🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 based in ayrshire scotland

Animal Assisted Therapy & Learning

Supporting mental health and emotional well-being through animal-assisted therapy programmes. A large part of our focus will be working with vulnerable and challenging young people who struggle to adapt or function in a mainstream school. However, our services are open to anyone of any age. We use animal interaction to assist individuals to overcome many challenges and personal issues such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, PTSD, social interaction and behavioural problems.


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what drives us

Our Mission

Claire Hunter and Laurie Jones both have a love for animals and a huge passion for the work they do.
It was this shared passion working with challenging and vulnerable young people that led to the creation of Hunter Jones Animal Assisted Therapy and Learning.

“In our experience of supporting vulnerable and challenging children in mainstream schools, we have come to agree that a more academic, classroom-based approach to education does not work for many children. Many young people who have Additional Support Needs, however minor, need a chance to develop their social and emotional wellbeing before they feel in a position to develop academically or choose their path forward in life. With this in mind, we intend to create a bespoke learning environment that allows us to offer SQA recognised qualifications that support young people with these goals.

We feel that concentrating on academic areas before having emotional and social wellbeing in place is detrimental to making progress with either. This inevitably leads to Educational Disaffection resulting in class disruption, truancy and leaving school with no qualifications, skills or prospects.

Our unconventional educational approach involves focusing on the young learners existing strengths. Working at a pace that makes sense for them within a caring and supportive environment we aim to develop and build skills that will allow these young people to move forward towards becoming responsible, functioning adults.”

Hunter Jones is not only passionate about helping young people, we are also passionate about helping anyone, of any age, who is struggling. Using solution-focused therapy and a person-centred approach we help the client to visualise a positive outcome which enhances goal attainment and focuses on a future where problems have been identified and addressed.

Our aim is to provide a service that improves and promotes physical and emotional health and well-being.

a little more

About Us

who do we work with?

We work with children and adults of all ages and cater for a wide range of different issues and challenges. Sessions can be individual or group sessions. Our sessions can take place onsite, but we can also arrange to visit you at your own facility or workplace. Clients can include young people from education establishments, hospitals, hospices, care home residents, sheltered housing, prisons and residential units. This list is not exhaustive however and we also work with private clients. We welcome enquiries from anyone who feel they might benefit from our services.  There will be referral criteria which will vary depending on the nature of the client and the expected outcomes. Referrals can be made either privately from individuals or via health / education organisations such as schools / CAMHS / AMHS / addiction services. All clients must be screened for suitability for AAT.

Our facility

We have our own private yard loacted next to Muirmill Equestrian Centre in Symington, Ayrshire. This is where all our therapy animals are based and where our onsite sessions take place. We have both indoor and outdoor, all-weather areas to work in meaning we can conduct sessions all year round, regardless of the weather conditions. We also have an indoor learning area and a sensory ‘safe space’ for anyone who needs some chill out time.

 We have big plans to keep improving and adding to our facility and hope to have plenty of client input to help us on our journey.


Meet The Hunter Jones Team.


Equine specialist & AAT practitioner

Claire has owned horses all her life and has over twenty years’ experience working with animals, from riding school ponies to racehorses. She has also worked for the NHS, as a civil servant, in management roles and most recently with vulnerable and challenging young people within education. Claire gained her diploma to practice as an Animal Assisted Therapy Practitioner; she is also a member of the Association of Complimentary and Holistic Practitioners (ACHP).


Clinical Lead & Wellbeing Practitioner

Laurie has 25 years’ experience supporting vulnerable people in both practitioner and managerial roles with extensive training and qualifications including social care/BSL/ Management and various health and mobility issues.  As well as being mum to pup in training Rosie, Laurie is awaiting her diploma in Animal assisted therapy and enjoys feeding Magic his favourite mints!


 Echo is our resident gentle giant.

She loves to showjump and has recently taken some time out to have a lovely foal, proving she was also able to turn her hoof to being a super mum. She adores children and is very sociable, always happy to say hello to anyone who passes her stable.



Titan is a long haired black German Shepard who has almost a decade of experience as a therapy dog. Kids and adults alike just adore him.


Magic is an old hand, over the years helping many children to realise their dream of getting to know a pony. Magic has made many appearances over the years as a fancy dress expert! Now he is in his twilight years he has retired from ridden work but he hasn’t lost his lust for life and will do anything for a treat!



Rosie is a fluffy bundle of puppy fun! She loves going for walks and meeting as many new friends as possible. Rosie can’t wait to start working as a Hunter Jones therapy dog with her bestie Dotty!



Rex didn’t have the best start in life but all that changed when he became a part of the Hunter family. Rex is quiet, well-mannered and extremely loyal. As he is approaching his veteran years his favourite pastime is sleeping in front of the log burner, but he can still give little sister Dotty a run for her money!



Dotty is a little pocket rocket who loves everyone she meets! She loves nothing more than playing with her many toys and annoying her big brother Rex. Dotty is kind and full of fun and can’t wait to start working as a Hunter Jones therapy dog with her bestie Rosie.



Mimi came up from England to join the Hunter Jones team and was chosen because of her sweet nature and patience. She is an older lady now and enjoying a quieter life, she will happily stand for hours to be groomed and fussed over.

What we do

Our Services

Alternative Learning Education Provision

Young people with more complex mental health needs may be allocated one of our mental health specialist staff members. While young people with more educational focused needs may be allocated one of our Equine Specialist coaches who will focus more strongly on skills development and the achievement of qualifications.


We provide bespoke packages with each session specifically tailored to meet the needs of each individual client. For private individuals booking without direct referrals, we will supply details of expected criteria which will be discussed at an initial consultation session.  Therapy programmes will be in place and used as a guide, but clients are encouraged to share their views and opinions on what works for them.  All sessions will be fully documented using evidence-based progress reports. Feedback will be given to all relevant parties, with timescales and outcomes.

Group sessions

Group sessions are also bespoke and treatment goals are discussed at consultation. Referral criteria, expectations and documentation is similar to individual sessions and is discussed in full at initial consultation.

pay us a visit

Our Facility’s

Hunter Jones AAT

Symington, Kilmarnock East Ayrshire, KA1 5SH
(Next to Muirmill Equestrian Centre)

Hunter Jones AAT

Symington, Kilmarnock East Ayrshire, KA1 5SH
(Next to Muirmill Equestrian Centre)


Spread The Christmas Cheer

Our aim for Christmas 2022 is to deliver gifts, food hampers and other supplies to the vulnerable individuals and families across Ayrshire.

we need your help to

Change Someone’s Life For The Better

Hunter Jones are a registered Community Interest Company (CIC) limited by guarantee and a ‘not for profit’ company. This means that we do not operate for private profit. Any profit generated is used to grow and develop Hunter Jones directly and used to benefit the community and clients directly associated with Hunter Jones. We rely heavily on grants and donations which help us to make sure all our therapy animals are happy, content, well looked after and in the best condition to perform their very important jobs to the best of their ability.

Any donations also go towards maintaining our facility and buying equipment and resources to enable us to provide a first-class service. The more money Hunter Jones can generate through donations, grants and fundraising means the more funded places and sessions we can offer the people who really need them, without any added financial stress.

Our hope is that Hunter Jones will eventually be able to offer fully funded services to anyone regardless of their own personal financial situation.

Any donation, whatever the amount, is greatly appreciated.