Equine Enrichment key to promoting positive mental health in Derry 

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Equine Enrichment key to promoting positive mental health in Derry 

6 Dec 2019

Horses are strong and powerful animals with the potential to support people when overcoming fears and developing confidence and the therapeutic relationship between a horse and a human has been identified and statistically proven worldwide to have significant success and benefits for people with mental health issues where other approaches have failed to deliver.

Louise Moorehead recognised this in 2017 and her desire to support local people with a new model of practice that would increase confidence, self-awareness, relaxation, empowerment, improve mental wellbeing and building healthy relationships inspired her to set up Equine Enrichment. 

“A bond between human and horse is based upon mutual respect, trust, empathy and unconditional positive regard. When all these elements are present, horses are renowned to help put people at ease because of their unbiased and non-judgemental presence. Studies also suggest equine assisted programmes can decrease anger, depression, dissociation, and aggression” said Louise

Funding from The Community Foundation Change Something Fund has enabled Louise and her team to provide workshops for 35 people and one workshop participant said “this programme helped to build my confidence while helping me to de-stress. I want to share my experiences with other young people and encourage them to step outside their comfort zone, take positive risks, try something new and overcome fears in a therapeutic setting where there is no judgement about mental health issues.”

Louise added “It is our dream to continue to develop and expand on this innovative and effective model of practice so that others can benefit from it. We are aware that those most in need of services usually don’t have the financial support to pay for them and with this support the Change Something Fund is helping us to do this” 


The Change Something Fund was established with support from Big Lottery Community Fund and Derry City and Strabane District Council (DCSDC), this fund provides an opportunity for young people aged 13 – 25 living in the Derry ~ Londonderry area to take the lead in addressing social need identified by themselves in their communities.


Find out more about this project here. 


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