Horses For Hope is helping humans and horses heal together after facing some of life’s biggest hurdles.
The equine assisted therapy program assists people of all ages who have not successfully engaged or been supported by traditional therapies.
Humans and horses are guided to work together to overcome stress, trauma or challenges in their lives; while each building trust, confidence and resilience.
Many of the horses in the program have experienced trauma and need healing by establishing trusting relationships with humans.
For former Horses For Hope participant turned volunteer Phillipa, the program has changed her life.
“I hardly left the house before I started the Horses For Hope program,” Phillipa said.
“I was going through counselling at the time and was referred to the program to help me open up and talk through my problems.
“It was a bit scary to start with, meeting new people and stepping out of my comfort zone. But as soon as I walked into the yard with the horse, I started to settle in,” she added.
The 27-year-old has battled mental health issues that made it difficult to life a fulfilling life.
“I have confidence to get out of the house and do things now. I didn’t have that confidence before taking part in Horses For Hope,” she said.
“I started off by talking to people about the horses and then found myself opening up about my own problems. It’s definitely helped me to open up and form friendships,” she added.
Earlier this year Phillipa was asked to volunteer with the Horses For Hope program.
She has since undertaken a range of volunteer roles across the program, from bookwork to feeding the horses to continue building her skills and confidence.
While she enjoys communicating with participants and fellow volunteers, Phillipa is quick to point out that the best part of the program is working with the horses.
“The horses have issues just like the people who take part in the program. You know they have been through tough times as well, so you start to form a bond with them,” she said.
“I love giving them cuddles.
“It’s a great program to be part of and it really helps.”
The program also provides leadership, management and team building programs for corporate and community sector organisations.
Horses For Hope is hosting a Spring Open Day at 1.30pm on Sunday 14 October at 840 Ardmona Road, Mooroopna North.
All are welcome to attend.