Navigate home logo

A recreational equine-assisted therapy program in the Fitzroy Valley is helping Aboriginal children to flourish mentally and physically. 

Combining the calming effects of engaging with and growing trusting relationships with horses, with hands-on learning about horse care and handling, equine-assisted therapy is proven to support children with disability, trauma and mental health needs. 

The Equine Assisted Therapy Program is led by Jess Sandall, a local teacher with training in developmental education and children’s mental health, who has lifelong experience in equestrian activities.

Ms Sandall and the Fitzroy Valley Rodeo Club were recipients of the Kimberley Community Grants Scheme in 2022. 

The program has since developed a sound reputation in community, with Ms Sandall and the Club receiving another grant in 2023 to rebuild it after the devastating 2023 Fitzroy Crossing floods. 

For children whose families lost their homes in the flood, the opportunity to participate in the program and annual Fitzroy Valley rodeo provided some much-needed support and joy. 

Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware this page may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material.

A child sits on a horse that is standing still in a field

One of the children enjoying a ride on a horse


Applications for the 2024 Kimberley Community Grants Scheme open soon

Does your school or not-for-profit have a project in mind to help your local community thrive?  

Grants of up to $10,000 are available for projects that support and empower people and communities in the Kimberley. Learn more about the grants and how to apply below.

Find out more