"A mind that is stretched to a new experience can never
go back to its old dimensions"

- O.W. Holmes Jnr

On Air Sign

Listen to Jess talk horses, mental health & teens on Radio Adelaide 101.5!

"Youth Leading Change"

8-12 week curriculum program

Imagine What the Future Would Be Like if We Prepared
Our Youth With Skills for Life?


Our skill development programs are taught by horses. They prepare youth to take on the challenges that life throws at them and  to move forward through adversity to opportunity. Our programs foster inclusion and the development of meaningful and healthy relationships, as well as supporting them to develop the skills needed to overcome the barriers of engagement. 



What our adolescents and teens learn is important, however, what they remember is priceless.

Our interactive Youth Leading Change curriculum program is not based around your typical classroom setting within 4 walls! 

Our 8-12 week curriculum program promotes inclusion, emotional regulation, appropriate assertiveness, personal-leadership and self-empowerment through learning invaluable and memorable life skills that set the foundation for personal growth. We utilise the well-researched and result driven BuildingBlock TM Curriculum which is designed for the the teens and young adults to experience a continual building of skills over the consecutive weeks. Each program focusses on a different objective, but all the objectives are worked on within each program, maximising retention and results. The teachings from the horses are so unique and powerful that at the completion of the program, our Youth are armed with an empowered mindset; a heightened level of awareness; and solid new skills to assist them in navigating their way through what ever challenges life throws at them well into adult hood.

Our BuildingBlock curriculum program is approved by the Calgary Board of Education in Canada. 

We can tailor the program to fit the school term (8-10 weeks) or for organisations or agencies, we offer the full 12 week curriculum.

Working with horses creates a unique memory that causes the attendee to remember the training far longer than if sitting in ‘just-another classroom’.


Combining the experiential learning (hands on) style with our BuildingBlock curriculum, our unique programs are specifically designed to ensure the learning and long-term retention of necessary life skills and self-leadership to aid in each youth's personal growth. The process includes empowering each individual through group exercises with a focus on individual qualities while having some extreme fun and maximising the children’s learning potential.


It is an excellent approach with the horses being the teacher as the horse has "loud teachable moments" that they never forget. This gives the youths an experience to pull from when they are faced with choices in everyday life as they build strong solid skills working with their teacher.




Our youth curriculum programs last 8-12 sessions. This allows the effectiveness of building on the skills and objectives each week through the course but also to track the advancements in each of the youth within it.

School and Youth Organisation Programs are featured in the Australian Education Reporter. Leading Edge Life Skills is the facility where Jess gained her EAL facilitation accredition. Click on the image to read the article, scroll to page 37.

Newspaper | working with horses

The 12 objectives of 
"Youth Leading Change" include;

  1. Building Relationships

  2. Skill Development

  3. Communication

  4. Listening & Articulation

  5. Problem Solving

  6. Focus

  7. Negotiation

  8. Trust

  9. Choices

  10. Leadership

  11. Body Language

  12. Team Building & Leadership


Horses are ideal teachers for use with children. There is a strong sense of empowerment, wonder and respect that takes place when teens work alongside a 500kg teacher. The role that horses play as our teacher is so dynamic. Horses require us as humans to step into our own authentic power and to operate with integrity, with empowering intentions. Horses will act as a mirror to our kids' attitudes, all the while being a steadfast and humble teacher. Horses do require each participant to become aware of their level of self leadership, because the horse will only respond with trust, respect, and a keenness to follow us, if our heads and hearts are congruent. Once a child is taught the basics of dealing properly with a horse, he or she learns to step up to become the leader the horse seeks. When the horse feels safe, cooperation is a hundred fold and the child can easily get the horse to do what is asked of it. Students are successfully able to parallel the lessons and objectives reached through the exercises, back to their real life situation. This allows the children to retain the lessons learned and awakenings to “stick like glue” and continue to draw on the life skills and lessons they learnt through the programs, well into their future.

“The Equine Assisted Learning experience was a great program for our kids. The students were eager to participate and share their experiences with others. Teachers have noticed and commented on these students being more assertive, communicating their needs better and they seem more resilient when confronted by problems or obstacles. Parents have also provided positive feedback saying they have noticed a change in their children, even in such a short time.”

- Lois Martin, teacher, Alberta.

Why does it work and what can an 500 kg teacher do for our kids?

Participation, retention, fun and oh yeah... a horse!

The value of working with horses as a teaching tool to learn new skills have been proven time and time again in the teaching of young people and especially teenagers.

It is the experience of being in close contact with horses that has the most effect on young people, and the unique form of delivery of these lessons is strengthened by the facilitator assisting the kids to constantly parallel the lessons from the horse back to their every day real life.

What if we could have a window into our own behaviours?

Horses understand how to differentiate between potentially threatening behaviour and a calm and assertive nature. Children and young people who have the chance to work with our youth development programs are able to learn how to modify their behaviour through sets of exercises that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. This type of teaching cannot be delivered in a classroom.

What if we could have a window into our own behaviours?

Horses understand how to differentiate between potentially threatening behaviour and a calm and assertive nature. Children and young people who have the chance to work with our youth development programs are able to learn how to modify their behaviour through sets of exercises that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. This type of teaching cannot be delivered in a classroom.

Give your students the skills necessary to ultimately better prepare your children to take on the challenges that life throws at them.

One of the many bonuses of working with horses vs a classroom setting is the component of interactivity because we all learn differently, but we can all take away lessons that we learn through our experiences. Our program is the only Nationally Recognised Equine Assisted Learning Program in Canada, and delivers the same results here in Australia. Students will;


  • develop relationships

  • accept responsibility and accountability

  • overcome barriers to find change

  • be encouraged to be creative and innovative

  • find opportunity in working together

  • realise the benefits associated with effective communication

and recognise the value of mutual trust, respect, and personal integrity...

All while having a blast!

Equine Assisted Learning acts as an important educational tool to help to develop empathy and kindness as well as combat;



Behavioural Disorders

Low Self Esteem


Drug Abuse

Emotional Issues

Poor Commnication Skills

Inability To Work With Others

"Armour Of Skills"

8 week Anti-Bullying program

What Would It Be Like for Your Kids to Live in a
World Without Bullying?


A child with bullying issues may be just as much a victim in his own life as the child he directs his aggression towards. Many bullies are children who have been overlooked, misdiagnosed, suffering from neurological disabilities, or have been abused children themselves. Our equine therapy programs are ideal for a child who exhibits aggressive behaviour by promoting positive leadership skills, developing choice making skills, goal-setting skills, and encouraging responsibility, creativity and laughter.


Anti Bullying | Youth with horse

The best way to help children not become victims of bullies is by empowering them by teaching them bully-proofing skills. Victims of bullies usually exhibit poor communication skills and tend to be left out of activities, leaving them isolated. Our equine assisted learning programs have proven to be ideal for a child who exhibits anti-social communication skills as they provide training in social skills which improves communication skills, emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual wellness, self-esteem, encourages sensory stimulation, and ultimately, integration.

Social skills

Who Should Attend?


Our equine programs have proven to be ideal for a child who exhibits anti-social

communication skills as they provide training in social skills which improves

communication skills, emotional, physical, mental and spiritual wellness, self-esteem,

and encourages sensory stimulation and ultimately, integration.

Our equine programs are ideal for a child who exhibits aggressive behaviour by

promoting positive leadership skills, empathy, developing kindness, choice-making

skills, and encouraging responsibility, creativity, and laughter.

It’s the young individuals that the teachers, counsellors or the principal of the school have observed the displaying behavioural issues or who are withdrawn, will benefit most from the program.



The Calgary Board of Education in Canada supports our programs. Equine Connection partnered with the "Stand Up!" campaign with the Family Channel and Strathmore school in Alberta. Check out the video below.


Horses consistently model assertiveness and teach us how.

Horses can't lie or over think a participants motive.

Horses feedback is honest and instant

Nature provides them with instincts and senses that are very astute.

Help to instill empathy and kindness in the participants.

Horses have natural "herd " that require trust, respect, and teamwork from all members of the team.behaviours

Horses automatically respond to confusion and frustration as these feelings can put the herd at risk.

They lead through assuredness - not brute force.

Horses have distinct personalities and through this, they all have different methods of teaching.

Horse teaching


That the more senses that are engaged, the greater the likelihood that new learning will be retained. The more we involve learners, the more senses are engaged, thereby increasing the probability that they will learn, retain, and apply what they have learned.


An alternative to traditional education. Emphasising self-responsibility, participative education attempts to involve the student in experiences relevant to his future and to provide him with the opportunity and methodology for learning from these experiences. Students would be allowed to develop self-reliance, self-confidence, and increased self-esteem, and would leave school better equipped for lifelong, continued learning.

“Experiential Learning” was made popular by education theorist David A. Kolb, who, along with Ron Fry, developed the experiential learning theory, which is based on the idea that learning is a process whereby knowledge is created through transformation of experience and “learning through reflection on doing”.

Contact us today for your information pack for your school, organisation or our private Youth sessions.