What We Do

LEAD with Horses offers life-changing experiences to children and youth facing a variety of challenges. LEAD provides educational and therapeutic equine assisted programs in Washoe County and the surrounding communities in both customized private sessions and themed group classes. See the courses page for upcoming group programs or contact us to schedule an individual session.

Equine Assisted Learning (EAL)

LEAD offers equine assisted learning (EAL) programs. This experiential approach use horses as co-facilitators in the educational process. Participants actively engage in and reflect upon hands-on activities with horses.

EAL provides opportunities to learn a variety of life skills and to develop self-confidence and self-esteem. Social and emotional skills are developed through participation in purposeful activities.


Behavioral Regulation



Coping Skills

Decision Making




Goal Setting



Problem Solving

Relationship Skills


Self Awareness

Social Skills

Stress Management



LEAD’s EAL activities are primarily ground-based, but riding exercises are used when suitable for skill development. LEAD incorporates horsemanship skill development in select EAL programs. Contact us to learn more about individual and group services. Visit the Courses & Camps page for upcoming group classes.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)

LEAD's assisted psychotherapy (EAP) programs use horses as co-facilitators in the therapeutic process. Participants actively engage in and reflect upon hands-on activities with horses. EAP promotes personal exploration of feelings and behaviors.

The EAP team includes a licensed therapist, horse professional and horse(s). EAP uses guided, ground-based activities to focus on mental, emotional, and social health.  Rather than providing instruction on particular horsemanship skills, EAP focuses on the client’s needs and includes specific treatment goals facilitated by the treatment team. EAP addresses a variety of mental health and human development needs including:


Attention Deficit Disorder

Behavioral Issues




Eating Disorders



Low Self-Esteem


Relationship Problems

Why Horses?

- Horses provide remarkable opportunities for metaphorical learning. Clients gain new insights into situations in their own lives and learn to make appropriate and effective changes.

- Horses are social animals. They engage in cooperative and coordinated activities in a herd. Structured, positive interaction with horses provides a foundation to build relationships and interpersonal skills.

- Concepts of empathy, compassion, and connection can be learned within the development of a relationship with a horse.

- As prey animals, horses are extremely sensitive and intuitive. Horses provide honest feedback and compel authenticity. It is more difficult to assign blame to others when working with a horse; equine assisted activities place individuals in a position to take responsibility for their own actions.

- Horses encourage engaged learning; physical and mental work is necessary for success with a horse. Equine assisted activities keep clients motivated and on task.

- Horses’ size and power can be intimidating and therefore offer opportunities to overcome fear and apprehension in order to build confidence and trust.

- Horses provide critical emotional support and bonds.