Healing Hooves for Mental Health - Equine-Connect

by Lisa Deacon Hoogervorst in Bodmin, Cornwall, United Kingdom

Total raised £360

raised so far



My aim of my project is to buy this equestrian facilities including a covered barn so I can create a safe place and secure yard for clients.

by Lisa Deacon Hoogervorst in Bodmin, Cornwall, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 23rd July 2022 we'd raised £360 with 8 supporters in 56 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

We want Equine-Connect to be inclusive and accessible to everyone - regardless of physical, mental or financial restraints, but we need your help to achieve this.


I have the opportunity to buy part of an equestrian facility and a covered barn that would give a permanent home for these rescued horses, in return I can carry out equine assisted therapy sessions, creating a safe place for everyone. We would be buying a big covered barn to create a permanent home for all the horses and be able to carry out equine assisted therapy in all weathers.

Quote From Client

" Lisa and her horses have helped me find comfort through stressful times during the time I have been coming to the yard. The stables is a relaxing place where everyone respects one another and also a place I feel safe with the horses as well as giving me escapism from my everyday life.

For me I find that Lisa and her horses help me to visualise problems with different view points which gives me confidence to speak about anything knowing that there will never be any judgement towards me.”

The Journey

We were on holiday in Portugal when we came across a herd of feral Lusitanos in desperate need of food and care.

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A lot of time and thoughtful planning went into to rescuing the horses and getting them back to Cornwall.


Time and Patience to help the horses heal.


Two of the mares were heavily in foal. Luckily, although weak they both had two healthy babies. One was born on Valentines Day ❤️ and the other shortly after in March ????


Giving the horses time to heal with kindness and patience

We are now 4 years on since we picked them up. They are now ready to help me, help others in their journey with equine assisted therapy. 

How they can help.....


Horses can help with communication and show you love and affection

The Key Activities of Equine Assisted Therapy 


The activity is based around using obstacles that resemble life. Flash cards are used to pinpoint where the client is able to offload their worries and struggles. Using the horse as his/her support to tackle these difficulties that correspond with their goals and objectives. The aim is to help overcome anxieties, lack of self-confidence, problem solving, to change negative behaviour, and so much more. But most of all to smile and enjoy yourself !

Carrying out tasks such as feeding, grooming, herd watching to encourage responsibility of the care of the horse and their needs. Building the relationship into a trusting harmonious one as horse and client learn to interact. The horse will mirror the behaviour so as energy levels rise and lower so does the horse, thus enabling the client to learn control of anxieties and stress.

The horse is non-judgemental and is incredibly affectionate and seeks trust in humans. Therefore a huge reward for the client is when the horse is set at liberty  (loose) and follows the client because he has chosen to do so without force.

Watching the herd interact to observe aspects of behaviour and social structure. Helping the client to reflect on their own relationships with others. 

My service is to provide a safe environment without judgement and to carry out equine assisted therapy sessions bespoke to the client’s needs and mental state. 

There will be a preliminary meeting or correspondence to discuss the client’s needs and a discussion of a plan allowing the client to set their own goals and objectives.

Mindfulness, emotional regulation and stress reduction methods will be interwoven throughout the session.

For every £2000 raised 

6 x Free Equine-Assisted Therapy sessions.

For every £2000 raised I will coach one child under 16 years of age 6 consecutive weekly one hour session for free. 

The names of children in need will be put in a raffle and chosen randomly.

Thank you very much for reading,

Love from us and all of our four legged friends we look forward to welcoming you all! 


This project offered rewards

£5 or more

£5.00 An Electronic Photo

You will receive an electronic copy of a photo of one of the horses by email.

£30 or more

A Printed Photo

A printed photo of one of our lovely Lusitano horses sent to you in the post.

£50 or more

£50 Virtual Meet and Greet

Invitation to a "live" meeting on TEAMS to meet all the horses and ask questions.

£200 or more

£200 Tour and Visit Morning

Tour and Visit - spend the morning as a group with me getting to know more about the horses and what Equine-Connect is all about and how you can get involved.

£2,000 or more

£2000 6 x Free Equine Assisted Therapy sessions

6 x Free Equine-Assisted Therapy sessions. For every £2000 raised I will coach one child under 16 years of age 6 consecutive weekly one hour session for free. The names of children in need will be put in a raffle and chosen randomly.

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