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Changing Lives through Horses is transforming the lives of young people:

  • “You’ve not made my life, you’ve saved my life.” Liam, 16 years old, participant

  • “The programme has played a huge part in her journey to developing her personally, socially and emotionally.” Jennifer, Youth Engagement Worker

  • “The BHS’s scheme has helped my son immensely. I have noticed his personality shine through, his confidence has grown and a great improvement in his writing too! He has told me he never wants a day off from this course!” Rachael, parent of participant

Horses are a powerful way of inspiring disengaged young people to reconnect with society

Young people develop a variety of key life skills ranging from everyday communication to team work and understanding responsibility

The programme supports skills that will serve individuals for the rest of their lives

Building transferable life skills

With the horse at the core of the learning environment, young people develop a variety of life skills ranging from everyday communication through to team work and understanding responsibility.

Horses are the best life coaches. They are wise and honest and strong.
Horses respond to clear and effective communication, and have the ability to teach us this without even knowing we are studying them. They bestow on us the gift of confidence and self-esteem, deepening our self-awareness and allowing us to find direction in life.
They allow us to discover natural talents and strengths we didn’t know we had.

"Without conversation, judgement or confrontation, the environment has been created to allow a life-changing experience."


Putting a headcollar on a horse

Putting a headcollar on a horse might seem a simple task, but in the programme this task teaches the young person far more, developing their ability to approach a situation with care, empathy and confidence.They will learn how to read body language and consider the horse’s comfort.

Our goal is to ensure these skills are transferable, because we use them every day when treating other people with kindness and respect.

Understanding horse expressions and behaviour

Approaching horses and recognising expressions and likely reactions, mimics our everyday skills in social situations. Horses have a natural ability to teach us without even knowing we are learning, helping pupils to develop an understanding of how to assess others around them and respond to them based on another’s personality and mood.

Reading subtle cues in how a horse moves and their facial expressions helps the young person develop an awareness to respond appropriately to others, read verbal and non-verbal communication and have confidence in new environments.

Making up a feed for a horse

A wealth of skills we use every day are supported in this activity: integrating literacy skills while reading a feed chart for a designated horse, numeracy skills in using weights and understanding fractions, and understanding the importance of health and nutrition.

Reading and following clear instructions using numbers and tables in a practical environment allows pupils to gain confidence with numeracy, transfer skills to using tables and develop responsibility in caring for themselves and others.

"Nelson Park Riding Centre are proud to have been picked from over 800 BHS approved centres to piloting this fantastic programme"

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