Horse Assisted Therapy

IMG_1412 Innovative Equine Assisted Therapy Now Available

at Mooloolah Valley on the Sunshine Coast

Suitable for both adults and children, guided equine therapy may be the means of change clients are looking for. It is available on Rosalin’s property on the Mooloolah River bank, which is being restored to health after years of overgrowth and neglect.

Equine Assisted Therapy – how it began and how it works

Equine assisted therapies were developed mainly to treat victims of post-traumatic stress syndrome and mood disorders that result from war service, or other extreme events.  Working with horse therapy gained great credibility in the United States, where it was discovered that many benefits flowed from animal assisted therapies that had been previously unattainable for adults with trauma related mental injuries.  It was a breakthrough for service men and women for whom other approaches had produced no ease.

Better still, equine assisted psychology proved to be effective in treating a range of disorders in children and adults who had suffered abuse or neglect, or who struggled socially and at work or school.  The bond between humans and horses has been shown to be particularly helpful to people wanting to better regulate their emotions and improve their skills at engaging and interacting with others.

Learning with Horses

Like dogs, horses are highly sensitive to their surroundings and seek to interact with humans if they sense it is safe to do so.  Many humans have an innate desire to do the same, to make contact and to reassure and protect.

Herd animals just like us, horses living together provide strong metaphors for family life and how people manage their relationships.  During Equine Assisted Therapy sessions, to connect with them, we have to be patient and calm and, in return, we leave their presence with smiles and a more peaceful state of mind.  Working with horse helpers is a here and now experience.  There may be therapeutic goals of therapy but what happens between horse and human can not be scripted or assured in a time frame.  It is what the human makes of the experience that is the gift and the outcome.


Ivy & Charm are best friends

The smaller of the two mini mares, Charm always keeps an eye on the dominant personality, Ivy, who likes her space. However, they are seldom more than a few metres from each other, preferring to be in a herd of two


Transforming Lives Step by Small Step

Horses have the ability to be gifted guides and facilitators of human transformation. Being herd and prey animals, they are adept at perceiving subtle shifts in energy, movement and emotion in their environment. Because of this sensitivity, horses are skilled at responding to the inner experience of those around them, mirroring emotions, feelings and thoughts, both conscious and unconscious. Interaction with horses offers the opportunity to be in the present moment and reflect on the inner self, bringing it more fully into awareness.

Equine Facilitated Psychology is a co-creation between client, psychologist and horse. Through experiential exercises with the horses individuals are able to explore their feelings and behaviours. This provides an opportunity for an individual to process emotional issues that they identify as problematic in their lives, and to gain a clearer understanding and awareness of how to relate to oneself and others. Greater clarity and awareness brings healthier life choices. The experiential exercises with the horses are done on the ground. Horse experience and riding skills are not a pre-requisite.  Children respond readily to Horse Therapy and relish the close contact between the horse and themselves especially when the horse is almost of the same size.

About the Breed

It is thought that small horses were initially bred for use in tight industrial spaces such as underground mines, in Europe, and imported into the United States a couple of hundred years ago, where their breeding was refined and its registration as a separate breed was undertaken.

Minis differ from ponies primarily in terms of a height limit of 86 to 97 cm and breeders emphasize that they retain all the qualities of full size horses, including a temperament that lends itself to ‘joining up’ with humans and cooperating with them.  Some say the temperament of ponies, on the other hand, can be rather too independent and unpredictable to be of much help in therapeutic work.

Peaceful Mooloolah offers Sanctuary for People and Horses

At her Mooloolah acreage, half an hour from coastal centres on the Sunshine Coast and an hour north of Brisbane, Rosalin offers adults and children the opportunity to explore and grow through interaction with nature and miniature horses, who, despite being sized like ponies, are genuine horses with the nature and gifts of their full sized counterparts.

If you have an interest in equine assisted psychology, you might want to meet Rosalin in an office setting first, to discuss whether this therapy is appropriate for you and to set your goals with Rosalin.  She has been working in the Psychology field since 1987 and has been associated with horses since childhood.

Our Miniature Horses

Lunch Time for Ivy and Charm

In their grassy paddock of an acre or more, the mini mares eat continuously, though they always keep an eye out for humans who might be carrying treats like apples or carrots.


Charm is a purebred miniature without papers and is now, we think, about eight years old.  Her height is 74 cm at the withers and she is the smaller of our two therapy assistant horses.  A chestnut mare with blonde mane and tail, she is beautiful inside and out.  Charm is our affectionate equine therapist.  She seeks out people who offer her kindness and will spend time standing in a relaxed way, nose to a human’s knee or with her neck resting on a thigh.  Charm loves being groomed but is also sensitive to changes of mood and circumstances.

Ivy is about the same age but a little bigger and faster than Charm, standing about 80 cm at the withers.  She is also more curious and tends to notice changes in the environment more quickly.  This means that she sees treats in the offing and is first to break into a run across the paddock toward anyone carrying food.  She keeps Charm at bay if she can, taking as much of the offering as she can get away with.  She is great with children and shows none of that when joining up with humans.



Because the mares are different in both temperament and physicality, for clients, they provide rich opportunities to observe and interact with them in their natural ‘pecking order’ as well as metaphor for human life and struggles.


Call Rosalin on Ph: 0424 002 640   OR


to make a booking or for more information about this healing therapy.  You can find more information about Rosalin’s horse therapy by visiting her Facebook page.


Psychology, Counselling & Mediation Sunshine Coast Ph 0424 002 640

  Rosalin Primrose Horse Therapy
Rosalin Primrose Psychology Services

Rosalin Primrose

MA , Reg Psych, (FDRP)
  • Medicare Provider No: 4197097T
  • Counselling Psychology Reg No: PSY 0000976237
  • Nationally Accredited Mediator & Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP)
‘Ocean Central’
Suite 18, Level 4
2 Ocean Street

Weekend & telephone appointments available by request

Ph: 0424 002 640

Contact Rosalin

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Your Message