Local people in Wakefield are taking to the saddle in an equine therapy project as part of the Trust’s Creative Minds initiative.
Creative Minds gives people who use Trust services an opportunity to take part in innovative activities to help improve their health and wellbeing. The equine therapy project, led by Wakefield Riding for the Disabled Association, began in May and will take place over two phases.
Running for 16 weeks, the project will work with people with memory problems and people with mental health problems. Service users will get involved in a number of activities including grooming, riding and yard duties.
Rosanna Ward, health care assistant, thinks the project is a great way of engaging and improving mental health and wellbeing. Rosanna said, “Working with horses has a number of positive benefits including increased confidence, improved social skills and greater sensory awareness. Working with animals also gives a sense of companionship and has a calming effect.
“The project is a slow and steady process to make sure that people have enough time to get used to the horses. We’re gradually going to build on the activities we do and over time, hopefully some of the service users will feel confident enough to get on the horses and go for a ride.”