‘She spoke for the first time in 3 years outside of the family home!’

CANter is a programme which focusses on key issues and challenges faced by vulnerable children and adults. These can include anything from stress management, relationship issues and respect to name a few. Given that horses are naturally gentle and calm creatures, and are able to mirror and respond to human behaviour, they can be highly effective at interacting and working with others in a patient and non-judgemental manner. Those who struggle to articulate how they’re feeling often find equine therapy useful as they’re able to express their emotions and feelings with their horse. In addition, individuals who find it hard to trust others or be intimate with people, can often achieve a strong bond and a level of closeness with a horse, and experience affection, acceptance and mutual respect.

CANter aims to work with their young people to help them overcome vulnerabilities that are holding them back in life. Their most recent project, funded by the Luton Rising Near Neighbours Fund, ran over 6 weeks and 18 young people benefitted from hour long sessions. Set in the countryside the venue provides a peaceful setting for young people, many of whom have never visited such a place before, despite living just a few miles away. Sarah Greene, Grants Manager, explains ‘the children are given tasks to undertake and it was heartening to see vulnerable children interact with the large horses, leading them through the paddock for water and carrying out other tasks as required. Their enjoyment of the session was clear to see with beaming smiles all round and many thriving on being given the responsibility of their care.  Each session concludes with a wrap up talk and each participant received a certificate. They were also presented with a hand painted horseshoe as a memento of their experience. Suzanne, who runs the centre explained that one child spoke in public for the first time in 3 years during her experience at the centre. Absolutely incredible!’

For more information about CANter please click here: Equine Assisted Learning & Therapy – CANter Equine Therapy