Would you like to become an accredited Trauma-Informed Horse Trainer?

Many domesticated horses experience fear and trauma at some point in their lives. Horses with a history of trauma from injury, accident, or mistreatment are often trained using methods that are at best ineffective, and at worst cruel, resulting in unwanted and dangerous behaviour.

Trauma may create changes in the horse’s nervous system which can increase fear responses. These behaviour changes may seem unpredictable and frustrating, but they can be understood and reversed if the trainer is equipped with the correct knowledge and appropriate techniques.

This accredited certificate course, from neuroscientist and equine behaviour consultant Dr Emma Lethbridge, examines how fear and trauma can affect the horse and how to resolve the resulting problems in a compassionate and welfare-focused way. You will benefit from a thorough understanding of how horses think and behave if they are frightened or traumatised as well as learning the practical skills necessary to train and handle horses more effectively.

 You will learn:

• About fear and trauma and their implications for working with horses

• The psychology and neurobiology of fear and trauma in the horse

 • About the horse's fear response and how it affects the body

• How the 'fight' or 'flight' systems work

 • How trauma affects the horse physically and emotionally

• How post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect the horse

• How to work in a trauma-informed way

• How to rehabilitate a horse affected by fear and trauma

• How to create an appropriate behaviour modification plan

 • How to work with horses that have been abused, neglected or mistreated

• Which techniques can increase the horse's fear responses and why

• How to develop effective and welfare-orientated husbandry and training techniques

 • Practical techniques to resolve problems that arise when handling frightened horses

This course is accredited by Rural Skills. 

The course is aimed at horse owners, students and equestrian professionals who are interested learning about the neurobiology, psychology and practicalities of working with fear and trauma in the horse.

The course runs for 8 weeks.

During the first 2 weeks you will be required to complete the 'Working with Fear and Trauma in Horses' content (available to you upon enrollment).

In the following 6 weeks you will need to complete a written essay and a case study presentation, with personal instruction from Emma. To achieve accreditation your work will be assessed with a minimum pass mark of 75%.

Please note: We provide the materials and guidance to help prepare you for assessment, but we do not guarantee that all students will succeed. 

All course material will be available for 30 days after the course has finished.


  • 00 Days
  • 00 Hours
  • 00 Minutes
  • 00 Seconds

Course curriculum

    1. Course Assignments

    1. Understanding Fear and Trauma

    2. The Spooked Horse

    3. The Traumatised Horse

    4. Overcoming Fear & Rehabilitating Trauma Part 1

    5. Overcoming Fear & Rehabilitating Trauma Part 2

    1. The principles of trauma-informed horse training

    2. Being trauma-informed in practice


    1. Best practice for training the traumatised horse

    2. Safeguarding the Horse's People

    1. ZOOM MEETING: 3 JUNE • 7.30PM BST

About this course

  • £349.00
  • 16 lessons
  • 8.5 hours of video content

Who is this course for?




Continuing Professional Development (CPD/CEU)

  • Course Contents

    9 x Video lessons, 3 x Zoom lessons, 1 x Quiz, 2 Assignments

  • Course Duration

    12 Hours

  • Certificates

    You will receive a Certificate of Accreditation if you complete the tasks with a mark of 75% or over. You can also download a personalised CPD/CEU certificate after completing the course.

  • BHS

    This course has been approved for 6 CPD points for BHS Accredited Professional Coaches by the British Horse Society. Upon course completion APCs can log their points by completing the CPD Feedback form on the BHS website.

  • KPA

    This course has been approved for 21 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) by the Karen Pryor Association (KPA). Once you have completed the course you can contact us for an event code, download your CEU certificate and then email both code and certificate to the KPA.


    This course has been approved for 12 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) by the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants (IAABC). You will need to request an IAABC CEU certificate directly from us, so please get in touch once you have completed the course and quiz.

  • IAAT

    Understand Horses is a trusted partner of the International Association of Animal Therapists, offering external CPD courses for its members.


    This course has been accredited for CPD by Vetpol. SQPs can add completed courses to their CPD records in the Vetpol Learning Management System.

Learn how to use the latest scientific research into fear and trauma in horses

Your Instructor


Part neuroscientist, part horse fanatic, Emma is fascinated by the equine brain and how horses perceive and respond to their world. Emma has 32 years experience with horses, having been lucky enough to have been riding since she was four and to have had four wonderful family horses since the age of 12. In that time, Emma has studied horses to master’s level, read a degree in neuroscience and obtained a PhD in neuropsychology; she has also ridden in affiliated competitions, worked on professional yards, directed an equine learning centre, taught riding, helped many people with their horse’s behaviour and, more importantly than all of that combined, she has come to love equines not for what they can do for us, but for the wonderful creatures they are in their own right.


Please email [email protected] if you would like to book your place in advance.

This course is accredited by Rural Skills