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Animal Friends Blog


HorseWorld Discovery Course ‘Bringing horses together with young people’

Project-1 Student Josh with horse

Each year hundreds of youngsters benefit from interacting with our rescued horses through our educational programme,the HorseWorld Discovery Course, with incredibly positive results. The young people who have attended this course have had life changing experiences through achieving qualifications as well as recorded improvements in their confidence, self-esteem and communication skills.

Our innovative educational programme, Discovery, brings our rescued animals together with young people who have physical or emotional needs, in tailored educational programmes.  Course leader Sharon Howell comments that, “The horse is an ideal tool for the promotion of emotional growth and learning in young people with special educational needs”.

How it works:

The perceived wisdom is that the horse reacts as a mirror to the person who is with him or her. The horse is a prey animal so wants to feel safe whilst always watchful for predators. A horse will become fearful if the person he is with is aggressive, noisy or disrespectful-or too controlling.

However, if a person makes requests rather than demands, the horse will begin to cooperate. He is always looking for a leader. Therefore a child, given a little insight into dealing with a horse in the right way can become a natural leader the horse is looking for. The horse in return feels safe and peaceful and will respond positively to what the child asks of him.

Children are more able to accept things at face value and are more open to developing an equal relationship rather than trying to control. They are able to give simple commands which horses seek if they are to know what to do.

Rachael Illingworth learning mentor from Lansdown Park PRU expressed that “Discovery gives them the opportunity to be successful at something when they haven’t been successful anywhere else”.

Josh’s Story:

Josh joined Discovery due to his aggressive behaviour at school towards both teachers and fellow pupils which had resulted in him being expelled in year eleven, a vital year.

“Josh has now become a great example of how successful our Discovery courses are. Josh is a great role model to our current Discovery students and is assisting with the Discovery courses as a volunteer. He has grown in confidence and matured a great deal”, commented Sharon Howell, Discovery Course leader.

The Discovery course has helped Josh a great deal academically; before Discovery he had poor reading abilities; however he is going to college in September to study maths, English and Animal Care. He aspires to become a Vet or an RSPCA inspector after witnessing the horrors of neglect and mistreated animals that arrive at HorseWorld Trust.

Read more at: http://www.horseworld.org.uk/discovery_courses

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Hello, fellow animal lovers! I’m Elena, and I take care of social media for Animal Friends Insurance. I’m here to share the latest on animal welfare, our charity work and pet care. I foster and adopt rabbits and have a rescue dog called Luna.