“I found joy in things again”: an equine therapy program transforms lives


A life-transforming equine therapy program for young people from the charity HorseWorld is among those included in the new Equine Human Interactions Registry. The register recognizes all UK organizations providing an excellent level of support for people through interaction with horses and ponies.

HorseWorld Discovery was formed in 2007 and serves young people facing challenges due to their social, emotional, mental health and learning needs and helps them rebuild lives, which may have been affected by trauma or neglect. , working with sweet rescued HorseWorld horses.

Each year, the program connects approximately 200 children and young people, aged 5 to 25, who are struggling in mainstream education, with carefully selected and rehabilitated rescue horses. The charity says bringing rescued equines together with youngsters who have their own struggles, in hands-on outdoor tasks, has a positive outcome on both humans and equines.

“Working alongside rescued horses in an outdoor environment gives young people the opportunity to excel in ways they haven’t been able to do in a structured school setting,” a spokesperson for the organization said. charitable. “Through personalized activities, students develop their confidence, communication skills and self-esteem. Horses provide a unique learning tool based on trust, understanding and kindness that promotes personal development and supports emotional growth.

give hope

Students say the course has transformed their lives, giving them the confidence to talk to themselves and make plans for their future.

“I suddenly found myself able to communicate with people,” said one. “I found joy in things again and, more importantly, I found that I suddenly had a sense of hope for the future.”

Many Discovery students are able to re-enter mainstream education, take exams and obtain professional qualifications and gain full-time employment.

A lead facilitator, Sarah Payton, has been with the program for 12 years.

“Each discovery course is unique because we adapt our activities to the needs of each young person referred to us,” she said. “That means no day at Discovery is ever the same.

“At the center of the program are the relationships established between young people and our wonderful horses, our job is to facilitate the building of these trusting relationships through carefully designed activities. Some of our rescued horses have been through a lot early in their lives and many young people who come to Discovery identify with them and see parallels to their own challenges.

“I never tire of watching these incredible bonds develop and seeing how the students grow in confidence and have a real sense of accomplishment and increased joy at the end of the six-week course.”

HorseWorld Managing Director Petra Ingram added: “It is a testament to the incredible work of our Discovery team over the past 14 years that we have been accepted into this new registry.

“We know Discovery is nothing short of transformational for our students, but to have it validated and officially recognized as providing an excellent level of support through interactions with our rescued equines is fantastic. Joining the registry is a stepping stone to from which we can continue to develop the program for the young people we support, develop our expertise, secure future funding and ensure that our wonderful rescued equines continue to thrive in their roles.

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