•  learn More "Whether it's a friendship or a relationship, all bonds are built on trust. Without it you have nothing"  ~ Unknown
  •  learn More "The Essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire"
     ~ Sharon Ralls Lemon
  •  learn More "There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man"
     ~ Winston Churchill 
  •  learn More "In riding a horse we borrow freedom" ~ Helen Thomson  
  •  learn More "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't - you're right"
     ~ Henry Ford 

Equine Partners History


2010 A Dream Was Born …..


Like many of you Jo & Fran are both aware of how sensitive horses are and how they can act as a mirror for our human emotions.  Fran from being involved with horses for most of her adult life and Jo from growing up with them.


In May 2010 Fran trained with EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) and was certified as a practitioner. This knowledge complimented Fran’s Degree in Health and Social Care and working experience. This was added to Jo’s experience volunteering with RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association), working with a Community project, and many years keeping and training horses and so Equine Partners CIC was born.


2011 We Started To Grow…. 


Fran & Jo started a pilot project, using Jo’s horse Bella and a loan horse Dougal.


Equine Partners CIC built a team of Directors to develop the project and bring a wider range of skills and accountability into the team. These include experienced horsemen and women, a teacher, retired Nurse, members of the local community and those with accounts and admin skills. 


We also met the first of the families who would come and learn more about themselves from their experience with the horses.  This was the start of the pilot project we ran with West Sussex County Council. 


In June 2011 Prince was bought specifically by Fran and loaned to Equine Partners CIC to be an EAL horse as Dougal, who had been on loan to us to start the pilot, returned home to Devon.


These sessions proved so effective that in December 2011 we received a grant for £5000 to put up fences to create our working arena and to pay our first years professional indemnity insurance. At this time we were granted West Sussex Vendor status and became a CIC. January 2012 saw the website launched.


Initially we were run entirely staffed by volunteers running sessions at weekends and in the evenings after our full time work. At this time the project was based in a field by the beach at Climping, West Sussex.


2012 .... And Grow


Pony share started in a small way in April 2012 when we got Charlie. 4 young people joined us 1 regularly and 2 others on a more occasional basis when they needed space from day to day and not full EAL sessions


When Charlie arrived he was very nervous and hard to catch.  We paired him up with a teenager who was going through a tough time in foster care and finding it difficult to stay in school. They made a great team and taught each other a lot. Charlie is now a model therapy pony and the teenager went on to get a distinction on her new course at Brinsbury College.



In October 2012 we  received a call from the farmer we rent our land from. He had had a pony abandoned on his land over the summer and being an arable farmer had no knowledge of how to care for it.  He gave us her first 6 months field livery free so that we had time to find some funding for her.  As a result we took on our first rescue pony. She is a young 3 ½ years old Dartmoor mare called Kira. Initially she was malnourished, very defensive and needed attention from the podiatrist for her feet. If she was scared she would fly towards you with teeth bared and legs flying! For her first winter we fed her and begun to handle her, mainly just letting her be a horse and settle in with the herd after nearly 6 months of isolation.  Now she is one of our most reliable therapy ponies.


In 2012/2013 we saw 31 families for Equine Assisted Learning. They have had between 1 and 12 sessions each.  


We now receive referrals from a number of organizations including:

  • West Sussex Social care
  • Children and young Peoples Planning Forums
  • Local primary and secondary schools
  • Integrated Services Team


2013 .... Development Of The Services We Offer


Pony Share and we now have 9 young people who attend regularly and a waiting list. The scheme is proving very effective at developing young people with good horse skills and lots of transferable skills they can use in their every day lives.


In May 2013 Fran and Jo qualified as INLPTA NLP Practitioners and in September 2013 Jo qualified as an INLPTA NLP Master Practitioner.  Fran gained her Master Practitioner qualification in October 2014.  Big thanks to our sponsors at Monkey Puzzle Training & Consultancy for their continued support.


September 2013 our Therapeutic Horsemanship (TH) project came to life.  We where asked by Muntham House School in Beare Green nr Horsham to provide Horsemanship Training for the boys from the school who all have Emotional Behavioural difficulties.  Many of them have a diagnosis of Autism. This program is a combination of one to one pony share, which works on a basic syllabus of horsemanship, and uses NLP linguistics and a Brief Solutions approach to enable them to think about life and how they might improve their life outside the field. Initially we held these sessions at Lower Sparr Farm . Thanks to the generosity of Mr and Mrs Haines.


After seeing the success of this project with the school, we decided to expand this and have been running successfully from our Littlehampton base since Dec 2013 with other children from other schools.


December 2013 also brought the arrival of a new herd member in Queenie.  Queenie was imported from Ireland before ending up in a riding school where she became quite distrustful of humans.  Since she has been with us she has grown in confidence and trust and always greets our families with a happy face.  Queenie is a quiet and sensitive mare and is doing a great job at bringing shy and nervous people out of their shells.




2014 .... The Big Move


The project moved to the next level in 2014.

Mr and Mrs Haines who have been great supporters of our work offered us the use of Sparr Rough Stables, a large barn and an additional 13.5 acres of grazing.  We moved to the new site in May 2014.This has enabled us to work all the year round, as the wind and rain no longer stop play. 


We were also able to secure some funding to start to pay Fran and Jo part time salaries, which enabled them to reduce the hours they work elsewhere and so concentrate on developing this work.  


In 2014 we provided 130 EAL sessions for 33 families and 177 Therapeutic Horsemanship sessions for 22 young people. As a result we were able to reach out to 75 young people and 44 adults. (This is despite not being able to run any sessions between January and April due to the wet weather and poor condition of the Climping site). We also benefited from 4712 hours of volunteer support. We are currently able to provide sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays



2015 Looks To Be Just As Exciting .... 


We have now taken on a part time administrator for one day a week.   Plans in the pipeline include one Volunteer being funded by Equine Partners to train with EAGALA so that we will have two certified practitioners able to lead sessions using this model.  We are also about to host our first Open days and the new website has now gone live.


We continue to receive referrals from a wide range of sources and our impact is being recognized by a number of organizations including the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), a wide range of schools including the Alternative Provision Service for those unable to attend mainstream school and a number of different Social care teams.


Over the years a number of horses have blessed us with their patience and sensitivity as they help the families and young people discover the things they need to find out.  Dougal went back to his owners in Devon; Kit and Mel both spent time with us in semi retirement from their more active youth before returning home to their owners. We now have a regular herd of 5 horses who are all adept at this work, each bringing their own personality to the various games they play with the families


We have also been blessed with a number of superb volunteers who have supported us with the daily chores and done fundraising for us. Including university students who used their holidays to volunteer for us.