Let The Ponies Work Their Magic is a new project at Penniwells RDA Centre and this Mental Health Awareness Week we wanted to tell you all about it!
The aim of the project is to provide a 6 week non-ridden sensory-rich program for young people with mild to moderate mental health challenges of any ability. The sessions give a calm environment with space and time to learn and gain confidence whist being inspired by the magic of the ponies. Thanks to the Together Fund, a fund provided by Sport England through RDA, Penniwells were able to subsidise this project to give opportunity to as many young people as possible.
The progression they have seen in these sessions has been so powerful, with participants showing improved communication and social skills, learning how to look after ponies, the interaction and learning about their own and the pony’s emotions, along with being in a safe, positive, caring place of safety.
Parents have given their feedback on how the project has helped their children with their mental health:
“Our daughter has found the Pony Magic sessions so calming and helpful, we will be forever grateful to the Penniwells Team. She comes every week after really tough Psychotherapy sessions and it does wonders for her recovery. Her confidence and state of mind has improved so much over the past few months and when asked she says ‘I love Pony Magic and it’s really important for me to go’.”
“I can honestly say L really has had a truly magical experience attending these sessions.
The support my daughter has received has been phenomenal. The staff are so friendly & the riding school really is like one big family. The horses are all very well cared for.
I would highly recommend these therapy sessions, especially for those suffering with their mental health. My daughter always comes out of these sessions with the biggest smile on her face and has learnt so much about the horses , from identifying their different colours to knowing about the grooming kit brushes etc & knowing the names of all of the equipment.
I really cannot praise these sessions & the staff enough!”
“M is enjoying it so much. She now actually looks forward to it from the weekend onwards. This is a huge deal and step forward. Looking forward to things just doesn’t happen for M due to anxiety making everything into something to worry about.
So, a big positive step.”
It is a special and needed project. There are many young people struggling with their mental health, some unable to return to school, college, or workplace, and in need of some help. The support given by this program and Penniwells means a lot to those taking part and their families. It is a rewarding venture, teaching those taking part a lot about themselves and the ponies, as well as learning to enjoy being in their own space.