Our Services

the equinox trust

What do we do?

the equinox trust

  • The goal of Equine Assisted Therapy/Learning is to translate time spent with horses into a meaningful and healing experience.
  • It is a versatile process and can be used to benefit almost any population.
  • Our professional, certified facilitating team (made up of a mental health professional and an equine specialist) enable an interaction between client and horses. The horses respond to a client’s behaviours and the energy they put out into the world, and clients then get a chance to try out new behaviors and patterns with the horses in a safe and supportive environment.
  • We provide programmes that equip individuals and groups with skills that empower them to make positive changes in their lives.
  • The programmes we provide are fully funded for those in vulnerable communities and the services we offer to the general public are a paid service.

Why Horses?

the equinox trust

Why Horses?

Horses are herd and prey animals and as such are highly attuned to changes in non-verbal communication in order to maintain the safety of the herd. They respond to the boundaries of those they are interacting with and may come closer or move away depending on what information they are receiving from that other party. They are therefore able to accurately assess the state of being of a person and communicate it non-verbally. Horses do not care who you are or what you do for a living, they only care about how you are behaving in the moment with them, which allows for unconditional acceptance and a feeling of connectedness to develop. Horses are also able to model healthy relationships, which are the basis for all successful human interactions. Horses use emotions as information, and by releasing emotions that don’t serve them, are able to live in the moment.

What is Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning (E.A.T./E.A.L.)?

E.A.T./E.A.L. is an innovative and creative modality for addressing a wide range of therapeutic and emotional needs. It is a short-term, collaborative effort between a mental health professional and a horse professional, which assists clients in their personal journey of growth and development. This modality engages with concepts from Gestalt and Experiential therapies whereby the importance of body language and metaphors become the basic tool to develop client empowerment.

Through ground-based interactions with horses, an opportunity is created for clients to compare their experiences with the horses to their real-life experiences. Horses have a variety of characteristics similar to humans and they respond to non-verbal behaviour of the human interacting with them. Individuals are often unaware of their behaviour until they can understand it in the way the horse reflects it back to them. This metaphorical process is self-reflective and powerful, encouraging clients to develop insight and supporting the identification and expression of thoughts, behaviours and emotions.

It is the stories which emerge from these metaphors that enable our programmes to have a lasting impact and enable the client to take what they learn in the arena back to their lives. The holistic process engages clients on a physical, mental and emotional level all at the same time. As humans we remember 20% of what we hear, 50% of what we see, and 80% of what we do; thus our actions are the reasons experiential learning is so effective.

“Being in and with nature helps attune the participant to the fact that they are not separate beings but are related to, and influenced by, their surroundings. This can reduce feelings of alienation, unacceptability and bring them back to feeling connected to others, relieved, loved and accepted by others” - Randy Mandrell

  • Donor-funded Programmes

the equinox trust

Women Trauma Survivors' programme

This programme helps women to overcome past trauma and promote emotional growth and reparation in an emotionally supportive environment. It also empowers women to become self-reliant in order to make informed decisions, to evaluate, and to take responsibility for their choices. The Equinox Trust’s empowerment programme is focused on supporting these women through their healing process. The learning is communicated through the horses non-judgmentally and, as abused and traumatised women often struggle with trust, working with a horse allows them the space to learn to trust again and to develop a healthy relationship with another being, which can then be translated into other relationships in their lives.

Caregivers and Mental Health Professionals programme

These programmes offer a short-term stress-management and coping support system for caregivers and mental health professionals (e.g. social workers, counsellors, psychologists, nurses). It assists them to become more effective in their work by allowing them an emotionally safe space to identify feelings and thoughts related to their work and to help them to develop a peer support network.


the equinox trust Therapy - Individuals, couples, families

the equinox trust

Equine Assisted Therapy/Learning can help address both verbal and non-verbal communication skills, the expression of emotion, coping skills, self-esteem, teamwork and relationship issues. It is a non-judgmental and gentle process that is client focused and centered around the premise that clients have the solutions to their own problems.

The process of working with the horses allows clients to explore what difficulties they are facing and to engage in behavioral shifts and emotional awareness and insight that creates positive change.

This model of therapy is versatile so can be applied to many different challenges that people face such as anxiety, depression, compulsive disorders, mood
disorders, challenging behaviors and coping mechanisms, divorce,
grief and loss, to name a few.

Some benefits include:
the equinox trustA holistic experience involving body, mind and spirit

the equinox trustAn opportunity to identify patterns and re-examine the role they play in one’s life (usefulness), with the potential to try and change these patterns in a safe environment and receive instant feedback from the horses

the equinox trustAn opportunity for observations and reactions to be used as metaphors to identify and change negative patterns of thinking

the equinox trustInstant insight

the equinox trustSelf-awareness

  • Wellness in the workplace

the equinox trust

“At the core of good health and wellness is positive awareness and behavior”

*** Investing in a wellness package for your employees is a good way to help people adopt and maintain healthy behaviors in the workplace. This has a positive umbrella effect on companies, as all employees play a significant part in shaping workplace attitudes and the overall working environment. ***

the equinox trustImprove productivity
the equinox trustRelieve BURNOUT
the equinox trustBuild employee morale
the equinox trustHelp sustain employee morale
the equinox trustReduce stress
the equinox trustTeach employees to harness their individual potential

“People can change behaviors to be better individuals and employees”

We offer the social support to empower your employees with the skills & tools needed to change behaviors for the positive.

This Wellness Programme shows your investment in your employees as an important asset to the business.

Our cutting-edge, experiential package uses the abilities of horses and their natural herd dynamics to take leaders and teams to the next level. Through involvement in carefully designed activities, individuals learn about themselves as they experience and see their strengths and challenges from a new perspective. This is a unique, innovative and fun approach to wellness in the workplace.

“The challenge for every organization is to build a feeling of oneness, of interdependence on one another…the question is usually not how well each person works, but how well they work together” - Vince Lombardi

When you offer your employees an opportunity to enhance their wellness you are telling them that you respect them, you trust them, and that you want to help them be successful in life. Studies show that only 15% of a person’s success is determined by job knowledge and technical skills, while 85% is determined by an individual’s attitude and ability to relate to other people. (John C. Maxwell,” Winning With People: Discover the People Principles that Work for You Every Time”)

Why Horses?
Horses are our diagnostic wizards. They reflect where an individual or group is aligned and working effectively, as well as where possible gaps or lack of clarity and communication are impeding success. These unbiased reflections help one to develop the inner commitment and character required to be successful in this rapidly changing world. Teams are encouraged to use creative strategies to problem solve and negotiate with one another and the horses through focused activities. (NO HORSE RIDING)

How does it work?
Our pioneering, experiential package uses the abilities of horses and their natural herd dynamics to take leaders and teams to the next level. Through involvement in carefully designed activities, the experiences in the arena allow for metaphors to emerge. These link up to what’s happening in ‘the real life’ i.e. work and personal space. The horses might become the current challenges or clients and will respond to the team’s dynamic as well as the individuals’ personal behaviors, including thoughts, intentions and feelings. Through this horse-team relationship, participants are offered the opportunity to explore, adjust and gain the awareness needed to bring about positive in the workplace. This is a unique, innovative and fun approach to wellness in the workplace.

“The challenge for every organization is to build a feeling of oneness, of interdependence on one another…the question is usually not how well each person works, but how well they work together” - Vince Lombardi

Our pioneering, experiential package uses the abilities of horses and their natural herd dynamics to take leaders and teams to the next level. Through involvement in carefully designed activities, the experiences in the arena allow for metaphors to emerge.

These link up to what’s happening in ‘the real life’ i.e. work and personal space. The horses might become the current challenges or clients and will respond to the team’s dynamic as well as the individuals’ personal behaviours, including thoughts, intentions and feelings.

Through this horse-team relationship, participants are offered the opportunity to explore, adjust and gain the awareness needed to bring about positive in the workplace. This is a unique, innovative and fun approach to wellness in the workplace.

What others have said…
the equinox trustAn experience that no amount of books can give you especially if your day to day activities do not include experiencing horses. There’s so much to learn from them
the equinox trustIt’s possible to overcome old fears and patterns by just taking a chance and jumping in.
the equinox trustTake a moment to stop and plan before just jumping in and starting before doing any basic planning.
the equinox trustDon’t just rush into the task. Go slow to go fast.
the equinox trustSo useful to have external, objective insight.
the equinox trustSimple but yet effective way to bring about deep-seated organisational challenges.

Package Structure
(4.5 hours over 2 sessions)

the equinox trustOne 2.5-hour session at our beautiful, private venue in Noordhoek
the equinox trust One 2-hour follow-up session 2-3 months later (OPTIONAL)
the equinox trustImmediate feedback and team discussions in the sessions
the equinox trust R600 per person/per hour

TOTAL VALUE of WELLNESS PACKAGE (6 people) = R16 200
TOTAL VALUE of WELLNESS PACKAGE (10 people) = R27 000
We can accommodate a minimum of 6 people and a maximum of 15 people per session.

We believe in a workplace where everyone can thrive!


the equinox trustHolistic

the equinox trust


The “Life Wheel” is a holistic energy healing system which is rooted within a shamanic medicine wheel.

This experiential journey is deeply guided by Nature and the Spirit of the Horse. Your horse partner serves as your guide and represents your relationship to your own emotional freedom and healing.

You are the creator of your reality. By understanding the truth of where your perceptions originate you have the power to create desired outcomes. This wisdom is aligned to your authentic self.


The Life Wheel has been mapped to specific life patterns, emotions, belief systems, age of imprinting, current area of impact and the priority healing for further integration and support. Every symptom, every stress has an emotional root. Once the true story is understood, energetic blockages can be released with supportive healing that increases life energy flow.

In partnership, you walk beside the horse, the spirit guide with- in the crystal Life Wheel. In this process the horse will reflect and reveal blocks and imprints locked within your own body and energetic field, and these are the clues to specific healing pathways.


Horses gift us with the opportunity to return to a primal, non-verbal state of awareness and allow us to see ourselves in the moment. For a horse, there is only the present moment, seeking balance and harmony, they act as ’divine mirrors’, reflecting back to us the energy of our emotions.

Without any agenda and without expectations, they respond to what lies in our hearts, not in our heads.

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.”— Buddha

The medicine wheel is an ancient tool for conscious living that opens a healing space beyond that of conditioning. It is an experiential system that connects humankind to all of life and to Universal Knowledge that is the key to freedom.

The medicine wheel is a catalyst for change and functions as an integration process that brings together fragments into a unified and balanced whole. So the medicine wheel brings together those aspects of ourselves and our lives that we have been conditioned to believe are separate, bringing us into a harmonious relationship with all other beings and the very powers of the Universe.



Coming into harmony with the healing wisdom and the forces of nature will improve your vitality, balance your emotions and release your true potential and creative powers.

“Remember the earth whose skin you are.”— Joy Harjo.

To find out more, check out www.earthwalkonline.com 


My Spiritual Journey To Find Myself

“Olivia and Nicola thank you for holding a sacred space for me to find that portion of myself that seemed lost and confused. The experience was a profound and special spiritual awakening on my quest to find that portion that was a hinderance and that will allow me to move forward with my life. The significance of the 4 week journey was that you assisted me to find practical solutions to issues that we identified. Through your guidance and with the help of our spirt guides, being the in- credibly beautiful horses, we quickly identified the underlying issues I has grappled with since early childhood. But more importantly while holding a safe and gentle space for me, I was able to seek out practical solutions in order to overcome my issues. I have seen incredible and exciting changes within a short space of time. I will always be so grateful for what feels like a midlife breakthrough. The healing I experienced on many levels has been life changing.”


Connecting To Self Via Nature

“What an incredible experience ... Nicola and Olivia together with Polka, Destiny, Copper and the many other horses on the farm, including the most lovable pack of dogs and not forget- ting to mention the tortoises have cre- ated a tranquil environment where the unique magic of self unfolds. Thank you for your gentle nurturing approach to unlocking the blocks that stop us from moving forward in life with grace ... I highly recommend this experience ... with much love and gratitude “

Tracy Walters

My Earthwalk Experience

”Thank you Olivia and Nicola for holding space for my Earth- walk journey so expertly, kindly and gently. You guided me to be open and intuitive and work from the heart, and trust my inner wisdom and insights. I became aware of life pat- terns that were keeping me stuck and influenced my relationships, my emotional life, my wellbeing and how I view the world. It all became clear in the gentlest most natural and loving way, I felt so supported by the land itself, the ever present mountains and trees, as well as my horse and dog companions. I go away with many tools to delve deep- er in the richness I have unearthed -animal, plant, bird and mineral allies to explore my personal themes further. I will continue journalling as it was such a potent way of recording my thoughts, dreams and the synchronidities that confirmed I was on the right track, all weaved together to make up my unique story. I shall climb that mountain and send you a pic. Much love and deep bows.”

AHO anonymous


What people have to say

the equinox trust

“As a sixteen year old girl, coming from a house that doesn’t feel like home, I’ve never felt as content anywhere else but here. These past few weeks I’ve grown comfortable to the familiar feeling of safety and security. Now I have to slowly say goodbye, something I’ve resented my whole life. I always hated the thoughts of goodbyes yet somehow this one isn’t as sad, it’s a beautiful farewell that I’ll always treasure.”

Dews of Quietness teenage girl

“I, Franceline, started horse therapy 8 weeks ago and I did not know what to expect at first and I was nervous. My first two pictures I saw were, three horses standing on a hill and one wandered away and that was when I realized how far away I was from the people who loved me. Touching the horse for the first time in my life was a miracle and the fear I had in me was gone and I felt relieved and relaxed. I learned how to cope with a lot of things that happened around me. I became a better person and started interacting more with other people around me and it is good to speak up. One day I came across this horse and I called her Tracey. It is amazing how the horses can feel your pain. Attending this program made me a better person in many ways. I can cope with much more since I have been part of this program and I also realized over this past 8 weeks that there are certain things we know but could never see in reality and I got the opportunity to experience it now and I am more relieved and relaxed and coping with a lot. For me it was an amazing experience throughout this journey. I was more excited to see what is happening in the following weeks and could not wait for the next sessions. I am in a better space in my life now and know how to deal with a Iot more that I didn't know how to deal with in the past. The time I spent with Tracey was exciting, priceless and the team atmosphere was great. We could feel one another's pain and we could motivate each other. Thanks to the Nickalle, Fiona and the team who worked together in this program.
I salute you

Dews of Quietness woman

“Dear Fiona and Sarah,

As I started the program with you late in 2020, I was probably the biggest sceptic that you had ever had. My initial intention was to do the program to familiarise myself with the type of therapy. I wanted to familiarise myself with “horse therapy” to at least have an idea of what the therapy was about. I didn’t believe that there was much benefit to be had from this form of therapy and had serious doubts of its efficacy at the time.

As mentioned, I didn’t have high hopes and went through the motions just for the experience and enlightenment. What ensued was quite remarkable. As the program progressed, I found myself opening up more to this form of therapy and its efficacy. The inner peace that the horses and your guidance provided me with at a time in my life that was highly stressful, was nothing short of amazing. With your process, I became grounded, centred and balanced. This enabled me to return home feeling calm, energised and able to focus on the work that I was completing at the time.

I can with the greatest of certainty say that your program worked wonders for me and I will recommend it to anyone who can benefit from it. The program aided me in confronting many thoughts and emotions that were not always possible to verbalise and to make sense of. Because I had the time and space provided by you to work through them in the presence of the horses, it assisted me to become calm and positive about my end goal because I could see a way forward again.
Thank you so very much for providing the platform, your guidance and for your patience.”

Hope House carers programme

“It’s always interesting to see the various ladies’ reactions to being identified as candidates to benefit from the Equinox Trust. From anticipation and trepidation to confusion, fear and excitement. Yet by the time they attend the growth at first is quiet and subdued but then thereafter it erupts into a tangible enthusiasm by standing and waiting for the transport to arrive to get to the farm. The trip and journey that the programme takes them through from self-discovery and reassurance to letting go and facing forward is one that aids in firmly rooting a strong sense of self-awareness better propels further empowerment. It is a programme that we endorse and share widely about our partnership.”

Social Worker, Sisters Incorporated – 16 April 2021

“I will have a better relationship with my children now: I want to be there for them.”

Women Trauma Survivor testimonials

"I never knew how horses could have such a good effect on me. They helped me overcome my fear of going home."

Women Trauma Survivor testimonials

“I am so thankful for your wonderful programme and still shocked to see how the girls have grown and got out of their comfort zones. Thank you so much for all your hard work and patience with BRAVE.”
“The fact that the girls had no confidence when they came and didn’t know what to expect or what is expected from them, but the end result individually is mind blowing, the fact that they can speak so boldly with the group and encourage others to speak as well as the courage to say what they want in their last session and taking ownership of it. Teamwork and togetherness, creating a sisterhood and showing support.”

Brave/Rock Girl teen programme

“I found this type of therapy to be so gentle but super enlightening and powerful. I am in awe of the way the animals reflect the emotions toiling inside. A safe space to explore one’s life… I cannot recommend the Equinox Trust’s therapy modality enough!”

Private client May 2021

“I am grateful for the partnership that we, Sisters Incorporated, has with the Equinox Trust. Our ladies really look forward to the sessions! It has tremendous impact on their path of healing!”

Sisters Incorporated Manager

“Animals can offer an extraordinary amount of emotional support, and this is exactly what The Equinox Trust does. Fiona and Sarah, along with the horses, have left a lasting impression on those that have benefitted from this amazing experience. Thank you for all the work that you have done and that you are still doing – Dews of Quietness looks forward to walking many new journeys with you. We appreciate and salute you! Horses really are the best therapy!”

Dews of Quietness Founder

“We, the Nussbaum Foundation of which I am a Trustee, have been supporting Equinox for several years now. We have been super impressed by all their programmes and what they have achieved on so many levels. So much so that we have added them to our “annual donation list” as we truly believe in what they do. I have no hesitation in recommending that anyone support this worthy organization.

Trustee of The Nussbaum Foundation
28 July 2020”

Donor testimonial