Our Location:

Equine EARTH is situated within Stroud’s five valleys, lying East of the Toadsmoor valley just above an idyllic cotswold hamlet. There are 6 acres of flat and gently sloping paddocks, an open barn with an outdoor arena, a roundpen, yurt, eco toilets and an acre of ancient woodland.

Our Herd:

The herd are a barefoot mixture of native breeds, mares and geldings. They live out all year round and can choose to take shelter in the barn, field shelter or woodland in extreme weather or wear a cosy rug ! Each herd member has a special therapeutic talent and they choose to work individually or as a herd.

The herd doze in the arena.

Jo Saunders:

BACP Accredited Counsellor and Supervisor, Equine Facilitated Practitioner cert,B.A Hons Graphic Design.Drawing and Talking Cert. PGCE early years and SENCO.

Equine Earth, Jo Saunders, Nature, Eco, Rewilding
Jo and Zorro. Jo is the founder and director of Equine EARTH. She offers individual counselling, supervision, Equine and art counselling,and workshops.Photograph by Janos Borbely

Background: Jo started out as a graphic design and freelance animal portrait artist. She discovered the healing power of horses when she bought a coloured cob from Blackpool’s Golden Mile and he enabled her to manage her eating disorder. She took him to Gyde House children’s home where she worked for a while,which made positive changes to the children’s lives. Jo became an Early Years teacher and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO).She was then inspired to train further in the Drawing and Talking method for children and to train as a psychodynamic counsellor.After taking an SEN group out for a riding lesson, she noticed the remarkable difference in the children’s self esteem and the increase in their confidence, after their interaction with the horses.

Jo trained as a psychodynamic counsellor and after working in an Equine Therapy Centre, trained as an Equine Therapist with the LEAP model. Having big heart, Jo has built up a small herd of native ponies from various backgrounds and has founded Equine EARTH at her site to support the local community and those further afield using art and equine therapy. More recently Jo trained with Robin Shohet, as a supervisor and now incorporates her herd in her supervision sessions.

Specialisms: Long and short term counselling for people with eating disorders,depression, anxiety, stress, low self-esteem,bereavement and relationship issues through Equine Facilitated therapy and Drawing and Talking Therapy. Also Supervision, both 1:1 and group, with and without the herd.

Qualifications: BA Hons Graphics, PGCE early years Ed and SEN, Psycho-dynamic Counselling Diploma, BACP Accredited, LEAP Cert in EFP, Cert in Drawing and Talking, Cert in supervision (in training).

Featured Image: By Jo EquineEARTH