About Us

Ballygraffan

Providing equine therapy workshops for UK companies and clients
Equine Therapy UK

Our Why

“WE WORK WITH PEOPLE SO THAT THEY CAN EXPERIENCE THE POWER WITHIN THEMSELVES AND APPLY THAT TO THEIR CAREER AND LIFE.”

Living in such a relaxing environment and surrounded by horses and wildlife has always been June’s secret weapon in tackling stress and maintaining a balanced perspective on life.

Through a chance encounter, she discovered that many others had recognised the mental and physical benefits of this combination, with horses as faciliators and that particularly in USA, Horse Assisted Coaching and Equine Assisted Learning was widely recognised as an effective approach for corporate leadership training and life skills.

In today’s automated world where our lives revolve around our phones, we are losing the ability to really connect and communicate effectively with each other, creating problems in the workplace and also at home.

We are committed to sharing our Horse Assisted workshops with anyone who thinks they would benefit from learning more about themselves, their behaviours and their reactions and discovering how they can stand in their own power and thrive regardless of challenges or circumstances.

About June

I am currently Director of four successful companies and have bought, sold, built, established and developed many more over my 27 years in business.

First and foremost an entrepreneur, I have also held responsible corporate positions and, more recently, have embraced the challenge of coaching.

I am probably best known for my recent success, the development in 2008 of a city centre car park into the 132 bedroom Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast. The hotel is on the Conde Naste Hot List and has won numerous awards. This is largely due to my emphasis on teamwork, leadership and customer service that supported the establishment of the business through the recession.

Horses have always been a huge part of my life and I have ridden competitively at International level for over 20 years. I have over 40 years experience of working with and learning from horses.

I’m passionate about developing authenticity and communication strengths in all individuals and see this as the way forward in business.

My practical approach to business, coaching qualification and my affinity for horses have driven me to develop the most insightful, experiential personal and leadership development programmes available.

Smiling with all 4 cheeks – learning to let go | TEDxStormontWomen

Associations & Memberships

About the horses used in our equine assisted therapy courses

Our horses

About the Horses

All our horses except one have competed on the International circuit and are superstars, having traveled Ireland, UK and Europe.

They are now taking life easier but enjoy the workshops almost as much as their competitive days.

In December 2018, an ex-cavalry horse joined the team specifically to work with Veterans.

In today’s automated world where our lives revolve around our phones, we are losing the ability to really connect and communicate effectively with each other, creating problems in the workplace and also at home.

We are committed to sharing our Horse Assisted workshops with anyone who thinks they would benefit from learning more about themselves, their behaviours and their reactions and discovering how they can stand in their own power and thrive regardless of challenges or circumstances.

Stable Name:  CLEO

Show Name:   Mexicana

Brown Mare, 7/8 Irish Thoroughbred

Age:         15

Born:  Ireland

Height:    16-2 hands

Profile:      The sharpest member of the Team and always a step ahead, she is queenly and independent, but if you connect with her, you experience a very quiet, deep side of her.  The best showjumper in the yard, she is the lead mare of the herd.

Career:     2005-2013   Competed internationally at eventing in the UK and Ireland, but her forte is showjumping.  She is an effortless jumper and has jumped at Grand Prix Level.

Interests:   likes to do what she wants, when she wants, and enjoys jumping as high as possible.

Stable Name:  OLI

Show Name:   Olive Oyle II

Bay Mare, 7/8 Thoroughbred

Age:         18

Born:  UK

Height:    15-3 hands

Profile:      A real performer, Oli disliked training at home but always brought her best game at competition.  Not an active attention seeker, and can be a bit of a worrier, but will love you forever if you give her a scratch.

Career:     2002             Arrived Ballygraffan

2003-2011   Competed Nationally & in 10 Internationals in UK, Ireland & Holland (always in the prizes!)

2012-2014   Bred 2 foals, Murray & Dylan who are current members of the Coaching Team.

Stable Name: Jackson

Show Name:  8777 – His MOD number

Black gelding part thoroughbred

Age: 10   Born: Ireland

Height: 18.2 hands   maybe more!!

Profile: A gentle giant, he is a retired Household Cavalry horse, brought to the yard to work with Veterans but has become a favourite with all groups. We think he looks like Black Beauty.

Career: 

2016 Melton Mowbray MOD Animal Centre

2019   Arrived Ballygraffan

Interests:  Loves attention and he is very expressive. He doesn’t take any prisoners and makes his feelings very clear. He’s a challenge but when you win him over, he is a great confidence giver.

Stable Name: Twizel

Grey donkey

Age: 22   Born: Ireland

Profile: Twizel has been here longer than all the others is the gentlest soul on the yard. She is always kind and she can be turned out with all the horses and they all love her. She relaxes both horses and people. She can still kick her heels up when the notion takes her and she can be very determined such as when she thinks the grass is greener in the next field – you can push, pull, cajole but Twizel knows her own mind and ain’t moving!

Career: 

1998   Arrived Ballygraffan

2015   Important team member for nervous clients

Interests:  Loves attention and all the other horses. Likes to pop up when other horses are working and startle them. Hay.

Stable Name:  MAURICE

Show Name:   Griffindore

Chestnut Gelding, 7/8 Thoroughbred

Age:         16

Born:  Ireland

Height:    16-3 hands

Profile:      He is the gentleman of the yard, very well Mannered and easy to work with, despite his lofty size.  He is also very flashy and he knows it.

Career:     2003-2015   Competed in National & International competitions in Ireland and the UK. Placed in Riding Horse Class at Dublin Horse Show, Novice Championship in UK and won various other UK competitions.

Interests:   staying clean and keeping his stable tidy, and being friendly to all horses, animals & people!

Stable Name:  CHEEKY

Show Name:   Flurry Knox V

Grey Gelding, 7/8 Thoroughbred

Age:         21

Born:  UK

Height:    16-1 hands

Profile:      Super confident and talented, he is the Boss of the yard & demands attention and.  A true competitor, who had a fan club in his competition days.

Career:     2004             Arrived at Ballygraffan having competed at European Championships & been on Front cover of Horse & Hound

2005-2009  Competed and won in 15 International competitions in Ireland, UK & Europe

Interests:   loves life, loves to be ridden, & shows off at prize-givings.  Favourite pastimes are in mud, and hunting.

Stable Name:  MURRAY

Show Name:   Summit

Bay Gelding, ¾ Thoroughbred

Age:         3

Born:  Ireland

Height:    16-1 hands

Profile:      Born at Ballygraffan, Oli is his Mum and Frenchie was his mentor.  Still a baby he is actively involved in all the workshops. Inquisitive and eager to be involved, he has recently graduated to undertake trust and respect work. Very gentle and a little bit cheeky.

Interests:   challenging the other horses, playing rough with his brother, Dylan, and playing brushes!

Stable Name:  HARRY

Show Name:   Harry De Lux

Bay Gelding, ¾ Irish Thoroughbred

Age:         10

Born:  Ireland

Height:    17-0 hands

Profile:      A very talented showjumper and the joker of the yard, teasing the other horses – he to be ignored. Harry loves work and never tires or gets bored. He constantly works out new ways of doing things.

Career:     2009-2015   Competed internationally, and won many competitions in the UK and Ireland

Interests:   stealing hats, throwing water around, opening stable doors & pulling faces.

Stable Name: Mariam

Brown Donkey

Age: 4  Born: Ireland

Profile: Quiet and gentle but with a bit of zip!

Career: 

2019   Arrived Ballygraffan

Has been best buddy of Twizel since she arrived and the two of them enjoy meeting participants on the workshops and because she is so gentle, gives even the most nervous clients the confidence to meet the horses.

Interests:  Loves attention kicks her heels up when getting to run free in the arena or whenever we are taking her hay to her shelter.

Stable Name: Samson

Chestnut Shetland pony

Age: 22   Born: Ireland

Profile: Samson and I have a grudging respect for each other. He can be a total pain in the backside but can also be very cuddly. He is almost impossible to catch when you are trying to but comes obligingly when you don’t want to catch him or when there is food involved. If there’s no food, we resort to rugby tackling and we have many funny moments of being dragged down the field behind this tiny pony.

Samson just does his own thing and only rarely does it correspond to what we want him to do!

Career: 

1998   Arrived Ballygraffan

2019   Became foal-buddy for our yard baby – Max.

Interests:  Loves his new job as a buddy to Max and he takes it very seriously. Enjoys keeping out of the way of humans and holding his own with the bigger horses.

Stable Name: VINNIE

Show Name:  OBOS Apollo

Bay gelding 7/8 thoroughbred

Age: 17

Born: Ireland

Height: 16.2 hands

Profile: A total superstar! Vinnie has a great sense of humour and used to love nothing better than to dump me on a weekly basis and gallop back to the yard on his own. He gets on with all the other horses and hates to be on his own. He’s always full of fun and loves life. Always jumped double clear at events and tries his heart out.

Career: 

2006   Arrived Ballygraffan.  Competed in 4 year old jumping at Dublin

2007- 2017 – Competed internationally for Ireland many times and won many high profile competition in UK and Ireland in both Eventing and Showjumping. Qualified for the British Championships in 2017. Top horse!

2018   Became a Horses for People team member and is involved in all the exercises

Interests:  Loves attention and kicks his stable door if he’s being ignored. Always the first to meet you in the field and up for adventure. Loves being so lovable.

Is there Equine Therapy Near Me? Yes there is, at stunning Ballygraffan, Northern Ireland

Ballygraffan

About the Place

Ballygraffan is a very SPECIAL place.

50 acres of breathtaking scenery is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the banks of Strangford Lough. How could you possibly not feel relaxed?

But it’s about so much more than relaxation. Our position near to Comber makes us easily accessible and once here, Ballygraffan is a sanctuary to get in touch with nature, connect with yourself and claim back the balance that everyday life disturbs.

Maybe it’s the horses, maybe it’s the history or the ancient burial mound but everyone who comes here agrees, it’s a very special and tranquil place where you feel lifted, renewed and inspired.

Equine assisted therapy near the shores of Strangford Lough

Our location