Youth Programs

Equine Assisted Programs for Ages 8-18

Please note: ANT is not a horseback riding program and does not provide lessons. Our sessions focus on groundwork and other activities with a variety of animals; riding is limited and not guaranteed in any program. We encourage you to seek out other opportunities if your child is specifically interested in riding lessons.

Equine Assisted Learning (EAL)

For youth ages 8-18 interested in building skills, confidence, and friendships, our after school EAL groups pair participants with horses and other animals to grow and develop social-emotional skills, such as:

  • Identifying feelings & needs
  • Building trust
  • Focus & mindfulness
  • Working as a team
  • Reading body language
  • Setting boundaries
  • Clear communication
  • Creative problem-solving
  • and more

During sessions, youth take part in structured horsemanship activities like leading, grooming, obstacle courses and more, encountering challenges & fun along the way, and are encouraged to practice different behaviors and responses and reflect on the real-time feedback from their equine partner.

PATH Intl. Certified Equine Specialists and adult volunteer mentors help participants find takeaways from their learning that they can apply to other areas of their life. These sessions help youth build the confidence, tools, & strategies needed to make healthy, helpful choices off the farm. We may also incorporate small animals like rabbits, goats, chickens, cow, dogs, & cat!

2024 Spring Quarter Schedule
April 8th ~ June 7th
Sessions 3:30-5:00pm

Mondays: ages 14-18
Tuesdays: ages 10-12
Wednesdays: ages 8-10
Thursdays: ages 12-14

Program Style
Small Group (4-6 youth) by age
2 PATH Intl. Certified Equine Professionals
Volunteer Mentors (1:1)

Note: EAL is not clinical mental health therapy. If your child has acute mental or behavioral health needs, please ask about our EAP sessions (below).

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)

For youth ages 8-18 (and young adults 18-25), EAP is an experiential therapy model that can address acute mental health challenges and meet significant life goals, from healing from trauma to learning how to cope with stressful situations.

In EAP sessions, the client and their equine partner work with a licensed mental health therapist and a PATH Intl. Certified Equine Professional toward established mental health goals, such as:

  • Decreasing anxiety
  • Treating depression
  • Healing from PTSD
  • Creating healthy relationships
  • Addressing grief
  • Coping with stress
  • and more

In EAP sessions, clients take part in structured & unstructured horsemanship activities like leading, grooming, liberty work, and more, while the therapist & equine professional help them reflect on the equine’s biofeedback (which acts as a mirror for human emotion & behavior, allowing clients to become more deeply aware of their feelings, needs, triggers, and challenges). Clients take time to process what they are learning about themselves (such as behaviors and patterns) and how it relates to their challenges and goals.

Program Schedule
60-minute sessions offered weekly, year-round

Program Style
Private or small group (depending on client needs)
1 Licensed Mental Health Professional
1 PATH Intl. Certified Equine Professional

Please note: Insurance is not taken at this time. A limited number of scholarships are available (see Cost & Scholarships below).


Please contact us to schedule an intake and ensure that ANT is a good fit for your child’s needs. You may also call our office at 360-671-3509.

Once approved for our programs, we require a $100 deposit (credit cards, checks, and cash accepted) and completed registration packet to register. These can be emailed or sent to:

Animals as Natural Therapy
Attn: Katie Rohwer
PO Box 31595
Bellingham WA, 98228

*Please note: Our address is kept private for the safety of our staff & participants and will be provided upon enrollment. Our farm is located off the Guide Meridian just 15 minutes from downtown Bellingham.

Cost & Scholarships

$100 per 90-minute EAL session (weekly)
$100 per 1-hour private EAL session (as schedule)
$175 per 60-minute EAP session (as scheduled)

$100 deposit required with registration (if full pay)
$25 deposit required with registration (if scholarshipped)

As we do not currently accept insurance, scholarships are available on a sliding scale and calculated by household income/family need. Payment plans are also available. A $50 minimum quarterly payment is required for all participants regardless of scholarship awarded.

To apply for a scholarship, please complete our Financial Aid Application and send to or mail to:

Animals as Natural Therapy
Attn: Katie Rohwer
PO Box 31595
Bellingham WA, 98228

State & local agency funding may also be available through DSHS, Catholic Community Services, and others; we are happy to help families access this support if applicable! No child is ever turned away for lack of funds.


“Thank you for helping kids like me find who they are inside.”

“[My daughter] has been more willing to talk about her feelings instead of storming off. She is willing to communicate effectively.”