Horse / Animal Welfare

ESP Practitioners and Facilitators are required to have at least 1200 life experience hours (personal/professional) with animals they are offering interactive activities with, and are required to provide a ‘statement of truth’ identifying and listing their life experience with each ‘type’ of animal they are offering services with. *as an example, 1200 hours may look like approx. 1.5 hours/day over 2 years.

  1. Practitioners and facilitators are responsible for gaining appropriate knowledge/training/understanding of horses/animals’ basic and flourishing needs. And there-fore provide horses and animals with:
      • Access to other horses, or animals of their social choosing.
      • Access to appropriate stimulation choices.
      • Appropriate, manure/urine free spaces for movement, nutrition, and rest/recovery.
      • Continuous, appropriate drinking water.
      • Access to appropriate shelter from weather conditions.
      • Regular, personal connection time with practitioner/facilitator.
      • Appropriate intervention/support/care when needed (ie vet, hoof care, dentist, parasite management, first aid, body-therapy, etc.).
      • Training and handling methods, which are encouraging and unharmful (i.e. does not engage any form of physical or emotional abuse, harm, or coercion).
      • Appropriate and maintained equipment being used (ie head-collars, saddles, rugs, animal first aid kit, leashes, animal coats, etc).
      • Appropriate and maintained fencing and structures in horses/animals’ environment (ie sheds, water basins, feed structures, kennels, beds, travel equipment, etc.).

During service delivery (and beyond) ESP practitioners and facilitators are responsible for horses/animals’ holistic welfare and individual needs, through:

  1. Having the ability to attune to, understand, monitor, and manage:
      • Horses/animals’ body language, facial expressions, and behavioral communications
        (both subtle and gross).
      • Horses/animals’ physical, emotional, social, environmental, cognitive, and instinctive
        presentations. 
  2. Providing adequate spaces, settings, and circumstances that allow horses/animals choice, through their ability to:
      • move away from a person, object, or other horse/animal, etc.
      • at least sight access others in their herd or social family.
      • access water (and fiber-food, if horse or herd animal).
      • access shelter from weather conditions.
      • express, through body language and movement.
      • process, rest, and recover. 
  3. Considerately supporting others (clients, volunteers, carers) to engage compassionately, (through deep, mutual regard) with horses/animals they are interacting with.