Equine Therapy and Education
RoR recognises that those former racehorses that have reached the end of their ridden life or are unsuitable for riding can face an uncertain future. Without a use there is greater potential for neglect.
Several charities have successfully used former racehorses as a form of therapy for humans and to provide education for young people with a wide range of additional educational needs. This provides a useful role for this category of horse and is an excellent model for those horses possessing a suitable temperament, providing an alternative to a life in a sanctuary.
Thoroughbreds are eminently suitable for therapeutic and educational work with humans due to their sensitive and intelligent nature and not only does this role provide them with a useful existence; it also highlights their versatility.
Various groups, from the military, to prisoners and Riding for the Disabled, have reported upon the way in which a relationship with horses can help people to overcome a huge range of problems.
Horseback UK, backed by Help for Heroes, use horses for recovery therapy for physically and mentally wounded military personnel, on the ground and ridden. Helping wounded servicemen restore a sense of mission, and providing mobility with dignity.
RoR supports Greatwood with their use of vulnerable former racehorses to provide education for young people with a wide range of additional educational needs. Greatwood uses former racehorses as vehicles for teaching, with direct parallels being drawn between the experiences of the horses and the students attending the courses.
This is particularly pertinent to young people in, or leaving, the care system and to learners whose specific learning, social or communication difficulties make engagement in education challenging. Engaging with vulnerable former racehorses at Greatwood has been highly successful in supporting children whose self-esteem has been impacted by negative life experiences; allowing them to rebuild self-confidence, trust and respect and to develop their ability to form nurturing relationships.
The charity offers a variety of courses, and many unique resources, to both mainstream and specialist schools, as well as to parents and carers and local authorities, to meet and support the needs of vulnerable young people aged 5-24 in the community.
Equine facilitated learning is used effectively to deliver both 1st4sport and National Open College Network (NOCN) qualifications. 1st4sport is an awarding body recognised and regulated in England by the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual). Employability and personal development skills are attained through NOCN which is recognised by the Qualifications Regulators in England using The Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). For more information visit www.greatwoodcharity.org
RoR aims to work with other charitable bodies to encourage the use of former racehorses in therapy and educational programmes for both the equine and human good.