We are looking forward to welcoming you to the Southern Highlands
Please note this program is a safe place: no questions, no judgement, and no expectations. Simply an offer of support and a chance for you to experience the healing of horsemanship within the beautiful natural environment of the Southern Highlands.
Special thanks to the owners of Dixieland Estate and Heartland Horses for their generous support and commitment to Horse Aid programs.
Please arrive at the following address by 10:30am, Monday.
You will be greeted by Horse Aid volunteers and shown to your accommodation where you will stay for the four nights of the program. This is also the place where all the catering will be provided.
125 Greenhills Road
Berrima NSW 2577
You may either take your own transport to Dixieland Estate or we can meet you at the train station in Bowral. You will not need a car during the week and if you bring a car it will be parked at the accommodation for the duration of the program.
If you require us to pick you up from Bowral train station or want help arranging a car pool let us know.
You don’t need much except to be prepared for all sorts of weather—we suggest layers as the temperatures can fluctuate and we will be outside for the horse sessions.
- suitable clothing and footwear including wet weather gear (rain jacket with a hood and waterproof boots)
- gloves, scarf and hat
- toiletries and medications
- reusable water bottle
- any personal snacks you love
Towels, linen and blankets are provided.
We ask that participants make every effort to be in bed around 10:00pm so that those that go to bed earlier can have quiet to go off to sleep. The sessions can be tiring both physically and emotionally–in a good way. So we encourage rest and give your mind and body the chance to process the program impacts while you rest during the night so you can be refreshed for the next day.
Horse Aid will provide some alcohol (wine and beer) to have with evening meals and request that no alcohol be bought onto either Dixieland Estate or Heartland Horses by participants. We believe this is important to support the mental health journeys of participants and in particular those who may be sober or facing other issues from alcohol or drugs.
Join us with Scott Brodie for a five day fully immersive equine welfare program with thoroughbred ex-racehorses. These horses are like veterans, serving defence personnel and first responders: they are highly trained, often institutionalised and often finish their career with physical or mental health challenges through no fault of their own.
This program is based on a unique approach developed by Scott Brodie, a former NSW Mounted Police horse trainer, who established the NSW Racing Thoroughbred Re-Training Program where he helped 1000's of ex-racehorses find lives after their racing careers and is also a classically trained rider and qualified instructor.
Scott's unique system of retraining teaches both humans and horses new skills to help build trust, patience and confidence to replace anxiety and fear.
Unlike other equine therapies on offer the horses are also traumatised and on a journey: needing second careers and making significant changes for a new life after racing.
We will ask you to complete a confidential assessment form during the program at the start and at the end—while not mandatory it provides good feedback both to yourself (upon request) about the impact of the program and for the Horse Aid program provides a way to observe impact and look to further improve. The results are anonymised by Dr Mel Baker and provided back in summary to the Horse Aid Board.
We use thoroughbred ex-racehorses in the program because of the similar attributes of veterans, serving defence personnel and first responders with these horses. Often both finishing their careers with physical and/or mental health challenges. Therefore, these horses are also on a healing journey just as the human participants are.
Absolutely not, you can benefit from the program without any horse experience.
Yes, you will be required to commit to the five days as the program is designed to build on the work in each day, to derive the benefit for both the humans and the horses.
There will be no riding in this program, all work with the horses is "ground work" only.
Yes, all time outside meals and participating in the horse sessions is an opportunity for you to be alone to relax and process the experience. These days often bring up emotions and we urge you to take the time to yourself if you need.
We also encourage rest and return to your room to prepare for sleep no later than 10:00pm.
Yes, there will be horses at the accommodation venue which you can spend time with and we will need some assistance with feeding morning and night and they will be available for pats, cuddles and carrots!
Please email us at email@example.com or call Jo on 0466 827 724 for any questions.
If you would like to see our work in action please watch the trailer of "The Healing" which is available thehealing.com.au – a documentary about transformation and getting a second chance at life, filmed at a previous residential program.