Equine Assisted Learning EAL
Equine Assisted Learning & Activities [EALA]
Small Strides CIC was established in 2014 to provide equine assisted learning and activities to people who are looking to improve mental, physical and emotional well-being and learn new skills through the interaction with horses.
We specialize in working with children on the autistic spectrum and with special educational needs or disabilities. We offer a range of programs including therapeutic and educational programs. We accommodate adults and children (+5), from a range of disadvantaged backgrounds and all levels of ability. Clients include people with mental health problems, learning difficulties, on the autistic spectrum people in recovery, children with development issues, challenging behavior, ADHD and generally anyone who feel they can benefit from being around the horses.
Over the last 2 year we have been very lucky and secured funding through Unltd. In 2014 we were short-listed to 10 social enterprises in the UK and secured £5000 through the Unltd – Do It Awards. This enabled us to take things to the next step in our journey and we used this funding to help us with a marketing strategy, promotional equipment, insurance, general equipment and the general costs of setting up a new business.
In 2015 we secured £500 with the Unltd – Spark Award, which was awarded to help in supporting a national movement of people who can pass on their own skills and experience gained from establishing or supporting a social venture. Small Strides used this award to travel to conferences throughout the UK, promoting our venture and passing on our skills and experience’s to others in the industry.
In 2016 we were nominated by a member of the public for the ASDA green tokens fund. With support from the local community we came 1st and secured £200 which we are putting towards the costs of repairs to the horse box, so we can get out to more events!!
Small Strides CIC was founded by Jenny MacSharry, who has over 20 years’ experience working with horses and 10 years’ experience working as a mental health and LD support worker.
In 2006 Jenny completed her Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social care while working as a support worker for Supported Independence where she continues to work to this day. While here she has worked with a large range of both adults and children with various mental health illnesses, learning difficulties, ASD and with challenging behavior and has learnt skills which benefit her with her work at Small Strides.
In 2012 Jenny studied at Bridge-water College and gained her Levels 1 & 2 Diploma in Horse Care and Management, then in 2013 attended a 3 day therapeutic horsemanship business course with Horse’s Helping People which enabled her to prepare for an exciting career in therapeutic horsemanship.
Jenny attends regular CPD training with HAE Development Days, so is continually updating her knowledge, and annual conference’s with the Equine Assisted and Facilitated Practitioners Network and Paws for Progress.
Jenny is also a fully certified first-aider along with holding certificates in working with people with autism, fire safety and awareness, health and safety, safeguarding adults and children and more.
Located in Keynsham, Bristol Small Strides CIC is accessible to both rural and urban groups from Bath, Bristol and surrounding areas.
All activities with the horses are groundwork there is no ridden work involved, but don’t let this put you off as there is so much more to learn and experience with just BEing with the horses.