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
- 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.’