Trot On: Psychotherapy with Equine Interaction

Trot On provides psychotherapy services to youth, young adults and their families. We serve individuals who struggle with social, emotional and behavioral challenges, and who have complex trauma histories. We offer counselling for individuals struggling with substance use or who have risk factors for substance use. Psychotherapy with equine interaction provides a unique experience of embodiment and connection with another living creature.  In understanding how trauma impacts neurodevelopment, it is essential to provide therapeutic interventions that promote the mind-body connection.   

Donate to Trot On: Equine Therapy at JRI.


If you would like to make a referral, please send completed referral form to Meredith Norton 

Referrals can be completed by anyone (self, parent, caregiver, guardian, therapist, etc.)

Trot On at JRI logo in blue
At a Glance
This service is for
Focus: We support youth and young adults who have experienced developmental trauma, as well youth and young adults who are seeking treatment or early intervention for substance use.
We offer psychotherapy with mental health clinicians who have specialized training and certification in horse-human interactions.
Ages: 12-24
Gender: male, female, transgender, non-conforming
Accessing this service
Our services are considered outpatient therapy. Our services are funded by the Department of Public Health.
Locations: We partner with farms located in Marshfield, Lancaster, and Tewksbury
Let's Connect
Meredith Norton, LICSW
Program Director
(978) 434-6097
Our Approach

Trot On is a therapeutic program utilizing EFT-CT (Equine Therapy for Complex Trauma) to promote each individual’s strengths and resilience.  We strive to make a difference in the lives of each individual we serve, through individualized, strengths based, trauma informed treatment.  

EFT-CT is a trauma-informed model, designed to incorporate core components of intervention that target areas impacted by exposure to trauma. These areas include emotion regulation, interpersonal functioning, executive functioning, and self-identity development. Additionally, EFT-CT focuses on safety (both physical and relational), which can promote reflective associations for individuals impacted by trauma.   

Horses are social mammals with complex emotions, just like us humans. Learning about horse behavior and interacting with horses gives us the opportunity to learn more about ourselves. Participants build connections with the horses they work with; these connections support trust building and perspective taking. Interacting with horses gives opportunity for experiential learning; rather than just talking, we are actively practicing skills. This can enhance engagement in therapy and support insight building and behavior change.


If you would like to make a referral, please send completed referral form to Meredith Norton

girl with hood standing by horse
boy with horse
girl with horse
Evidence-Based Treatment

EFT-CT adopts principles consistent with ARC (Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency). Recognized by the NCTSN as a promising practice, ARC is a comprehensive framework for interventions to be used with youth exposed to complex trauma. All JRI clinicians have been trained in the ARC framework and integrate ARC principles into their practice. Interventions are tailored to each client's needs and may include individual therapy for children, education for caregivers, and parent-child sessions.


Working with horses and a mental health practitioner

Clients work with a licensed mental health practitioner who also has specialized training and certification in horse-human interactions.  Individual therapy sessions typically last 45 minutes and are anchored in an established routine tailored to the client’s needs.  Sessions may include activities such as learning about horses/horse behavior, observing horses, sitting with or patting horses while talking to the therapist, caretaking for horses, learning to walk with horses using a lead rope, learning to communicate with horses, etc. Please note that sessions do not include any horseback riding.

horse group

Request More Information

For assistance determining which programs or services will meet your individualized need, please fill out the form below. Our Service Navigator will reach out to you about your inquiry via phone, text, or email. If you have a question regarding a particular program, please contact the Program Director listed in the “Let’s Connect” box above. 

Please note that this form is not HIPAA compliant.  We urge you not to include protected health information.

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JRI Service Navigator

Do you have a question about JRI services?

Rachel has been a part of the JRI team since January, 2000. For over 20 years, Rachel has been working in the field of human services assisting families with accessing and navigating services. Rachel received her Bachelors degree in psychology and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bridgewater State University. She was promoted in July 2005 to Family Networks Program Director where she closely worked with the Department of Children Families for 10 years ensuring that children and families received the highest quality of individualized services ranging from community based through residential care. Rachel is very dedicated to helping the individuals she works with and is committed to improving the lives of children and families. Rachel’s passion for creative service programming inspires her in her role as JRI Service Navigator.