The Horse Leads the Way: Honoring the True Role of the Horse in Equine Facilitated Practice

"It is like the bible of Equine Assisted Learning.”

"This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to include horses in any kind of interventions intended to benefit humans, whether for therapy, personal development or learning."

"The Horse Leads the Way provides by far the best in-depth treatment on this topic that I have ever read."

"This book poses strong questions about how we treat our equine partners and if we value enough the staggering contribution which they make. Do we appreciate this? Do we value them enough? Do we treat them as equal partners or’“tools” to be picked up and discarded as required? You will feel Angela’s empathy and passion on every page." Mike Delaney, Director of Equi Scotia (former Director of LEAP).

"A beautiful book highlighting the points of self-care and care of the horses and the client in equine therapy."

Read more Reviews here for The Horse Leads the Way...



The Horse Leads The Way: 
Honoring The True Role Of The Horse 
in Equine Facilitated Practice
by Angela Dunning

Foreword by Linda Kohanov

The Horse Leads the Way was the first book in this rapidly expanding professional field to specifically focus on the role of the horses and their well-being and fulfilment. It explores how the horses are employed and most significantly, how they can be potentially adversely impacted by undertaking this new role of facilitating human emotional and psychological development. It advocates for the fundamental aspects of equine choice and equine consent; two key elements of partnering with horses that ensure our horses are healthy and stress-free in their work alongside us.

Astonishingly, after several decades in the growth of this field, no books prior to this one focused on the horses themselves. My intention was to bring the horses back to the heart of this work; to rebalance the human-equine professional partnership, and specifically explore how the ways we partner with them effects both them and our clients' experiences. My intention was also to shift the focus of this work across the profession, so that we consider much more closely how we work with horses to deliver this service.

This book also undertakes a timely review of the field of Equine Facilitated Practice* (also referred to as 'Equine Assisted' or 'Equine Guided'). *This term incorporates all of the following modalities: Learning; Coaching; Therapy and Psychotherapy, but excludes therapeutic riding interventions. Further, it challenges some areas of current practice which continues to utilise the horses as mere ‘tools’, and instead, puts forward an approach which honours the horses fully throughout as sentient beings with immense lessons to teach all of us. This approach strongly advocates that, as practitioners, we need to develop an inter-species partnership in order to best support our equine partners and serve our clients well. This requires us to consciously embody Horse Wisdom and take the horses' needs into account every step of the way, thereby ensuring their wellbeing and enjoyment.

Written from an experiential and observational perspective and based on the author's now 18 years' experience in this field, this book is designed to generate debate about the role of the horses; encourage best practice, and suggest how this field can move forward. Raising vital questions and concerns and suggesting ways to deepen practice and quality across the industry, it is hoped the book will stimulate debate and mark a turning point in standards. It is therefore highly recommended for those currently practicing, training providers, trainees, and anyone with an interest in this work and our evolving relationships with horses generally.

This book outlines in-depth the key aspects of my approach including:

  • The vital importance of having as our starting point the belief and understanding that our horses are sentient beings, with their own needs, preferences and lives, rather than as tools or a means to benefit humans.
  • What does it mean in practice to regard the horses as sentient beings, with needs, rights, choices and preferences?
  • How do we ensure our horses are happily consenting to work each day?
  • Being able to recognise symptoms of stress, unhappiness and potential ill health in our horses as a result of our work.
  • How do we honour their choices and suggestions in practice?
  • The central importance of understanding and honouring the horses’ feedback at all times and why this is fundamental in undertaking this work.
  • The practical importance and benefits of honouring the horses' boundaries - physical, emotional and spiritual, at all times.
  • What skills, experience and qualities facilitators need to effectively deliver this work, as well as the necessity for undertaking ongoing personal development.
  • Why traditional horsemanship and particularly some natural horsemanship techniques are not necessarily compatible or even desirable elements to include in our work.
  • The importance of supporting our equine partners throughout by adopting a natural approach to their health, care and wellbeing.
  • How horses are bringing nature-based teachings to a wide range of people and playing a key role in returning feminine values and balancing the Masculine and Feminine. 

The second part of the book then also takes a look at some of the key industry-wide issues and challenges this field presently faces, including: Training; regulation; terminology, and the boundaries between Equine Facilitated Learning, Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy and Equine Facilitated Therapy, and other areas of concern. As well as considering more generally which horses to partner with, care of our horses, and suitable environments to deliver this work. 


Ways to purchase the book:

1) Directly from me via PayPal (paperback only): £10 + P&P. Please choose the correct delivery option from the drop-down menu below.
*You will automatically receive a signed copy when you purchase directly from me. If you would also like it personalised for yourself or a friend please drop me a quick message here. *If you prefer to pay either via BACS or cheque, please contact me and I'll send you the details. *Please note the contact details you submit will only be stored in accordance with my Privacy Policy and for the period it takes to ship your book. 


Delivery options - please choose from the drop-down menu

2) From Amazon: (paperback and Kindle) (paperback and Kindle)

*** You can now also listen to some brief audio excerpts here read by Angela

Book Reviews

Reviews are by far the most immediate and effective way to help people make a purchasing decision. As an independent, self-published author I rely mainly on positive reviews in my marketing material to help my book reach as many people as possible. Here's how you can leave a review:

1) Writing a positive Amazon Review.

2) Send me your feedback/Review via my Contact Form.

3) Leave a Review directly on either or both of my Facebook Pages: The Horse's Truth Page; Angela Dunning Author Page.

Many thanks in advance for your support!


Ways to connect with Angela:

Feel free to get in touch via my Contact Form
Join my mailing list using the Newsletter Subscribe button at the foot of any page
Tel: +44 (0)7583 726207 / 01588 630061
I am regularly active on my EFL Facebook Page: The Horse's Truth
And I am also on Twitter The Horse's Truth And LinkedIn 

 EFL/EFP Practitioners: Interested in working with Angela?
Find out more about her full range of support for professionals, both in-person and online here.


The Horse Leads the Way
 has already received very positive reviews from key professionals in this industry, and comes highly recommended for all equine facilitated trainees, practitioners and training providers:  

“And then there are professionals like Angela Dunning, a practitioner who honors the horse as an intelligent, accomplished partner. Angela emphasizes that in order to help our mortal horses fully access their mythic healing abilities, we must take care of their social and emotional, as well as physical needs” Linda Kohanov, Eponaquest Worldwide

“I LOVE this book. The Horse Leads the Way is a deeply significant and important book that finally outlines clearly the need to honor the horse as the lead facilitator in equine facilitated work. This book will be required reading in all my equine facilitated training programs.” Juli Lynch, Founder of EPALA

“I believe that Angela’s book is a true testament to her beliefs that we must treat our equine friends with the love and respect that they deserve and as equal partners and not simply as a ‘useful tool’. You will feel Angela’s empathy and passion on every page.” Mike Delaney, Director of Equi Scotia (former Director of LEAP).

"Angela Dunning’s recent book The Horse Leads the Way, written specifically for practitioners of equine facilitated mental health, provides by far the best in-depth treatment on this topic that I have ever read. It provides a much-needed in-depth practical guide for new as well as seasoned practitioners, including many frank and insightful comments on the various trends in our industry that we have experienced over the past 25 years. Plus, it has practical exercises for clients, one's self, and horses. Well-written and timely." Trish Broersma, author of Riding into Your Mythic Life, faculty for PATH Intl Equine Specialist Certification Workshop and Skills Test, director of Riding Beyond.

“This is a much needed resource right now and I can't recommend this book highly enough to all of my fellow practitioners. This book lights the way for equine-assisted work to be a win-win for horses and humans alike".
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