“Apart from being a great team building exercise where we were all trying something new, working with the horses was a great tool for thinking about our work and talking together about how we do things. We still refer to the exercise when analysing our work. We also learnt a lot about each other in a short time, and got some fresh air just outside the city. It was a great way to shift perspective, and I would recommend it to anyone.”
“Working with the horses was truly wonderful, bringing a lot of us out of our comfort zone, and it was interesting to see the dynamic with all our group and how we all helped each other out. … It’ s a great idea to get people out in the open, in such a different environment from their work place. We highly recommend.”
“To be honest, while understanding equine therapy’s value in many situations, I was a little sceptical about as to how equine therapy could apply to our team. I was amazed by how much we got out of it. Apart from being a great team building exercise where we were all trying something new, working with the horses was a great tool for thinking about our work and talking together about how we do things. We still refer to the exercise when analysing our work. We also learnt a lot about each other in a short time, and got some fresh air just outside the city. It was a great way to shift perspective, and I would recommend it to anyone.”
Therapeutic Horse Riding
‘Horses Connect has profoundly helped R with his self-esteem, his language, his impulsiveness and his ability to cope with a constantly changing environment. The gap between R’s chronological age and social and emotional age is lessening. In effect, he seems to be catching up with himself. He is becoming more in control, or at least better able to cope with life and big emotions. He has become more expressive, using his language to convey how he is feeling. He seems more in tune with his sense of self and where he physically is in his environment. His core strength is improving and with that his posture. Horses Connect works on so many levels for R; Physically, Psychologically and Educationally. The horse seems to sense his energy. Through their physical contact, they appear to communicate on a multitude of levels, to create a change for R. Mary, Eileen, their team of volunteers and the Saturday Club, have created this positive experience for R and this I am indebted to them.
‘Life with Muscular Dystrophy is tough, especially when your twin is running and jumping around and taking part in sports. This illness affects not just your muscles but makes you unable to keep up with your peers leaving you socially and physically isolated. For A, Horses Connect has instantly brought a sense of self, independence and confidence. It has taken the ‘dis’ out of disability and left him able, – able to be in control in a safe and nurturing environment. This little, shy five-year-old can confidently interact with these big animals. The horses understand him and he understands them. The inclusive environment in Mary and Eileen’s yard is magical and great fun.’
‘There were times last year when our visits to Horses Connect were the only source of joy in J’s life.’
‘In the past, we have tried and failed with many interventions due to lack of engagement, over or under-stimulus, lack of understanding, self-esteem, embarrassment, and feelings of not being able. After the first session, there was an obvious change, this hyperactive child fell asleep in the car on the way home!’
‘After each session, I can see different aspects of change in her, which seem to be growing with her’.
‘Thank you so much for the incredible work you are doing. You have worked with my niece this year and have changed her life immeasurably and that of her family.’
Equine-Assisted Personal Development
‘Thank you, Mary, Eileen, and the amazing horses at Horses Connect! You have helped me resolve a long-standing issue in such a short time! The levels of insight, understanding, and acceptance you all helped me reach mean that I can now move forward with confidence.’
‘We were starting to lose our daughter. She was becoming more and more distant and non-communicative. Working with her as a family through the horses gave us all an easy and non-confrontational way to talk about what was going on for all of us. And it was fun!’
“I never knew horses could be so intuitive. It was like they were reading my thoughts and telling me I’m not as bad as I sometimes believe. My life does have a purpose.’
‘I enjoyed it just being there and being around Paddy and Richie without judgment, very calming experience.’