Good News Story: Equine Therapy
The Tower House Horses (THH) provides equine assisted learning and personal development programmes to defined communities such as families in crisis, children with special needs, adults in recovery from substance misuse and ex-offenders. 3SC contract manage the service on behalf of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company (HIOW CRC). The horses can improve people’s self-awareness, confidence and self-esteem. The therapy does not involve any riding or stable management and the interaction with the horses consists fully of ground-based exercises. THH had to stop their services due to Covid-19 restrictions but still received several referrals from the HIOW CRC during the lockdown and wanted to work with the service users whilst they remained motivated and as soon as it was safe to do so.
In May 2020, the Government updated its guidance around social distancing and personal contact in an outdoor setting. THH’s service is delivered on a large privately owned estate which meant the service was in the perfect position to adhere to the new Government guidelines. The owner of Tower House Horses, Susie Little, developed a COVID-19 risk assessment which took into account cleaning stations, personal stationary containers and first aid procedures. 3SC collaborated with THH and HIOW CRC to establish and implement a recovery roadmap. The HIOW CRC completed its own risk assessment of the site and complimented the measures Susie Little had put in place to ensure the equine therapy service could be delivered with minimum risks. They agreed the service could be reinstated which is recognition of the way in which it supports vulnerable service users and gives them a great opportunity to get involved in a life changing intervention in a safe, open space.
For Andrew, early indications for the outcome of the Herd Wisdom programme are extremely encouraging.
“Even though I have only done one session I got so much more than I expected. The horses have a way of helping you to understand about your own needs.”
Susie Little the owner of Tower House Horses said:
“After three months of lockdown, Tower House Horses has re-opened for business. We are able to welcome service users back for one-2-one sessions only at present. As we can operate entirely outdoors, and can accommodate social distancing, we have the advantage of having been able to start work sooner than many services. The CRC has been most helpful in giving us a thorough health and safety check on our Covid-19 procedures, which we passed with flying colours, thus speeding up the process of getting us back to work, for which we are very grateful. It’s wonderful to be able to offer the benefits of equine assisted learning to our clients again.”
Gareth Snaith, Contract Performance Manager, 3SC