Join us at Dorrigo NSW April 13th - 14th

Discover the transformative power of Equine Assisted Therapy at our upcoming event in Dorrigo! Led by a team of dedicated volunteer Qualified Counsellors, these sessions offer a unique opportunity to explore mental health support in a serene and nurturing environment.

Hosted by EATA, every dollar raised from these sessions will directly benefit Animal Therapies Limited, an organization committed to providing vital mental health services to rural and remote communities. Your participation not only enriches your own well-being but also contributes to improving the lives of others.

Join us at the Dorrigo indoor, where our skilled therapists and gentle horses await your presence. Each session, led by a qualified Equine Assisted Mental Health Practitioner, lasts for an immersive 1 hour. Through carefully crafted activities and interactions with our equine partners, you’ll uncover new insights, foster personal growth, and cultivate resilience.

Whether you’re seeking relaxation, self-discovery, or simply a deeper connection with nature, these sessions offer a holistic approach to mental wellness. In this supportive environment, you’ll find solace, guidance, and a renewed sense of purpose.

Take this opportunity to invest in your mental health while making a meaningful impact on the lives of others. Book your session now and embark on a journey of healing, growth, and compassion. Together, let’s create positive change—one hoofstep at a time.

Discover the Location

Our Dorrigo Sessions will take place at the gorgeous Kari’s Equestrian. Kari’s centre is located in a stunning natural environment, and also conveniently close to the local township.

Kari’s facility,  consists of a full size under cover arena, an outdoor arena, a round yard, stables and outdoor yards partially covered. 

The Dorrigo area is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty and topping the list is some of the most impressive waterfalls in the country.

Meet the Therapists

Jane Faulkner

Jane is the founder and director of Equine Assisted Therapy Australia. For the past 27 years, she has had the privilege of being able to work on her own healing and learn from great teachers and healers from all over the world. These teachers and healers have provided support and guidance and have instilled in me a passion for working with people.

Sophie Iredale

Sophie is a trauma informed qualified counselor specialising in Equine Assisted Therapy. As a Therapist she supports people to feel calm, safe, grounded and encourages them to slow down to stay connected to self. Sophie draws upon Art Therapy, Equine Therapy, Person-Centered, Nature Based and Mindful Practices.

Ines Kharouni

Ines is a qualified Equine Assisted Mental Health Practitioner & Counsellor, with several years experience providing Equine Assisted Therapy to people affected by Eating Disorders. Ines facilitates connections with horses in a safe and supportive environment, helping people enhance self-awareness, explore emotions and develop regulation skills. Ines’ approach is grounded in trauma-informed practices, emphasising safety, trust, collaboration and choice.

Alienor le Gouvello

As a therapist, I love helping people understand their nervous system by reconnecting them with animals and nature. By supporting children and adults to feel grounded and safe, they gain awareness and self-regulation tools, utilising person-centered, nature based and mindfulness practices.

Stephanie Bruce

Stephenie is a qualified Equine Assisted Counsellor who has completed the EATA Diploma of Counselling and certificate in Equine Assisted Mental Health. Stephenie has experience supporting children, adolescents and adults with trauma, ADHD, ASD, behavioural difficulties, PTSD and mental health concerns. Stephenie adopts a person-centred, strengths-based and trauma informed approach to supporting individuals.

Cant attend but still want to help?

All money raised will be allocated to help support people in rural and remote areas. Our aim is to raise enough funds to be able to offer free ongoing sessions to the Dorrigo community and surrounds. These funds will be available via a simple client application process and allocated accordingly. With your help we will be able to continue offering free support.

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.

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

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.

Equine assisted mental health sessions offer so much to participants.

Many people comment that, after a session, they feel calmer and more grounded. They feel clearer about their way forward in situations and better able to navigate tough decisions by gaining much-needed perspective on their lives. Relationships are richer with improved communication, and frustrations are more manageable.

Sessions with the horses teach you a lot about who you are at your core, including how you relate and communicate with the people around you, how you handle problems, where you get stuck in life, what you believe about yourself, and how you might hold yourself back. The sessions also provide you with many skills in mindful living, stress reduction techniques, tips for quieting your inner critic, self-awareness, communication skills, boundary setting, and living authentically.

Horses ask us to show up authentically even when it means we are messy or emotional. Horses can feel if we are not at home in who we are and support us to find the way back to ourself. They provide a safe, gentle and unconditional space for us to fall apart and share our truth, they allow us to really be where we are at.

Everyone who desires a richer life experience can benefit from this type of therapy, even those not interested in horses or those who’ve been afraid of horses. An important facet of the therapy is how you respond when you are in the presence of a horse. Simply being with horses reveals distinctive and significant qualities in each of us. The horses also provide a healing space to just be you and to explore what that means for you.

If you are seeking clarity, direction, and insight this therapy can be useful as a coaching tool. It can also be deeply therapeutic and healing. Research and clinical studies have found Equine Assisted Mental Health sessions to be particularly effective for individuals suffering with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), war veterans, survivors of abuse and trauma, and people battling eating disorders.

Due to it’s unique therapeutic approach, equine assisted mental health sessions are able to support and assist people of all ages with a wide variety of concerns, including:

  • Eating disorders
  • Bullying – both for the committer and the victim
  • Drug and alcohol problems
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Autism and Aspergers
  • ADHD
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Attachment issues – including adoption adjustment issues
  • Low self-esteem
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Behavioural issues
  • Learning issues, and more.

If you are seeking clarity, direction, and insight, this therapy can also be useful as a coaching tool.

You can expect to feel safe and supported throughout the session, both by the therapists and the horses that are there for you. A qualified counsellor who specialises in equine assisted mental health will facilitate your session.

Together, we will begin to focus on your goals for therapy at a pace with which you are comfortable; you are the priority. You will meet the horses with the counsellor and the session may involve you grooming the horses, leading the horses, playing with the horses, simply being with the horses or even engaging with the horses from outside the paddock. You are invited to explore and engage at your own pace and your safety and comfort are our top concerns.

Sessions will take place outside in the fresh air, and one or more horses will participate in the session. The horses are specially trained to be calm, safe horses. You will come to see why we so value their authentic contribution.


Our goal is to empower you with practical life skills.

We provide a gentle, trauma informed approach to counselling.

We work at your pace and offer a personalised approach to work through different issues.

We support you to work with what is happening for you now, become more aware of yourself and your beliefs, uncover your patterns and behaviours and understand the ways that you are holding yourself back or getting stuck.

Each of our practitioners are passionate about supporting you to find an increased sense of well-being in your life.

Our practitioners are trained and qualified therapists, all trauma informed and person centred and offer either equine assisted therapy, art therapy, nature based therapy or room based therapy.

What can you expect at the Dorrigo mental health fundraiser?

We will safely incorporate horses into the therapeutic practice and interventions so that sessions are mutually beneficial for both horse and human.

Body based self awareness to support health and healing through somatic awareness building exercises and mindfulness practices.

Trauma theory and trauma informed practice; our therapists understand how individuals are impacted by trauma and the will apply the principles of trauma informed care.

A basic understanding of neuroscience- understanding the brain and the nervous system.
Relational practice- honouring difference, cultural sensitivity, humility, awareness and safety.

A 1 hour session where you will work with a qualified therapist and a horse. You may or may not interact with the horse, this will be completely up to you and the horse. 

book a session

Our Dorrigo Sessions are now open for booking. Please be aware that we expect the sessions to fill fast. The attending Therapists are volunteering their time, and funding the trip themselves, we therefor hope that if you need to cancel your session you can provide as much notice as possible. 

We look forward to seeing you soon.