Donkey Assisted Learning


Dyfi Donkeys have become the first EAQ Accredited Equine Assisted Learning Centre in Wales, and only the second one in Britain to be focusing on using donkeys. This part of our work is known as Dysgu @ Dyfi Donkeys
What is Equine Assisted Learning?
Is it a school where all the teachers are donkeys? Well, in a funny sort of way it is. By using the donkeys as a catalyst for learning we are able to help children and adults with learning, emotional or mental difficulties to overcome their barriers and unlock their true potential.
Donkey Assisted Learning - Is it a school where all the teachers are donkeys?

Interactions are encouraged between participants and donkeys in an open environment, often with the donkeys at roaming free where both parties have the choice whether to be involved or not. Anyone who has attended one of our public open days will understand how special it is to know the donkey chooses to stay with you rather than being forced. 
Each session is overseen by a trained facilitator who plans and manages it. I have been training with the EAQ organization for the last 18 months as they offer the only nationally accredited course for Equine Assisted Facilitators in the UK and are leading the way to develop National Occupational Standards for this work.
As donkeys are small, non-judgemental, non verbal and highly intuitive they offer a unique twist to this field of learning making a comfortable outdoor classroom for troubled children who have been failed in some way by the classic education model. Our sessions are all run on a Person Centred Approach believing that given the space to learn a child will develop better through self discovery. We work at an experiential level where the ideal is that the learner experience frames the session. Sometimes the donkeys will take the lead and sometimes sessions will be formally set up by the facilitator. We believe that every interaction with the donkeys will offer something valuable to the learner and that they are capable of reflecting on this and growing.

Achievement is on personal terms without the strict goals and boundaries that the formal education system demands. Each learner has their own Personal Progression Plan , reflecting their personal goals and aspirations which may include academic goals in numeracy, literacy, health and welfare, science. We offer units to most National Curriculum subjects and can offer qualifications in many areas. All our formal qualifications are available on the Ofqual database. We can offer qualifications at Levels1 and 2 in line with GCSE grades.

 For adults with mental health issues EAQ Dyfi Donkey can offer the chance to get out into the natural world, do some exercise and go on a journey of self- discovery which can unlock hidden talents and help to overcome issues relating to self-esteem and confidence. Mental health treatment is changing dramatically at present and Donkey Assisted Learning is hoping to lead the mind shift in treatment away from prescription and permanent medication and onwards to overcoming boundaries and realising personal potentials. Donkeys often act as emotional mirrors and see through our masks to the true self. This is then reflected back to the learner offering a chance for greater self awareness and potentially growth. We have numerous units available to work towards such as Developing Personal Confidence and Self Awareness, Drug and Alcohol Awareness, Healthy Living and formal qualifications such as Character Development, Work Preparation for Land-Based Industries , we offer qualifications at Entry Level 3 as well as Levels1,2 and 3.
While we accept referrals from education, health and social service professionals we also accept private applications. Conditions that may benefit ; Autism, low self esteem, ADHD, attachment issues, special educational needs, poor numeracy and literacy, social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, depression and anxiety.

For more information about our introduction programmes and more , please get in contact:
Dyfi Donkeys
Coed Y Rhyd
Commins Coch
SY20 8LL
  0771 702 0344