Tilly’s Story

Tilly’s Story: Finding Happiness

Equine assisted learning focuses on self-discovery. Participants, like Tilly, learn through a series of ground-based activities carried out with our rescued horses and ponies. A key aspect of equine assisted learning is building resilience and developing reflective learning skills that help participants to plan for the future. Tilly’s mum spoke to our Education team about the impact that the equine assisted learning sessions are having on Tilly’s wellbeing.

“With the support of The Mare and Foal Sanctuary Tilly’s confidence and mental health has improved tremendously. She always comes home feeling positive and good about herself, which is beautiful to see.

“Although Tilly is still unable to go to school The Mare and Foal Sanctuary provides focus and adds a fun experience to her week. The support is even helping Tilly to transition into a new school.”

Tilly’s mum finished up by passing on her gratitude to the staff and equines at The Mare the Foal Sanctuary: “Thank you for helping our daughter to feel happiness again.”

Head of Education and Equine Assisted Services, Dawn Neil, said: “Hearing about Tilly’s experience on our Equine Assisted Services course is a wonderful reminder of the power that these person- and equine-centred interactions can have. Horses can offer us a unique insight into how we’re feeling and can help us to navigate our emotions. We hope these experiences will continue to bring joy and understanding to Tilly.”

Tilly (left) and Daisy (right) in an equine assisted learning session with rescue pony, Tammy.

When Tilly began equine assisted learning at The Mare and Foal Sanctuary her sessions were individual. However, as Tilly made progress the Education team saw an opportunity for Tilly to get more from her sessions by pairing her with another participant, Daisy. Tilly and Daisy have connected over their shared experience with the rescued equines and continue to work together.