Sirona Director Hannah Burgon’s book based on her PhD research ‘Equine-Assisted Therapy and Learning with At-Risk Young People‘ is available at Amazon Uk
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The evidence base for the therapeutic benefits of horsemanship and animal-assisted therapy more widely is plentiful and growing. Empirical studies have shown that being with animals has many therapeutic benefits including decreased blood pressure and an increased sense of well-being
Therapeutic horsemanship offers the additional benefits of being in nature and the outdoor environment as recognised by outdoor activity centres, wilderness therapy and forest schools. Dr Hannah Burgon, Founder and CEO of Sirona Therapeutic Horsemanship has completed a PhD into the benefits of therapeutic horsemanship and Equine Assisted Learning / Equine Assisted Therapy (EAL/T) under a studentship from the University of Cardiff, UK (2007-2010).
Hannah Burgon has published the following papers which are available on request;
Burgon, H. ‘Queen of the World’: experiences of ‘at-risk’ young people participating in equine-assisted learning/therapy. Journal of Social Work Practice, 25 (2): 165-183
Burgon, H. ‘Clinical Notes. Case studies of adults recieving horse-riding therapy’ (2003), Anthrozoos, Vol. 16 (3): 263-276
Sirona Therapeutic Horsemanship clinical supervisor and psychotherapist Di Gammage published an article in Counselling Children and Young People Journal (CCIP), March 2008 entitled:
‘Case study 2: Equine Assisted Therapy. Work with Georgie, by Di Gammage‘
Please click on the link to read the full article: Counselling Children and Young People Journal (CCYP)
Burgon, H.L. Gammage, D & Hebden, J (2018) Hoofbeats and Heartbeats: Equine-Assisted Therapy and Learning with young people with psychosocial issues. Journal of Social Work Practice, Vol. 32, no. 1, 3–16
Burgon, H L (2013). Horses, Mindfulness and the Natural Environment: observations from a qualitative study with at-risk young people participating in Therapeutic Horsemanship. International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation. Vol 17(2) 51-67
As regards to specific influences, Sirona is strongly influenced by approaches to horsemanship developed by the trainer and behaviourist Lucy Rees.
In 2020 Sirona collaborated with Hartpury University on a research study to determine the impact of our Equine-Assisted Therapy and Learning (EAT/L) programmes and to help inform industry practice. Read the report here…
For 6 weeks during the Autumn term 2019 Sirona pioneered new Nature-Based Activity (NBA) sessions as an additional intervention to the equine-based sessions for young people to benefit from time spent in nature and learn about our natural environment. Read the report here…..
During January to March 2020 Sirona ran a pilot art project with local community artist Jan O’Highway to make some mosaic and clay signs for our buildings. The project was supported by a grant from Devon County Council small grants fund for disabled children. Read the report here……..
Below is a list of publications and organisations that have inspired Sirona Therapeutic Horsemanship:
Kohanov, L (2001) The Tao of Equus: a woman’s journey of healing and transformation through the way of the horse. CA: New World Library
McCormick, A, McCormick, D, McCormick, T (2004) Horses and the Mystical Path: The Celtic Way of Expanding the Human Soul. CA: New World Library
Rees, L (1984) The Horse’s Mind. London: Stanley Paul
Bekoff, M (2007) The Emotional Lives of Animals: a leading scientist explores animal joy, sorrow and empathy – and why they matter. CA: New World Library
Rashid, M (2004) Life Lessons from a Ranch Horse. Newton Abbot, UK: David and Charles
Roszak, T, Gomes, M and Kanner, A (1995) (eds) Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind. Sierra Club Books: San Francisco
Equine Assisted Learning/Therapy (EAL/T) organisations and practitioners:
Equine Guided Education Association
Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association
Sarah Urwin Counselling and Therapy Services including Equine Assisted Therapy, Devon, UK
Epona – Linda Kohanov’s website