About Us

Our Story

About Autism Horses Group

At Autism Horses Group, we are a multidisciplinary team who provide the highest quality of care to our clients, working together to develop evidence-based programs at the forefront of Equine Assisted Therapy for the neurodiverse community.

We bring together our education, experience and knowledge in the fields of Specialist Education, Counselling, Psychology, Occupational Therapy, and Liberty Based Horsemanship to develop our innovative and revolutionary programs.

Founded in 2019 by Director Cristelle Stott, Autism Horses Group is currently operating across seven locations throughout Australia, with future growth across the nation expected and in the planning. You can connect and participate in Autism Horses Group’s in-person programs in:

We are a passionate, human-centred team who are living the same life as you. Our team members contribute to our programs from a professional as well as lived experience, with team and family members in the neurodiverse community.

We have been through the same exhausting and frustrating therapy situations you have likely experienced, including the stress of multiple people in the therapy environment, so have adopted the NDIS preferred model of a single practitioner to work with our clients to help avoid overstimulation.

Support specific-needs community

Our approach is simple and unique; currently the only one of its kind in Australia.

We aim to empower and inspire through connection, as we work on building the skills and providing the tools our clients need to improve the quality of life for both themselves and their loved ones.

Cristelle Capitani CEO and Key Therapist

Cristelle Stott

Managing Director, Key Therapist Team Leader (Counsellor)

Cristelle Stott is an emerging leader for innovation to therapy approaches in specific-needs learning and counselling, specialising in design and delivery of learning environments.

Her individualised strengths-based approach helps her clients create meaning and connection in friendships, functioning and their future. Cristelle has created amazing results for participants, supporting hundreds of families to thrive in their everyday lives whilst honouring their own individuality.

Cristelle founded Autism Horses Group after watching her neuro-diverse children struggle to cope or respond to traditional therapies. The positive effect of her pet horse interacting with her children resulted in her searching for social and experiential animal therapies. When she could not find this combination anywhere else, she went about re-training as a Specific-Needs Therapy Specialist. Since then, her Program has assisted families, businesses, organisations, communities and individuals to thrive and empower their knowledge, life skills and learning across neuro-diversity in everyday lives.

Her passionate innovation is increasingly recognised and featured across diverse media interests including ABC News, local newspapers, Animal Therapies Ltd and special interest media channels.

Cristelle feels her superpower is noticing and acting on the micro-cues of her clients that normally only a mother would notice. She lives in Western Australia with her huge neuro-diverse blended family and super-dog Roxy.

Wenn Lawson

Key Therapist Team Member (Psych)

Dr. Wenn Lawson is a well-respected and highly knowledgeable expert on autism.

He combines his lived experience insights with professional knowledge ranging from First Class Honours in Social Work to a Doctorate in Psychology.

Dr. Wenn is a member of the Australian Autism Research Council and resides on the Autism Open Access board as well as being an ambassador for the I CAN Network. He also holds advisory and mentor positions, and has written numerous books (and papers) on ASC.

Katy Rutter

Key Therapist Team Member (OT)

Katy qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2001 at Curtin University and has undertaken the Graduate Certificate in Autism Diagnosis in 2022 at UWA.

Katy held a position working with children with autism, and other neurodiverse diagnoses, at Therapy Focus. She currently works at GymworksOT as well as in her own private practice.

Katy has wider OT experience in Gerontology and Vocational Rehabilitation, and is passionate about helping children to achieve their best life.

Cassy Choules

Operations Manager, Perth

Cassy is passionate about seeing the connection and friendship made between horse and participant, and finds the transfer of skills taught to the participant through the Autism Horses Group programs to every day life situations simply amazing.

Cassy’s key strength is having the flexibility to adapt towards each session and the horses.

Joanne Kenworthy

Senior Support and Horse Handler, Perth

Joanne is fascinated at watching the way the horses calm the nervous system of children, allowing them to focus with ease and bring them into harmony so they can undertake the Autism Horses Group’s therapy programs.

She has been amazed at how quickly the children respond and the results we see with the children in the AHG programs.

Joanne’s strength lies in helping children overcome mental challenges and fears, and assisting with calming their mind and body to assist them in focusing.

Stan Sykes

Senior Horse Handler, Perth

Stan became fascinated with the interaction between children and horses while observing a session in progress. After learning about the design of Autism Horses Group’s programs, he decided to attend more sessions and couldn’t help but get involved.

He loves watching the progress the children make, and finds the development of trust and confidence in the children heart-warming.

Rhian Knaggs

Horse Handler, Perth

As a mother and foster carer of a specific needs nephew, and a lifelong horse owner and enthusiast, Rhian thoroughly enjoys being a member of our Perth team with a lived experience perspective.

Rhian enjoys watching the nervous system’s response in participants and the way the horses work with families.

Chloe Gormlie

Horse Handler, Port Hedland

Chloe has been a member of the Autism Horses Group’s team since July 2022. She loves working with Autism horses, seeing participants connect with their horse and working with the AHG team.

Chloe started riding when she was 3 years old, and plans to continue eventing and riding horses for years to come.

Grace Gormlie

Horse Handler, Port Hedland

Grace has been a volunteer at Autism Horses Group since July 2022, and has loved riding horses since she was little – and continues to do so.

Grace is passionate about her volunteer work for Autism Horses Group, building inseparable connections with the horses, and helping out with the work.

Jodie Carstairs

Location Development Manager

Jodie has a passionate interest for retraining and rehabilitation of race and track horses; and the natural care which leads horses to thrive under liberty training methods.

Jodie is inspired by how they interact with participants, and watching the progression of what participants take away and apply at home.