Our Philosophy

We believe horses help us explore, learn and grow. As we interact with horses, we discover new ways to communicate, collaborate and cooperate in partnership with them and each other.

Our programs are a unique blend of teaching based on building a mental, emotional and physical connection with horses using non-verbal communication. Through observation, groundwork and riding we focus on the horse's body language to learn more about how these prey animals naturally move and communicate. This way of teaching goes beyond handling horses to a way to teach critical thinking, empathy and boundaries. CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO.


Guiding Principles

  • Environmentally conscious, minimize waste: reduce, recycle, reuse
  • Healthy horses and healthy humans
  • Healthy snacks for all
  • Build a community of horse lovers that understands and respects the needs of the horse
  • Respect for humans and horses 


  • Experienced riding instructors are MA Licensed or British Horse Society (BHS) Certified
  • Passionate about teaching and great with kids
  • CORI approved
  • EAL instructors are EAGALA Certified 


  • Live as naturally as possible in a herd outdoors in fields grazing where horses can just be horses.
  • Regular routines, consistent care and handling including grooming, exercise and training, hoof care, veterinarian care, dental care, massage and or other body work as needed
  • Balanced diet with appropriate supplements
  • No more than two hours per day or ten hours per week in program work; at least one day off per week and at least two consecutive weeks off per year between April and October.
  • Handling practices consistent with our horsemanship philosophy

Facility and Land Management

  • No use of chemicals on property
  • Annual testing of soil and water
  • Comprehensive property management and maintenance plan
  • Partner with Sherriff’s Meadow and others on land management


  • Accessible and affordable group lessons
  • Designed to complement existing barn lessons
  • Safety first for humans and horses
  • Fun and educational
  • Equine Assisted Learning, Growth and Empowerment (EAL)


At the Horse Center, we follow the EAGALA approach. Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) is a non-profit officially founded in 1999 and currently has 4500 members located across 50 countries. All of our trainers are EAGALA or PATH certified.

EAGALA is fast-growing and innovative way to use horses in face-to-face contact and interaction with people to teach life skills and provide connection that can be transforming.  Unmounted Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) sessions allow horses to react instinctually to situations providing feedback that benefits participants, including:

  • Build self-esteem, confidence, self-awareness and trust
  • Develop an appreciation for how non-verbal communication influences others
  • Foster patience, empathy and better control over anger and frustration
  • Increase sensitivity to others and improve communication skills


Watch our video to learn more about the Martha's Vineyard Community Horse Center and meet our team.