Hannah Hurst - Freelance EFL practitioner

Hannah Hurst - Freelance EFL practitioner

🐶Animal Assisted Therapy 🫏Equimotional Coach 🐴Equine Facilitated Learning 👩‍🏫Primary Educator.

Operating as usual

Photos from Hannah Hurst - Freelance EFL practitioner's post 14/07/2024

Swapped my ‘behind the ears’ this morning for the enlarged model.
I borrowed South Downs Equine Therapy CIC’s gentle giant, Gloria for an early morning ride before sessions started.


Tutoring can look very different in the summer months. (when it’s not raining!)

Harry gets to be involved and we learn outside.

Learning through play with engaging and memorable experiences helps information to be retained:
🐴Hands-On Learning: Outdoor environments provide opportunities for experiential learning, making education more engaging and memorable.
🐴Real-World Context: Learning in a natural context helps children understand and relate to abstract concepts more concretely.
🐴 Environmental Awareness: Regular exposure to nature fosters a sense of responsibility and care for the environment.
🐴Resilience and Independence: Outdoor learning helps children develop resilience and independence by facing and overcoming natural obstacles.

Overall, outdoor learning supports the holistic development of children, promoting physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being while fostering a lifelong connection with the natural world.

It’s far more engaging for everyone involved than being sat inside at a table. 😃

Photos from Hannah Hurst - Freelance EFL practitioner's post 05/07/2024

The ferret we had as a child Vs (one of the) the ferret I have now.

Photos from Hannah Hurst - Freelance EFL practitioner's post 04/07/2024

Learning outdoors offers numerous benefits:

🦄Enhanced Engagement: Natural environments can stimulate interest and curiosity, leading to increased engagement and enthusiasm for learning.

🫏Improved Concentration: Exposure to nature has been shown to reduce stress and improve concentration and attention spans, especially in children.

🐴Physical Health: Outdoor activities promote physical exercise, which is beneficial for overall health, including cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, and mental well-being.

☀️Environmental Awareness: Learning in nature helps students develop a greater appreciation for the environment and an understanding of ecological systems and sustainability.

🐶Empathy: Spenfing time in a natural environment with animals helps students empathise with animals and nature fostering a caring attitude and understanding of the world around them.

🌈Social Skills: Outdoor learning often involves teamwork and collaboration, fostering better communication and social interaction skills.

🌳Practical Learning: Hands-on activities and real-world experiences outdoors can enhance understanding and retention of academic concepts.

🐥Creativity and Critical Thinking: Natural settings can inspire creativity and provide opportunities for problem-solving and critical thinking in diverse and dynamic environments.

🌼Emotional Well-being: Time spent in nature has been linked to reduced anxiety, improved mood, and overall emotional well-being.

These benefits collectively contribute to a holistic approach to education, promoting physical, mental, and social development.


🌟 Just a little reminder from our friends in the Equimotional world 🌟

In today's fast-paced society, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and question if we're doing enough. Our achievements, while important, do not define our worth.

Take a moment to breathe and appreciate your journey. Just being here, embracing the present, is an achievement in itself. 🌸

🐴 Emphasise the importance of self-acceptance and self love.

Horses, with their gentle presence and intuitive nature, teach us that our value is not tied to our accomplishments but to our being.

🌿 Whether you're a facilitator looking to join our mission or someone seeking solace and balance, Equimotional is here to support you.

🖼️: "Your existence doesn’t need to be validated by your achievements. Just being here is an achievement."

Creative georgie

Photos from Hannah Hurst - Freelance EFL practitioner's post 01/07/2024

A hug of appreciation after a pony powered phonics session is always welcomed by Harry.


“It’s not the critic that counts…The credit belongs to the man in the arena.”

It’s very easy for other people to blow out your flame. (Even if they don’t mean to.) But it’s better to try and fail than to fail to try.

Blowing out someone else’s candle won’t make yours any brighter. Actions speak louder than words and too many people stand in the sidelines shouting at those in the field. There will always be people who try to undermine you or make you feel small. Don’t let them crush your self esteem.
Continue to follow your dream.


A horse's Emotional Bucket

* click on the photo to see the full infographic

**Thank you for the original inspiration of THE EMOTIONAL CUP by Upbility, Publisher of Therapy Resources.

Photos from Hannah Hurst - Freelance EFL practitioner's post 26/06/2024

☀️Yesterday at South Downs Equine Therapy CIC we gave Nahla a well deserved bath in the sunshine. It was too hot to ride but perfect temperatures for baths.

🐴This activity created so many sensory learning opportunities. The client was encapsulated by the activity saying how satisfying it felt. They started with a sponge but moved to using their hands as they enjoyed the feel.

🦄Sensory activities are just as beneficial to older children and even adults. Engaging in activities that stimulate the senses helps to promote relaxation, mindfulness, and emotional well-being. They encourage individuals to connect with their senses in a deliberate and immersive way.


The best way to reset my energy for the day. 🦄☀️

Photos from South Downs Equine Therapy CIC's post 25/06/2024

Tutoring with a therapeutic twist.

Is your child starting school this September or are you planning on home schooling?
Over the summer holidays, Harry will be helping children with their initial letters and sounds in preperation for school or to get them started on their at home reading journey.

Private 1:1 tutoring with a theraputic approach.

Photos from Hannah Hurst - Freelance EFL practitioner's post 22/06/2024

I just sat in the field today (because I was very tired!) whilst the ponies ate their feeds and it was really interesting to see the horses reactions.
Rhona, just cleaned everyone’s feed buckets and ignored my existence.
Harry used me as a scratching post, checked I didn’t have any bananas and then just hung out with me for a while.
Gem just came over and rested her nose on my head. 🥰


Harry thinks h is the most important letter and sound to learn but sadly Harry is wrong.

Get ready to start school by learning the first 6 most important letters and sounds with Harry this summer.

Do you know what the first 6 letters and sounds are?

Photos from Hannah Hurst - Freelance EFL practitioner's post 21/06/2024

Ned & Meadow are 4 🎉


I have been looking at identity with a client and how our identity is not just our gender or our looks and personality, a whole bunch of things in our life feed into our identity …. Who you hang out with, your hobbies and likes, where you live, the music you listen to etc.

One thing that came up yesterday was the names we go by or are called. Some of us have nicknames or shortened names which add to our identity. We spoke about full names and how horses have show names or passport names that are different to what they’re real name is.
Gem is ‘Meondale Gemini’ so she is just shortened but some are completely different to their stable name.

If you gave yourself a ‘Show Name’ what would you be called?

Photos from Hannah Hurst - Freelance EFL practitioner's post 18/06/2024

How is Pony Powered Phonics & Equine Assisted Learning different to Equine Assisted Therapy and how do they complement one another? ➡️➡️➡️➡️➡️

Equine Assisted Learning (EAL)
🦄Focus: Primarily educational and developmental. It aims to improve life skills such as communication, leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving.
🫏Approach: Activities are designed to teach specific skills or facilitate personal growth through structured interactions with horses.

Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT)
🦄Focus: Therapeutic. It aims to address specific psychological, emotional, or physical issues.
🐴Approach: Utilizes horse interactions as part of a therapeutic treatment plan. Activities are tailored to meet therapeutic goals, which might include improving mental health, coping skills, or physical rehabilitation.

Pony Powered Phonics can include therapeutic elements or lead to therapeutic outcomes. Here’s how:

🐴Emotional Regulation: develop better emotional regulation through interactions with horses, which can be therapeutic even if it’s not the primary goal.
🦄Stress Reduction: the calming presence of horses and the outdoor environment can reduce stress and anxiety, providing indirect therapeutic benefits.
🫏Self-Awareness: engaging with horses can enhance self-awareness and reflection, which are therapeutic aspects that can help individuals understand and manage their emotions and behaviors better.
🦄Social Skills: being with horses in a group setting can improve social skills, communication, and empathy, which are valuable therapeutic outcomes for individuals with social or emotional challenges.


Back to the real world.
I went away last week and couldn’t use my phone for a few days and it was GLORIOUS!! Technology is useful but we rely on it for so much. Everything is on my phone now days, it’s how I work now but being able to be contacted 24/7 is quite stressful.
It’s definitely worth switching off for a few days.


Here’s your reminder to read aloud with your child for at least 15 minutes today! (📸: Terry H.)


Every horse girl should have one of these…


I love a metaphor!

Some of my South Downs Equine Therapy CIC clients created some great obstacle courses last week. The idea of the courses are that they represent different obstacles in our lives.

Today this client created a course that represented what was going on in their head when they couldn’t sleep.
The course had multiple different pathways and options representing the fact her brain doesn’t shut off and has lots of different trains of thought.
One of the options though had three hoops and a pile of bean bags. The bean bags were to represent positive affirmations they were going to throw at their negative thoughts to help them fall asleep. 😍


Tutoring with a therapeutic twist is not just about learning to read & write .
It also teaches …
🦄How to listen and follow simple instructions.
🦄Supports fine motor skills.
🦄Improves social skills.
🦄Teamwork, sharing & turn taking.
🦄Builds resilience.


Donkey’s coats are different to horses and they don’t shed in the same way.

🫏Donkeys shed their coats differently which means sometimes they can look ‘moth eaten’ during a moult.
🫏 Donkeys shed much later than horses and ponies and don’t lose all of their coat until August.
🫏Their wiry, thicker coats help protect them from the flies in summer and help to adjust their skin to summer weather.

Brushing donkeys to help them to lose their winter coats is beneficial to the donkey and the human and helps build trust.


How exciting!
South Downs Equine Therapy CIC are finalists!
Thank you to everyone who voted.

⭐Equine Service of the Year 2024 sponsored by Equine Giveaways UK⭐
Headline Sponsor: Bloomfields Horseboxes

Congratulations to our finalists:

Dartmoor Carriages
South Downs Equine Therapy CIC
Peak District Guided Horse Rides

Photos from Hannah Hurst - Freelance EFL practitioner's post 01/06/2024

What is Pony Powered Phonics?

👩‍🏫A combination of literacy education and equine-assisted learning.
This teaching style uses interactions with Harry to help children develop phonetics, reading and comprehension skills in a non-traditional, outdoor, engaging environment. Sessions are based on the idea that the presence of animals can provide unique, non judgemental, therapeutic benefits that enhance learning and personal development.

🐴Engagement: Horses and donkeys naturally draw interest and engagement, making the learning process more appealing, especially for children who might struggle with traditional reading methods.
🦄Non-verbal Communication: Partnering with animals requires understanding and responding to non-verbal cues, which can translate into better comprehension skills in reading.
🐴Emotional Regulation: Horses can sense and mirror human emotions, helping children become more aware of their emotional states and develop self-regulation skills that are important for focused reading.
🦄Building Confidence: Successfully interacting with animals can boost students' confidence, which can then carry over into their learning, including reading.
🐴Multi-sensory Learning: Pony Powered Phonics involves physical activity, tactile interaction, and emotional engagement, catering to various learning styles and making reading a more holistic experience.

Overall, Pony Powered Phonics with Hannah & Harry provides a unique and engaging way to improve reading and writing by utilising the therapeutic and motivational benefits of working with horses.


I love you so, so much.

This is my favorite photo of my beautiful wife. It’s from our wedding day in 2021 and it was the best day ever. People will talk about G's smile, and it was incredible—it would make you feel like you were the center of the universe. But what I love about this photo is how it captures her strength. She was a strong, beautiful, phenomenal woman who just loved everything and everyone.

Working in the equestrian world is not an easy life; there are a lot of knocks and dark days. But G would navigate this by throwing so much joy and love at every situation. She would get as much joy from having a Greggs tea on the way home from the gallops as she would teaching a client in the pouring rain or jumping and galloping around biggest courses in the world. It was just incredible to be at your side and feel this energy.

I’m so proud to be your husband.

Rest in peace, my beautiful girl.

I don’t want this to sound like a thank you speech, but there are some people that I’d like to acknowledge and thank. The team at Bicton, who were beyond words in their care for Debbie, Diana, and me in the immediate aftermath; Tim, Jonelle, and their beautiful kids for getting me through the first 24 hours; and the Wolf Pack for being there ever since. There have been so many incredible messages of support, and I’m sorry for not getting back to more of you, but please know that they have been read and are so appreciated.

Seeing the purple and white ribbons has been amazing. But on an even more basic level, when you’re out competing this weekend, please just smile at each other, don’t feel awkward about laughing, and above all, try and love everything and everyone.


Photos from Hannah Hurst - Freelance EFL practitioner's post 01/06/2024

A South Downs Equine Therapy CIC client said “I don’t really know who I am.” Over the last couple of weeks we have been using the Equimotional workbook activities to help understand identity and build self esteem. This is a work in progress but each session they have been able to add to their working wall AND have been excited to share what they have learnt about themselves.

It’s been so nice to see this client learn about themselves and as a result build their own self esteem outside of being with the horses. They have also been able to see how they can help build someone else’s self esteem too.

It has been important to not just tell them what helps build self esteem as they have been able to identity themselves what has helped build their own self esteem. What works for one does not always work for everyone else.


🐴🌟 Horses: Our Catalysts for Self-Reflection 🌟🐴

I want to clarify a fascinating aspect of the human-horse connection. Horses themselves are not mirrors - they don't always directly reflect our emotions back to us , but they are incredible encouragers of self-reflection - they may make us aware of what is happening within us. Rather than pointing 👉 out what we are presenting with.

Therefore urging us to become more self-aware and grow personally.

So, while they may not be mirrors, they are certainly catalysts for self-reflection and personal development.

Let's celebrate the transformative power of this unique relationship!

Share your thoughts and experiences below. 🐎❤️

Photos from Hannah Hurst - Freelance EFL practitioner's post 30/05/2024

A child asked me, as they threw their arms round Harry, “Do you hug the ponies like this?!”

Absolutely!! I hug the ponies like that far more then I imagine they wish to be hugged 😂

Gem especially has taken many years of persuasion but finally tolerates my hugs and even sometimes embraces them these days!

Want your school to be the top-listed School/college?

Videos (show all)

No phonics for Harry today.It’s too hot for these guys today and the horse flies are crazy. A day in the shelter and sha...
Horsey ice lollies are a great enrichment toy for hot summer days!!Use an old supplement or lick tub, fill with water an...
Harry is bringing country back…🤠🐴
Donkeys are starting to shed!
Well the rain stopped for just enough time for Harry to start a Pony Powered Phonics Session with initial sound /s/ this...
Forage nets…🌿Nettles: People think its an old gypsy tale that nettles are good for horses but its true. Nettles for hors...
Ferret Phonics.Recognising the alphabet as capital letters. #ferret #alphabet #phonics #learningtoread
The never ending theraputic job of helping Harry shed his winter coat 😬
It’s world donkey day!! 🥰 #WorldDonkeyDay
May is #mentalhealthawarenessmonth and #nationalwalkingmonth !!The two go hand in hand and we advocate all year round.Wa...



Opening Hours

Monday 08:00 - 19:00
Tuesday 08:00 - 19:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 19:00
Thursday 09:00 - 12:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 17:00
Sunday 09:00 - 17:00