Protect… Restore… Empower
Each year more and more studies around the world are showing the effectiveness of Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) programs. As a result, more and more services, families and schools are looking for equine assisted programs for the children in their care. Sadly, the cost of those programs is out of the reach of many of the children that would benefit the most. We thought we’d like to do something about that.
Throughout 2017 and 2018 we ran some trials to find out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to using horses to heal at-risk children.
What we found was that every type of program resulted in significant shifts in how the children felt about themselves and their place in the world.
We were pretty amazed at the results of the trials and knew we had to find a way to bring horses, children and young people together in a way that was most beneficial to the program participants and most financially sustainable for our charity. (If you’d like to learn more about our trials and the approach that we’ve decided to take, visit the About page.
The Plan for 2019
Big, hairy, audacious goals take time and money and, in this case, a 20+ acre property too. We plan on creating a human and horse sanctuary right here on the Sunshine Coast – a sanctuary for healing horses and people – with a particular emphasis on children and young people that have been impacted by childhood trauma or are living with mental health challenges. In time, we’d also like to add programs for veterans and first responders.
Programs will be offered at little or no cost to families and participants will be able to remain engaged with the program, the horses and the new friends they’ve met by becoming involved in our own horse and pony rescue program. They can stay involved for as long as they want and even be trained to become mentors for other program participants.
To make that plan a reality, there will be four main stages:
Stage 1: Find A Short-Medium Term Home – Complete!
Thanks to support from the Sunshine Coast Council and Eumundi & District Pony Club, we signed a sub-lease agreement over the Easter weekend to use the Pony Club grounds in Fellowship Drive, Doonan. It’s not an ideal site due to it’s limited size but it will allow us to get some limited programs up and running by the end of 2019!
Stage 2: Get Prepared
- Build the necessary infrastructure (fences, round-yards, arena, hay shed, feed shed, equipment storage shed, water troughs etc)
- Develop program plans
- Train all the volunteers
- Gather a herd of horses and ponies
If you’d like to make new friends, get a bit more active and out in the fresh air and do something wonderful for some of the most vulnerable children in our community – why not join our friendly volunteer team? Click here to find out more about current volunteer opportunities.
We’ve already started to build a therapy herd and take on some rescues – all of whom need to find sponsors to cover their costs – click here to learn more about sponsoring a horse.
Stage 3: Open Applications
Stage 4: Find Our Own Property
- we need to spread the word far and wide that we are looking for an exceptionally generous donor/benefactor to donate a property to become our forever home – either one that is suitable for our needs, or one that isn’t suitable but can be sold to raise funds to buy the perfect place
- we can then further develop the sanctuary, implement more programs, save more horses and support more children…