Discovery Testimonials

In addition to the qualitative analysis, we are also grateful of specific feedback. Some of the comments we received during 2022 are shown below:


“My son loves coming each week to Discovery, he feels a sense of community through the caring staff and his connection to the horses and ponies which has helped ease his anxiety, built his trust levels and improved his self-esteem and communication skills. Discovery has given him a great feeling of self-worth and belonging, enabling him to consider the next steps into college.”

Feedback from a Deputy Head of a Secondary School:

“V has been a completely different girl in school since she started her sessions at Discovery and it is ‘the most positive thing she has seen’. V has had a very difficult 2 years and the difference the sessions have made are amazing. She hopes they can continue as long as possible, especially after the sudden death of her grandma who V was really close to.”

Feedback from Pastoral Year Team Manager Specialist Centre:

“When we returned from lockdown G was very withdrawn and highly anxious. She was not her usual self. She paced up and down the class and out into the playground lost in deep thoughts a lot more than she used to do. She often says she does not want to be here and no one is listening to her.

G is a bright, caring and thoughtful student who can find it very difficult to focus in a conventional classroom situation. Her difficulty focussing seems to be due to distracting thoughts and internal dialogue. She finds that physical movement helps to calm her when her thoughts are particularly distracting i.e. by pacing in the classroom or in the outside area.

Since resuming regular Discovery sessions G visibly benefits from the physical activity she gets at Horseworld and also the opportunity to develop empathy by looking after the animals. It is evident from her behaviour and the things she says that G greatly looks forward to the Horseworld sessions and I see an improvement in her concentration and mood the next day. She seems more able to reflect on events and interacts more positively with the rest of the class on the days following her sessions, she is less scatty. She still paces but it isn’t through anger or anxiety, she is more open to discussion and opinions and is much more patient.”

        Comments from various referrers made in their survey feedback:

“HorseWorld is a fantastic intervention for students. The difference it has made to our students is wonderful. They are all treated as individuals and staff have a great understanding of their individual needs. Wonderful course led by outstanding practitioner.”

“The staff were all amazing and the children really enjoyed their time at HorseWorld. Their confidence grew so much and we look forward to coming back in the future.”

“The pupils that we have sent on the Discovery Course have benefited greatly from their time with HorseWorld. They have had improved attendance and in class participation. We have also noticed improvements in social skills and confidence.”

“This experience has had a very positive effect on our student. They have settled more in school and feel they have something in common with one of the horses and that has made them feel like they are not alone. In school the student has talked about the sessions and is very happy they are continuing. Overall, it has been brilliant.”

“Our student really enjoys coming to HorseWorld and feels this is good for her emotionally.”

“HorseWorld have supported our students during the sessions and if required afterwards - with looking after students when taxis have not arrived. This additional support has been much appreciated.”

“The course has given them confidence and a focus, and they’ve enjoyed being with the animals.”

“Great interaction with students.”

“Staff are kind, knowledgeable, patient and compassionate. They take time to get to know the children, their strengths and needs. The activities are fun, motivating and purposeful.”

“Welcoming, great communication. Very organised.”

“Inclusive and time for all.”

“Engage young people who lack confidence and can be highly anxious in activities that give them confidence in trying new things.”

In a survey of referrers, we asked “what impact would you say Discovery has had on the learner’s life beyond the course, e.g. back in the classroom, at home, in other settings?”. In response we received the following feedback:

“Learner enjoys Discovery and takes pride in the work/learning undertaken. When learner is at school, engagement is positive and though mood can still be an issue, the learner is developing self-management techniques to deal with issues effectively.”

“He has been able to communicate better at home, and venture outside alone.”

“Student was proud of her engagement and involvement with the horses. Student was able to use the experience as a topic of conversation with peers. Student confided her worries about home life to the worker. Student discovered that she may like to work with animals in the future. Student reported that the sessions made her feel calmer and more relaxed.”