Organisational Member No: 00275580
Equine Facilitated Interactions at Athena Herd Foundation
Jennifer and Brent Geach were disillusioned by the way they had experienced their horses well-being
whilst on traditional livery yards. This is why they looked for alternative solutions during the course of 2014. In other words, this was not just to improve the lifestyle of their horses but themselves and all of their animals. This quest led to the farmhouse located in Paddock Wood, Kent because of its commutable distance to London. A 16th century property with approximately 17 acres of land. Most importantly, this move fulfilled their own dream to live a more peaceful and tranquil lifestyle. Consequently, they could spend more quality time as a family surrounded by animals.
The land at the farmhouse benefits from established hedgerow, mature trees, natural water sources, wild flowers and plants. In other words, a wealth of natural benefits for the animals as well as the wildlife and people. In short, Jennifer wanted to look at how they, people and animals, might live in harmony with the natural environment.
Most importantly, the move to the farmhouse provided the horses with an amazing environment. This is because it better supports optimum physical and emotional health and well-being. Inspired by, amongst others, Jaime Jackson’s book “Paddock Paradise: A Guide to Natural Horse Boarding”. Athena Herd Foundation today is home to a sizeable barefoot herd of horses. They live as naturally as possible on an equine track system.
Consequently, it is no surprise that this labour of love brought together horses and a group of like-minded humans. In other words, people passionate about the emotional and physical health and well-being of horses. This emphasis has made it an ideal place to deliver Equine Facilitated Interactions.
Athena Herd Foundation
“Athena” came about because it derives from a Greek goddess and portrays caring and kindness having inner and outer beauty. Therefore, we feel Athena as our name denotes our values. Coincidentally, on moving to the farmhouse, two horses purchased at that time are from a mare called Athena. Unfortunately, whilst happy with the name “Athena”, this was subsequently already taken. Therefore, we decided to add “Herd” after “Athena”. Importantly for us, this represents both the herd of horses and the concept of people becoming part of our herd. Athena Herd a natural place to learn and be herd. A brand built by going “back to basics”.
In 2021 Athena Herd became the Athena Herd Foundation with updated logos due its exponential growth. The launch of the Athena Herd Foundation is due to the:
(i) Organisational and Training Centre Memberships as well as the Accredited Practitioner Register falling under the Awarding arm of the Athena Herd Foundation;
(ii) success and continued development of the Training Programmes in Equine Facilitated Interactions falling under the Learning arm; and
(iii) strengthening of the Community Funded Project work through the development for social benefit groups and local charities. Similarly, with charity and community interest groups, we can work with them to secure funding to support such work
Accelerated Insights is the Corporate arm of the Athena Herd Foundation. This was incorporated in 2021 due to a rise in leadership and team development work at the Athena Herd Foundation.
The Athena Herd Foundation has been and will always continue to be a labour of love. Most importantly, the Athena Herd Foundation has evolved by us observing and learning from all past and present members of the Athena Herd Foundation.
Athena Herd Foundation CIC is an Organisational Member of both the BACP: British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and ACCPH: Accredited Counsellors, Coaches, Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists. Jennifer Geach is the co-founder of Athena Herd, a Senior Solicitor, Equine Facilitated Practitioner and Fellow Member of the ACCPH. The combination of living in harmony with nature and looking to care for the herd of horses in as natural an environment as possible provides a very authentic setting for the best possible Equine Facilitated Interactions and development training and experience.
Currently the Athena Herd Foundation team can deliver a single stand alone Certification in Equine Facilitated Interactions, a full Equine Facilitated Practitioner Diploma as well as various events and learning experiences in line with the vast amount of individual expertise.
Athena Herd Foundation logo
One thing that really stood out on moving to the farmhouse was an old almost spooky looking dead tree. This tree is located in the middle of the land and gains a great deal of attention. The lightening tree. This tree was the origin of the Athena Herd Foundation logo. It depicts that special tree deeply rooted into the land. It also has a representation of the Athena Herd and animals all encompassed within a circle. Depicting positive emotions and nature. We give thanks to Kate for designing the original Athena Herd logo and Frankie for adapting it in 2021 to bring in the Athena Herd Foundation Awarding, Learning and Community arms.
Equine Facilitated Interactions
Authenticity and attention to the whole health and well-being of the Athena Herd horses. This is what makes the Equine Facilitated Interactions (including Equine Facilitated Learning and Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy) experiences here at the Athena Herd Foundation unique.
Jennifer Geach strives to build meaningful relationships and connections with the Athena Herd Foundation horses. For instance, we really observe and listen to their needs and choices. Moreover, this has also been the case with all of the horses that have made up Athena Herd over the years. We really look to gain a better understanding and insight into their individual needs and choices. This journey is what took Jennifer on this path. Looking at what is, for example, Equine Facilitated Learning, Equine Assisted Learning, Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy, Occupational Therapy, healing with horses. Subsequently, Jennifer went on to join courses offered by various training providers. Jennifer also, for example, actively participates in the Equine Assisted & Facilitated Practitioners Network and Conferences.
Equine Facilitated Training Programmes
The Athena Herd team has designed the unique stand alone Accredited Level 2 Certificate in Equine Facilitated Interactions (whether you are looking for “EFL” or “EFP”). This is referred to as Module One. Most importantly, this can be taken as an interactive remote option. Participants can also continue, after successful completion of Module One, with the full Accredited Level 4 Equine Facilitated Practitioner Diploma either on a fully or partially remote basis.
In conclusion, the Athena Herd Foundation CIC is a not for profit community interest company located in West Kent, UK. We offer the best possible learning and development experience in a unique location alongside special people and animals. Jennifer and Brent established Athena Herd in 2014 and have developed a unique interactive learning and development centre bring track systems to the Equine Interaction space becoming the Athena Herd Foundation in 2021. Consequently, we offer unique individual training qualifications and programmes. Our programmes range from those wishing to learn more about equine track systems and what it means to keep your horse on one. Extending to our unique standalone externally accredited training in Equine Facilitated Interactions, including our Certificate in Equine Facilitated Interactions as well as the full Equine Facilitated Practitioner Diploma. Our programmes have been designed so that we can tailor our training to suit your needs so that you can attain accredited qualifications. Many of our training programmes are validated for CPD by ACCPH. For more information please visit our programme page.
Corporate Leadership and Team Building
Accelerated Insights under the Athena Herd Foundation brand offers corporate leadership and team building skills.
Importantly there is a great breadth of complementary experience and expertise in our team. This includes horsemanship, training , coaching, advisory, business, legal, equitation, counselling and much more.
We also excel in hosting private events. Please contact us for more information.
To enable you to be able to completely immerse yourself in the experience, limited onsite accommodation is available. This can be at our farmhouse, in our tree house, or bell tents. Find out more about our accommodation here.