Forward Assist promote access to a host of holistic therapies that promote 'Post Traumatic Growth'. Equine Therapy & Horse Riding are popular activities and several veterans have taken part in a research project with Sunderland University to assess the benefits of Equine Therapy for both male and female veterans. 


There are a wide range of positive benefits of Equine Therapy.  Previous studies have shown that working with horses can lead to

  • decreased blood pressure
  • lower stress levels
  • reduced feelings of tension, anxiety and anger
  • increased self-esteem, empowerment, patience and trust

The programme aimed to measure improvements in emotional well-being and confidence, and includes 4 sessions where the participants learn the fundamentals of caring for and interacting with the horses. 

Activities include:

  • putting a head collar on the horse
  • grooming
  • picking up the horses’ feet
  • Leading the horses using reins

Emotional and well-being assessments at the start and end of the programme measured the progress each participant made.

To date, 2 cohorts of Veterans, both male and female completed the programme.  The results from each cohort have displayed very similar results with increased confidence and reduced tension.

One veteran said:

‘Had an amazing day at equine therapy, everyone was amazing, I feel on top of the world, my confidence is booming. I never thought I would say this but horses are amazing.’