Maisie’s Story

Maisie’s story: building confidence

The Mare and Foal Sanctuary Equine Assisted Services encompass different activities based on the needs of each individual participant. One of our programmes is equine assisted activities. Equine assisted activities focuses on the development of transferable skills that come from caring for rescued equines, alongside the benefits to wellbeing and health that contact with horses can bring.

For Maisie, equine assisted activity sessions are about rebuilding confidence. Maisie has only recently begun her sessions at The Mare and Foal Sanctuary’s Coombe Park Education and Equestrian Centre, but mum, Lucy, is already noticing a difference.

Lucy said: “Maisie is loving her experience at The Mare and Foal Sanctuary, she looks forward to her sessions. She has a sparkle in her eye again and talks non-stop afterwards!”

It’s not just Maisie’s mum who’s seen a change. Lucy continued: “It has been noticed that following the sessions, when Maisie goes back to school, she’s calmer and more relaxed. She has struggled in school for so long, it’s great to see her eager and excited to come to The Mare and Foal Sanctuary.”

Horses and ponies, as prey animals, are always in the present moment. They provide us with constant feedback on how we are. This allows us to reflect on our emotions and state of wellbeing, something that can be difficult to do in everyday life.

The initial focus is on caring for horses and ponies and moves on to groundwork with our equines, such as leading, basic agility, long reining and in-hand walks. Our equine assisted activities programme can unlock a new world of experiences for participants that they wouldn’t otherwise get to access. Learning to care for horses and ponies offers a sense of personal achievement and skill development to participants that they can then transfer to other areas of their life.

Lucy said: “It’s giving Maisie her confidence back. It’s amazing to see her enjoying something that she’s so passionate about – thank you The Mare and Foal Sanctuary!”