse is a federation member of HETI (Horses in Education and Therapy International).

  • "this can significantly reduce the likelihood of exclusion from school"

    Kirsty Dring, Wellbeing Team Leader, All Saints School
  • "If you saw me and then saw me how I’d changed now, you would think I was a different person"

    Young person, attended ReStart programme
  • "Wow!! This year 100% of the NEETS that have accessed the TheHorseCourse have then enrolled at College. Thank you is not enough."

    Nola Smith, Student Health & Wellbeing Co-ordinator, Weymouth College
  • "Teaches life skills such as responsibility, control, self esteem and a sense of necessity"

    Kitty Forrester, teacher and head of year
  • "Students have to take control of the situation, be effective... that is huge"

    Tracey Hodder, Specialist Support Worker, Compass Learning Centre
  • "TheHorseCourse punches way above its weight"

    Lord Jim Knight of Weymouth, former Minister for Education
  • "TheHorseCourse has totally turned my life, and to be brutally honest, my feelings about living, around"

    Adult, attended ReStart programme and supported volunteering
  • "a growing world-wide reputation for helping when traditional approaches have failed."

    Dr Nicholas Kosky, Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, NICE panel Chair
  • "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
  • "81% make positive changes in the eight core skills taught on the course"

    Professor Hemingway, Public Health, Bournemouth University
  • "Seeing these kids getting a horse to do something for them simply by controlling their own moods is incredible"

    Martin Clunes
  • "feedback from such a massive and beautiful animal feels like a gift rather than a criticism or a threat"

    Emily Bolton, Trustee

What is TheHorseCourse?

This short video shows our flagship ReStart programme in action. When talk-based support is not working, we can teach, rehearse and repeat 8 key psycho-social skills in an intensive and challenging, but fun, 5 day programme with feedback in-the-moment from specially trained horses and 1-to-1 facilitator support.


Download our brochure for a roundup of services, methodology and evidence.

If you are a professional wishing to refer, please use the link above to request a referral form, or call 01305 819669 to discuss.

For more details, follow the link to our services page.

Non-Verbals Toolbox Workshops

We teach body language as a tool to understand, and change, emotions.

You can sign up for a 2 hour workshop, or do the CPD-certified course online in your own time - £25 / person. Or to arrange a group session for your school or organisation, email or call 01305 819669.

Welcome to our Weymouth site

In the video above Katy will show you around our farm in Weymouth and introduce the staff and horses.

If you are referred onto our ReStart course - click here to see a video showing what to expect.

Weymouth & beyond

To contact our Weymouth HQ or any of our approved facilitators and centres, visit the contacts page.

outcomes & evidence

Numerous external studies and evaluations of TheHorseCourse method shows that we have huge impact on measurable outcomes for both young people and adults, making us world leaders in the field of action-based interventions. See published studies, videos, and presentations of hard data, efficacy, bio-phys, service user perspectives, and more.


With Bournemouth University we are working towards a Virtual Reality version of TheHorseCourse ReStart that would use the player's neuro-physiology signals to drive the interactions with the virtual horses. This project has potential for mass reach, to combat the epidemic of mental health difficulties, particularly amongst young people.

Read more about this project on the Evidence page, or email if you have an interest in partnering/supporting.


Our CEO, Harriet Laurie, made MBE in New Years Honours 2024

Creative England/Wellcome Trust/NHS Create Open Health 2019

Royal College of Psychiatry Annual Conference (2 prizes) 2018

FSI Small Charity BIG Impact, Regional Section Winner 2017

Dorset County Council Innovation Award 2016

School for Social Entrepreneurs Fellowship 2016

BIG Lottery / ITV Peoples Project Winner 2016

Shortlisted for the Guardian Small Charity Awards 2015

Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship 2013

Shackleton Award 2011