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 below for published studies, videos, and presentations of hard data, efficacy, bio-phys, service user perspectives, and more.
We are extremely research-friendly. Please get in touch if you are a researcher connected with an academic institution, looking for an interesting project.
“TheHorseCourse exemplifies the right attitude and approach towards collecting and analysing data in order to test and demonstrate impact, as well as develop practice responsively.” James Noble, Associate Director of Data and Learning, New Philanthropy Capital
A one page summary of the research to date by external academics and other experts, including papers in international peer-reviewed academic journals and presentations at international conferences.
We have a standard M&E protocol for all our ReStart participants, with over 1000 ReStarts delivered to date. We use TheHorseCourse Skills Star to track the distance travelled in the eight areas we work on directly during the course. We collect data at 3 time points:
We also follow up at 2 months post regarding 4 intermediate outcomes:
"Reducing the incidence of domestic violence: An observational study of an equine-assisted intervention"
A large scale, controlled study of TheHorseCourse impact with Troubled Families.
"A proposed study to shift TheHorseCourse proven equine-assisted intervention to a VR platform for large-scale reach 2021"
Abstract and presentation, as delivered orally for HETI (Horses in Education & Therapy International) 2021 Congress, Seoul, Korea. This outlines the pilot in progress, testing EEG and other wearable psycho-physiology technology as the potential feedback loop for a future Neuro-Virtual Reality system to replicate TheHorseCourse in a virtual world for massive scale reach.
"Summary findings: the impact of Dorset Families Matter and TheHorseCourse on domestic violence and abuse in Dorset’s Troubled Families"
"Exploring change processes in an equine-assisted intervention"
A qualitative study exploring perceptions in order to develop a grounded theory of change processes.
See pdf pages 82-93/154 for quotes and discussion of TheHorseCourse process from the perspectives of young people, parents, professional referrers and our facilitators.
"The hierarchy of evidence and equine assisted interventions... TheHorseCourse 2020"
Explaining how, from 2010 to 2020 TheHorseCourse has developed an evidence base progressing up the scientific hierarchy .
"A Study Exploring the Implementation of an Equine Assisted Intervention for Young People with Mental Health and Behavioural Issues 2019"
A feasibility study exploring the potential of TheHorseCourse reStart as an appropriate subject for a gold-standard RCT clinical study. Includes some cost benefit indicators.
"An Exploration of the Mechanism of Action of an Equine-Assisted Intervention 2019"
A bio-physiology study investigating the emotional learning journey during TheHorseCourse ReStart, published in a high impact international journal.
"A qualitative study exploring how parents make sense of change in an equine assisted intervention for their child: TheHorseCourse"
See pdf pages 59 – 73/109 for quotes and insights into the journey of change for young people, described by parents witnessing TheHorseCourse ReStart programme in action.
"TheHorseCourse ‘ReStart’ – examination of an initial data set"
Award-winning poster presentation of findings:
Statistically significant positive results (p<0.001) were found in each of the 8 dimensions of TheHorseCourse Skills Star, seeTHC Star online. A large standardised effect size (d=1.1) was found for the summed scores of the 8 dimensions.
"A Feasibility Study of an Equine Assisted Intervention for Children and Young People with Mental Health and Behavioural Challenges, 2018"
"A Pilot Study of the Mechanism of Action of an Equine Assisted Intervention, 2018"
Looking at bio-psysiological data during the intervention, researchers saw a correlation between learning episodes and galvanic skin response.
BU and others are calling for funding for an RCT (randomised controlled trial) or other large scale controlled evaluation. This is in response to BU analysis of the TheHorseCourse Skills Star follow-up data on 126 participants from external professionals - the outstanding results, on top of all the previous evidence of effectiveness, have led to this call.
"Horses and Humans: Teaching Young People to be Well"
The chapter is a narrative description of a psycho-physiological study of TheHorseCourse undertaken by a multidisciplinary team at Bournemouth University.
"Evaluating a natural horsemanship program in relation to the ISES first principles of horse training."
This study found the horse-training method we use (Parelli) to be highly congruent with the humane training principles stated by the International Society of Equitation Science (ISES).
A summary of all the evaluation studies on our work and a snapshot of how the ReStart works.
Full copies of most of the studies are linked below.
"Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy With Children and Adolescents: An Update and Literature Review"
TheHorseCourse was identified in this peer reviewed analysis as one of the most prominent equine-assisted methodologies.
An internal evaluation of our first youth project, with support from the Charities Evaluation Service (NCVO)
"TheHorseCourse Evidence Review, working with Offenders 2015"
"Moving Forward in Recovery Pilot Summer/Autumn 2015"
55% of participants shifted from disengaged/not progressing in treatment to attending and progressing. They attribute this change to the course. On average they also made a 12% improvement on the 8 skills taught by TheHorseCourse.
"Interim Evaluation Findings, 2012, with update 2015"
In-prison behaviour improved, with a 74% drop in adjudications amongst the cohort of disruptive and disengaged violent young offenders. Following on, at 12 months post-release, reoffending among TheHorseCourse participants stands at 36%, a drop of 27 percentage points from the cohort’s 63% predicted reoffending rate (combined individual OGRS).
"An Exploration of an Equine Facilitated Learning Intervention with Young Offenders 2014"
Reporting on the initial action-research project from which TheHorseCourse was born. Academics from Southampton and Bournemouth Universities reflect on interviews and on observations using a novel tool to classify body language. This tool was originated by TheHorseCourse and has now developed into the heart of the "non-verbals toolbox training" offered.
A detailed analysis of exit interviews with prisoner participants.