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Knepp Wildland


29th October


31st October


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& 2 DAYS
of EQUINE WELFARE MASTERCLASS with Dr Marthe Kiley-Worthington


details at checkout

We are excited to invite you to join us for the first ever Learning Wild course at Knepp Wildland Project, 3,500 acres of stunning natural habitat, heaving with wildlife and home to 2 herds of free-living Exmoor ponies.

Since 2001, the land at Knepp - once intensively farmed - has been devoted to a pioneering rewilding project. Using grazing animals as the drivers of habitat creation, and with the restoration of dynamic natural water courses, the project has seen extraordinary increases in wildlife. Extremely rare species like turtle doves, nightingales, peregrine falcons and purple emperor butterflies are now breeding here; and populations of more common species are rocketing.

There are around 30 ponies helping shape and improve the habitat on the estate. The project's aim is to allow the herds to enjoy as natural a life as possible by running mixed herds of entire males, females and their young, breeding a small amount of purebred registered Exmoor pony foals each year.

Join Dr. Emily Kieson as she conducts research in the social lives of horses and explores applications to domestic equine welfare and developing stronger friendships with our own horses.

Share the experience and enthusiasm for the observational study of free-living equines with Bonny Mealand who is passionate about enabling others to learn from the richness of this perspective.

In addition there will be local experts and representatives from relevant organisations.

We invite you to explore thought provoking perspectives on horses, horse welfare, and sustainable horse keeping practices. By learning from experienced equine behaviour specialists and through educational observation and discussions we can explore more about horses, our perceptions of them and how they choose to live when they have the freedom to do so.

The learning will be a mix of guided lessons, discussions and individual and/or group observations. We will examine how best to implement what we learn from our studies to enhance the health and well-being of domestic horses.



This is an outline of the structure of the 3 days. The delivery of the course will be determined mainly by the weather.



28th Ocober 2023

Arrive and settle in.

Day 1:  Orientation 

Sunday, 29th October 2023

 The art of observation. Equine evolution, physical
and behavioural. Putting together a simple ethogram.

Day 2:  Environment 

Monday, 30th October 2023

Ecology, conservation, history, historical significance
and culture. Behaviour, horse and human. Rewilding

Day 3:  Foundations 

Tuesday, 31st October 2023

Strong foundations, relationship before training.
Summing up. What we have learned and how we
best implement this to improve the lives of equines.

ADD-ON Course Option
2 Day Equine Welfare Masterclass

with Dr. Marthe Kiley-Worthington 

Wednesday, 1st November &
day 2nd November 2023

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Your Hosts

Your Hosts

Dr Emily Kieson (Equine International) holds a PhD in Comparative Psychology, a MS in Psychology, and a graduate degree in Equine Science. Her research focuses on equine behavioural psychology, equine welfare, and horse-human interactions as they apply to both horse owners and equine-assisted activities and learning programs. Her current research focuses on equine affiliative behaviours to study how horses create and maintain social bonds and how those can overlap with human affiliative behaviours to create authentic lasting friendships between horses and humans. She also has a passion for supporting sustainable systems of horse management and husbandry that promote physical and psychological welfare of the horse while simultaneously supporting sustainable ecosystem practices on small and large scales (for both feral and domestic equids).

To learn more about Emily and Equine International please click here:

Equine International



Bonny Mealand (Touching Wild) qualified as an Equine Podiatrist in 2005 and has been committed to understanding, implementing and promoting a whole horse approach to health and well-being ever since. Bonny specialises in working with wild, free-living equines and “difficult” domestic equines by building trust and helping them learn to be handled in a low stress way. A short clip of Bonny working with some Takhi horses can be viewed here - BBC Inside the Zoo.

Bonny is committed to constantly learning as much about and from equines as possible. Believing that it is possible to define what a life of quality looks like at both a species and individual level. She then uses this perspective to implement a high standard of welfare into their domesticated lives. She is also a retained Firefighter, Somatic Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher and BHS Welfare Advisor and is a MSc student at the Dick vet (University of Edinburgh) studying  Equine Science.

To learn more about Bonny’s work please click here:



She is also the UK representative of the world renown Equine Ethologist Lucy Rees


Terrain Grading

Moderate. As we will be exploring the environments inhabited by the ponies, challenging terrain may be encountered so a reasonable level of fitness is suggested.

Knepp Wildland website -


Click here for the most detailed information -

The Address is:

New Barn Farm, Swallows Lane, Dial Post RH13 8NN


ACCOMMODATION is NOT included in this Course.

Camping and Glamping at Knepp

Local B&B's

The George & Dragon B&B

The Crown Inn B&B

The Artisan Bakehouse B&B

Goffsland Farm B&B

Withyfield Cottage B&B

Travel Lodge – Horsham Central

Travel Lodge – Billingshurst Five Oaks

The Windmill Inn B&B

South Lodge Hotel

Ockenden Manor Hotel

Premier Inn – Horsham

Cisswood House Hotel



Maximum Participants - 15

3 Day Course

29th to 31st October - £420pp

Above Course, plus add-on 2 Day Course

1st and 2nd November - £660

Charity, student, researcher and low income concessions available.

INCLUDED in the Course Cost

The following costs are included in the price of the workshop:

•    All the educational teaching and materials

•    Tea, coffee, biscuits

NOT INCLUDED in the Course Cost

The following costs are not included in the price of the workshop:

•    Travel to and from Knepp
•    Food and drinks
•    A

As Professor Sir John Lawton, author of the 2010
'Making Space for Nature' report says:

“Knepp Estate is one of the most exciting wildlife conservation projects in the UK, and indeed in Europe. If we can bring back nature at this scale and pace just 16 miles from Gatwick airport we can do it anywhere. I’ve seen it. It’s truly wonderful, and it fills me with hope.”

Course Sponsors



  • Collaboration between Touching Wild with Bonny Mealand and Equine International with Dr Emily Kieson

  • Knepp Wildland

  • Dr Marthe Kiley-Worthington


Knepp’s vision is radically different to conventional nature conservation
in that it is not driven by specific goals or target species. Instead, its driving principle is to establish a functioning ecosystem where nature is given
as much freedom as possible.

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