Phase 1 is aimed at finding out about the individual, the horses, and the environment. Attendees will be introduced to like-minded people with similar experiences. They will realise that they are not alone in their injuries or illnesses and will start to build new friendships with their fellow attendees. As part of their personal development, they will set life goals and complete team and leadership tasks. They will work with the horses on the ground as well as riding them in the latter part of the week. Other activities will include photography and archery as well as an introduction to the environment.
Phase 2 aims to take those skills learnt in the first phase and build on them. This will include horsemanship skills both on the ground and in the saddle but also the techniques learnt in Phase 1 to increase calmness. Participants will recap skills such as map reading as well as an introduction to conservation of the local environment.
The final week is about planning and preparation for the overnight expedition. Participants will plan the route and pack all necessary equipment. They will then ride the horses to the pre-planned destination where they will set up camp for the night. The horses will be ridden back to base the following day where preparation will then be made to give a five-minute presentation on their experience of the course. This presentation can take any number of formats from audio recordings, art, poetry, photography or by using more traditional methods. An award ceremony will follow these presentations.
In the initial stages of the course, participants will receive information about other agencies which can assist them in areas such as housing, benefits, pensions, etc. They will also be assigned a key worker dependent on location who will be responsible for their personal well being.
On completion of the three phases, it is hoped that participants have improved confidence and self-esteem and a feeling of self-worth. They will have become part of a team once again and had to work within that team to achieve set goals. Through working with the horses they will have re-established leadership skills, addressed body language and possibly other issues such as anger. They will have made new friends who have experienced similar issues with whom they are encouraged to keep in contact with and set realistic goals and targets both short and long term.