Animal-based therapy and learning sessions at The Ranch, South Littleton Farm 


Dear Jessie,


We are writing to thank you and your volunteers for providing the programme of sessions in 2019, offered on a charitable basis by Saddle Up Ranch and provided at no cost to the school.


Accessing animal-based therapeutic and personal support with a highly skilled and experienced behaviourist has yielded clear observed progress in students with the most complex additional needs: those who accessed the provision responded very positively and gained confidence, which was observed to transfer into school settings.


In our Enhanced Provision at Blairgowrie High School, we can see the value of your work for students with diverse and complex needs, supporting them to participate confidently and to achieve, as well as improving parental engagement. The provision at Saddle Up has been seen to significantly develop their self-esteem and skills to manage emotional challenges, addressing and overcoming anxiety and other barriers.


Using this evidence of impact from this pilot programme, we have now successfully made a case to request a further programme of sessions for some of our most disadvantaged students.


We are looking forward to continuing to work with you at Saddle Up Ranch.


Kind Regards,




Pupil Support Teachers, Enhanced Provision

"My son Thomas has autism, he is really struggling at school and socially. He also finds it hard to stay still for a minute and finds it difficult to stay focused! He had his first visit this morning. I was watching in sheer amazement at how calm and engaged he was when working with Jessie and Billy Joel. He adored all the animals, and loved picking the fresh fruit and feeding the horses. He actually asked if we could go back next week, which is pretty unheard of for Thomas. The most wonderful positive experience Ive shared with my son for quite some time. Thank you so much! xx"
"I went to the Developing a Soft Feel event this afternoon and had a brilliant time. I learnt loads and got a new perspective on dealing with and riding horses. Really friendly people and a stunning location. Would highly recommend"
"This was a great activity for the pupils in our class as it gave them the chance to interact without having to deal too much with people. The activities we did were great for people who have little experience with horses to develop confidence without any pressure. It was good to be shown exactly what was expected but instead of telling us they were rescue horses at the beginning which made some people wary it may have been better just to emphasise to be confident with the horses. This was a great activity and an excellent way to develop cross curricular ideas and skills. Lots of transferable skills for the world of work. Many Thanks for an enjoyable afternoon."
"What a fantastic place, can't recommend it enough, the work they accomplish with the horses is amazing, total transformation, every horse needs a second chance to have a great life and be loved. Well done! "
"Took the youth club, kids had a wonderful time meeting all the animals, and Jess was so patient with all their questions. Absolutely great visit, one they'll never forget!"
"Overall, extremely positive experience; especially being practical, and holistic ('hand and heart'!).
Some particular strong points: 
  • Ethos of respect and understanding between you and participants, and between humans and horses.
  • Demonstrations, modelling by you all very clear.
  • Explanation of some key principles at each stage of work as it developed.
  • Communication and support during practical work was very good, responding to needs of participants and their responses to horse behaviour. 
  • All supportive, not at all judgmental."



"Had a fab time at the barefoot workshop and couldn't believe how much I learned! I would say I'm a hoof novice and although I have had my horse for 6 years I really didn't know anything about hoofs and relied on my farrier to keep his feet good. I'm sooo pleased I went and would definitely recommend to anyone that has an interest in horses! I loved it and would be interested going to other workshops in the future"


"It was really an excellent and unique experience!"


"My daughter and I visited today, Jessie is fabulous and all the amazing work she does with the horses is fantastic. We all went for a hack through some woods, cantering in some spots was amazing, and the horses were perfect, highly recommend we will definitely be back, gonna take my own horse next time"


"The confidence, capability and calm exuded by Saddle Up Ranch riders was powerful. The horses were happy and we had a day like none other with bikes racing horses, kids in the chariot, kids on horses and I got a shot on big Claude too. Wonderful."


"I went along to see what they done here and ended up riding for the first time since I fractured my back in April, I felt so relaxed when I was there and had an amazing time I would highly recommend it for people to go along and see if they could learn something new and to top it of it was a western saddle to and it was so comfi loved it. Thank you so much to jessy and team who made me feel so welcome."

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Saddle Up! Ranch is a Scottish Registered Charity SC045640