Thank you for your interest in becoming an equine assisted mental health practitioner. 

Now is an amazing time to be exploring this field as a future career. 

A qualification in counselling and equine assisted mental health will equip you with a diverse set of skills to offer clients and employers. Our comprehensive and hands-on approach to horse handling means that you will be qualified to work outside with horses, or in a traditional room-based counselling environment.

This integrated approach will enrich both your professional and your personal life. 

Imagine having the skills to support someone through the toughest times of their life. As part of the course you will learn communication skills, how to relate to others, how to hold space for someone in crisis, how to work with people with different issues, how to support clients to live healthier lives, and how to empower people through teaching them skills for life.  You will learn how to safely handle horses and manage a therapeutic equine assisted mental health services environment. You will also learn a lot about yourself!

Why choose equine assisted mental health as a career? 

Equine assisted mental health, and having the skills to support and assist others, is a rewarding and enriching experience. Maybe you already have a lot of empathy for others and have a strong desire to help people. You may notice that you are the person people turn to when they need help or when they need to talk. Providing support to others is a gift, however, without the correct skills it can become exhausting!

One benefit of studying counselling is that you will learn how to support others and assist them in helping themselves. 

With the correct skills you can provide effective support and not become overwhelmed. Counselling skills benefit you in all areas of your life and can enhance your relationships with others and with yourself.

About the counselling industry 

Our society is experiencing increased mental health issues, with more people requiring assistance from skilled counsellors. These interactions make being a counsellor such a rewarding career choice.

Counsellors have the ability to make a real difference in people’s lives. 

Imagine being able to provide support to a group of young teens struggling with drug and alcohol issues, or to a woman who has just lost her husband and is dealing with grief and loss; or a young man coming to terms with his sexuality.

What is equine assisted mental health practice? 

Equine assisted mental health is an exciting, emerging field and offers potential to both clients and therapists. This therapy is an effective and rewarding way to work with people of all ages, and from all walks of life.

Equine assisted mental health involves the counsellor working with a horse, or a herd of horses, to assist clients in working through their issues and becoming aware of their responses and behaviours. Sessions can provide therapy, support and learning for corporate groups, families, couples, individuals, teens and children.

With equine assisted mental health, no two sessions are the same. Sessions can be very creative and are tailored to the client’s needs, whilst respecting the horse.

Why Horses? 

Horses are amazing co-counsellors. They value relationships and are honest communicators, providing clear feedback. They are also highly perceptive and respond immediately to our body language.

As prey animals, horses have a highly developed level of awareness and the ability to sense their surroundings. Horses apply this level of perception and awareness in their interactions with people. They respond and give feedback to what is presented, providing a calm, respectful space for us to explore our relationships and ourselves.

Horses are also non- judgemental companions, they accept us and provide a space to just be yourself, a space to relax and feel heard and seen. Horses are great teachers they naturally embody presence and awareness.

Why face to face training? 

Equine assisted mental health practice is all about people. It takes time to develop and hone the skills required to be a good equine assisted mental health practitioner. Our training is primarily delivered face to face, so you have the opportunity to explore how you relate to others and to ensure that you have time to practice and develop competence and confidence in your skills as a counsellor and an equine assisted mental health practitioner.

Safety is paramount. Over the duration of the course you will be instructed in extensive horse handling and horse co-facilitation. It is essential you feel safe around horses, and are a safe practitioner, so that clients can feel safe and valued in your hands.

Face to face learning, together with hands-on experience in the paddock will provide you with the best possible outcome from your training.

The experiential nature of our course ensures that you have plenty of time to practice and learn so that you are competent and confident upon completion of the course. 

We believe that learning should be fun, interesting and exciting and want to challenge our students to get the most out of the course and themselves.

About the Course 

Our Equine Assisted Mental Health course is suitable for people who already possess some knowledge, skills and experience relevant to the course. Clients must demonstrate that they possess the language, literacy and numeracy to meet course demands and must be at least 21 years old.

The total duration for the course is 76 weeks. The training will require attendance at the 12 x 5 day workshops held during the 19 months of training as well as 25 hours per week of self-directed study.

We aim to make students feel comfortable whilst undertaking the training. 

Our class sizes are kept small to ensure optimum learning environments and ensure all students receive in-depth learning and support.

Graduates may progress onto:

  • Degree level courses in Counselling or related areas
  • Employment as a Counsellor, or a related role, in an established counselling agency, specialising in equine assisted mental health


The Equine Assisted Mental Health Course consists of the CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling which includes 13 core units and 4 electives, the course also includes 4 equine related units.

Students who successfully complete this qualification will receive the Diploma of Counselling CHC51015 plus a statement of attainment for the 4 equine handling units.

A Statement of attainment is provided to indicate units successfully completed if for some reason students do not successfully complete all units.

About Equine Assisted Therapy Australia

Our goal is to empower you with practical life skills.

The vision for our training centre stems from our passion to share our knowledge and deliver our students an integrated learning experience.

We take Equine Assisted Mental Health very seriously and believe it takes time and commitment to become a great equine assisted mental health practitioner. 

The Equine Assisted Mental Health Course was born out of the need to provide a thorough, high quality training course for the equine assisted mental health industry.

Our course is very hands on and provides a high standard of training to ensure graduates are competent horse handlers and counsellors. We deeply value the partnership of the horses and prioritise their needs and requirements. We are invested in healthy, transparent relationships with our horses, staff and students.

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