The incredible horses that are helping to heal humans

Rebecca Taylor with some of her therapy horses in the                    paddock of Haven Equine Assisted Therapy
Rebecca Taylor with some of her therapy horses in the paddock of Haven Equine Assisted Therapy

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For many years I have had a vision of creating a natural healing environment where people can come for support with their emotional issues or special educational needs, through therapeutic interactions with horses.

In the summer of 2016 this dream became a reality when a farmer leased me a few acres of land set in the Southdowns National Park on the Hampshire/West Sussex border, near Emsworth.

Honey is a 26-year-old mare who Rebecca describes as wise and gentle. She helps people with emotional issues

Honey is a 26-year-old mare who Rebecca describes as wise and gentle. She helps people with emotional issues

We called this site The Haven as it is such a beautiful and peaceful location.

It’s so perfect for people to get away from their often intense and hectic everyday lives and take time for themselves.

One year on, already many adults and children with a broad range of personal issues have benefited from our work and given extremely positive and encouraging feedback.

Equine facilitated learning and psychotherapy (EFL/P) as it is known, originated in the United States of America where it is now a widely appreciated and effective form of therapy and learning.

Here in the UK the healing and educational benefits horses can bring to so many, when supported by an equine assisted psychotherapist, is becoming increasingly recognised.

EFL is able to help people with learning challenges to build up their self-esteem, so that they value themselves for the unique individual that they are.

Children and adolescents, who struggle with education in a traditional setting, seem to engage so well and thrive within the natural environment at The Haven.

Both adults and children, through participating in enjoyable exercises interacting with the horses, can improve their communication and relational skills with people, and gain a greater understanding in how to effectively manage their emotions.

Horses are incredibly calming for individuals who are suffering from anxiety.

They have a remarkable way of connecting on a deep level with people who are going through depression or bereavement.

Due to the gentleness and acceptance from the horses, people feel safe enough to reflect upon and start to process ordeals from their past.

EFP is now widely used to help war veterans to deal with the impact of trauma and to support people in their recovery from alcohol and drug addictions.

At the Haven we feel greatly privileged to be able to help people in these unique and powerful ways, that bring together and complement so well our professional and life experiences.

Every session is moulded to each individual’s specific needs, no previous experience of being around horses is necessary and there is no riding involved as this allows the horse to interact naturally and uninhibited.

If equine facilitated learning or psychotherapy could help you or somebody you know, then please do arrange a visit to The Haven or book in a taster session with no obligation to continue.

This can be done through the contact page on our website haven-equine- assisted-therapy-uk.com or via email equineassistedtherapy@outlook.com.