Posted on 28 March 2019
Some of our Equine students have recently volunteered for the charity, HorseHeard, who have been delivering their ‘Find Your Place’ programme at the College.
These self-development workshops offer equine facilitated learning for Service Veterans who are struggling to adapt to civilian life. The sessions are designed to help participants find or re-establish their sense of self and place, improve relationships and integrate back into civilian life, whilst looking forward and creating a goal with respect to their career and family life.
Horses have a number of qualities which can encourage self-awareness, confidence and self-esteem. They have a strong awareness of energy, intentions and non-verbal communication, and are sensitive to their environment and those around them. This means horses will respond without judgement, providing an instantaneous truthful reflection of how a person is in a given moment.
The veterans are assigned tasks with the horses which allow them to connect with themselves through connecting with the horse. It requires them to take a softer approach and change physically and mentally, which also allows them to open up emotionally.
The student volunteers work as horse handlers during these sessions, using their knowledge and skills to ensure the horses are comfortable as their well-being is paramount. This allows the coaches to focus wholly on the participant and their personal development.
Rachel Saunders, who is studying Level 3 Equine Management, said: “We were given the option to volunteer at these sessions. It’s great to see the veterans building a connection with the horses, and working in liberty with no restraints.”
Ella Styles, also studying Level 3 Equine Management, commented: “I’ve found this experience really interesting. It has given us the opportunity to hear about other people’s situations, and witness how working with the horses has helped them focus on their future.”
To find out more about our Equine Management programmes, please visit our subject area page.