Athena Herd CIC – Our Story
Athena Herd CIC origins stem from Jennifer Geach and her family wanting a more tranquil and peaceful lifestyle. Therefore, they wanted to move to a place where they could live in harmony with their animals. As a result, they went on a search to find what they would soon call home in May 2014.
In conclusion, Jennifer and her family now live surrounded by their horses, alpacas, dogs and other animals. Similarly, also wildlife and the beautiful natural Kentish landscape in West Kent, near to Paddock Wood.
Jennifer and Brent researched different environments that better support optimum physical and emotional health and well being. The current equine track system was inspired by, for instance, Jaime Jackson’s book “Paddock Paradise: A Guide to Natural Horse Boarding”.
This journey led to what is today the Athena Herd. In other words, a sizeable barefoot herd of horses. Consequently, living as naturally as possible on more than just an equine track system.
The horses at Athena Herd live quite simply like that, in a herd environment. Horses are strongly social. They are herd animals so are noticeably more comfortable when they maintain visual contact with other horses. Changes to the herd can often mean that herd members may need to reestablish their place within the herd. This can take a while.
Horses graze and browse, forage if you like. We look to give the Athena Herd as much variety and choice as we can. In addition to dietary choices, choice for example can be observed when herd members actively seek shelter whether under a tree, in the 100ft barn, or just in a particularly sheltered spot on our track. Above all, choice is such an important part of herd life at Athena Herd. This ability to choose and live as naturally as possible in a herd environment encourages that all important movement of the herd.
Equine Facilitated Learning
For instance, animal behaviour can be defined as the animal’s response to its environment. In other words, this is what makes the Athena Herd experience unique. Founded upon a strong authentic ethos of animal welfare and well being, this environment presents a safe genuine and authentic learning space. It is the perfect place to experience the relational dynamics of human interaction with horses. We take a great deal of care about the ratio of humans to horses, the safety of our herd is as important to us as the safety of our participants. Likewise, it is the perfect location to undertake the journey of developing the skills that you need to become an Equine Facilitated Practitioner.
Athena Herd 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 Learning Practitioner and Senior 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 Learning (EFL for short) and development training and experience.
Currently the Athena Herd team can deliver a single stand alone Certification in Equine Facilitated Learning, 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 is a place that you can retreat to. On site accommodation currently consists of private rooms inside the Farmhouse, the Tree House or Bell Tents.