Our will focus on confidence, self-awareness and dealing with new or challenging situations through our innovative work with horses. (All activities will be ground based-no riding will be involved). The aim is to help them develop skills to enhance ways of coping with such challenges and be able to apply them to their day to day lives. This is also a chance to provide a social opportunity to those who may be isolated.
Our Target Group: Participants will be referred by various local colleges, schools and organisations which we have already established a connection with. Our programme will be suitable for young people with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, challenging backgrounds as well as those with ASD and other related challenges.
About the programme: Each programme will be a total of 12 hours and run over 6 weeks. We do not operate “one size fits all,” with our sessions and tailor activities to meet the needs of our attendees. With a high staff- leaner ratio (1:2) we are able to support various needs within a group and have the flexibility for 1:1 attention at times if needed. Two fully trained EAL Facilitators will run sessions with the support of a fully qualified counsellor and all participants will gain a certificate of attendance on completion of the course.
Why horses: Horses are social and live in herds so it is possible to correlate to relationships, boundaries and personalities. Being prey animals means they are sensitive and pick up on emotions and act “in the moment” quickly to a present situation without any judgement. They react to how a person “is” which is a valuable learning tool for self-awareness. Our horse handling modalities come under the “Natural horsemanship” umbrella and many of these methods alone help to engage your mind, emotions and intent.
Activities: We have a wide range of activities from observations; recognising how horses and ponies communicate, body language, their survival needs (and many more) as well as “hands on,” activities such as grooming, haltering and leading, obstacle courses, working at liberty and care of the horses e.g. feeding, water, health checks etc. We also look at goal planning which helps develop coping strategies to transfer to other obstacles that participants may experience in their lives as well as developing calm management of stressful situations and change. Such activities create a pathway for our learners to look at their own lives, develop awareness of their own needs as well as others along side developing communications skills and awareness of emotions. Activities are followed with reflection time when our learners have the chance to discuss or look at their experience and what they have got out of it which can be done through group or 1:1 discussion, written reflections and worksheets.
The benefits: No matter how big or small our aim is to help people improve their futures and open them up to possibilities they may have never considered before. Many come to New Horizons with little or no experience with horses and leave having completed activities they would never have dreamed of. We hope that learners will leave with more confidence and self-belief as we feel this helps set a foundation for a more positive future. Not only can our programmes help individuals directly but it can have a knock on effect within the home, in social situations, school and colleges. After the course we can offer voluntary and work experience, helping to initiate a sense of responsibility, self-development, enjoyment & learning.
Testimonial: “We can't thank you enough for everything you have done for him and his development. He has learnt so much about horses and how to interact better with people."