The need and our response
HorseWorld Trust has been involved in the rescue and care of horses for more than 70 years. Despite the collective efforts of many equine charities, sadly, there are still horses who have been abused and neglected, horses who are sick and in distress.
HorseWorld were involved in preparing the “Horse Problem” report published in 2020 which highlights the progress that has been made by charities and government following improvements to legislation relating to equines, particularly in dealing with fly-grazing and abandoned horses. However, it explains the horse crisis first identified in 2012 is far from over and explains the challenges for charities over the next 12 months. In conclusion the report states that everyone is responsible for fixing the broken system behind poor equine welfare in Britain. It encourages all parties to work together on the recommended solutions to prevent a potential equine welfare catastrophe. At HorseWorld we support these recommendations, we collaborate with others and actively look at new ways to increase our positive impact.
Studies have shown that children who have special educational or mental health needs, including anxiety, anger, depression, low self-esteem and withdrawal, especially benefit from relationship building with horses. Anxiety and depression amongst young people can destabilise social and school functioning and generate family stress. The HorseWorld Discovery programme provides an alternative learning provision, where young people and rescued horses work quietly and calmly in partnership, providing tangible benefits where other interventions have failed.
There should be no doubt that the Covid pandemic had a devastating impact on the lives of many families. There is strong evidence to show that the closure of schools and the interruption in the education for children, has increased the numbers of young people who are struggling in a structured education environment or have been excluded completely from mainstream schools. At HorseWorld we have seen a significant increase in the referral of young people to our part-time alternative learning provision, leading to an increase in our waiting list despite being open during most of the pandemic. We hear so many stories of young people resorting to disruptive behaviour as a way of coping with the frustrations of 2020/21 – levels of positive mental health are at an all-time low.
The therapeutic role of horses to improve the well-being of people has never been more needed than it is now. Based on the provision of our Discovery programme since 2007, thousands of young people have benefited by spending time with our rescued horses supported by our skilled facilitators. Due to an increase in demand, we are actively expanding our capacity to reach more young people in need and increase our positive impact.
Our Vision and Mission
Vision: A world where horses and people help each other to live and work in harmony
Mission: To create a safe community where horses and people connect together and enjoy lifelong learning