The name Horses For Hope expresses what we aim to do.

We use working for the recovery and healing of horses that have had trouble in their lives, to provide opportunities for people for whom life and life circumstance have imposed difficulties with significant and often life long effects, to find hope. Hope that they have it within themselves and with the support of others in the lives, to over come or impact on these effects and have a better life.

In the words of one of our participants:

"Horses for Hope is exactly what they aim to do - giving hope to those horses who most people have given up on.

And in the process they also seek to help people like me who are having some sort of trouble - teaming the horse and human together to find hope.

Hope that they have it within themselves and and with the support of others in their lives to overcome or impact on these effects and to thrive and live a better life.

As a participant I enjoyed the fact that I was actively helping and enjoying supporting a horse overcoming its fears and the suffering that those fears created and discovering the similarity with my own life.

Working with the Horses for Hope team in this process generated trust which enabled me to engage in a process which changed my own life."

Peanut with participant

People usually enjoy the experience of helping the horses overcome their fears, limitations and suffering that those fears create and find synergies in their own lives. Working with the Horses For Hope team in this process generates trust, that enables skilled conversations in very particular ways (counselling), about their own circumstances and the current effects of past difficulties, which enable them to better understand and discover their own capacities to deal with these effects and improve their lives. Along the way learning techniques and skills in emotional regulation, calmness and strength with out aggression. Tools they use in managing the effects of the past and current difficulties when they arise, as they usually do.  

Many people who come to Horses For Hope have not been able to find ways to be  as successful as they would like in dealing with the impacts of life difficulties that have been imposed on them and  the effects these have in their lives.  Many have tried many different ways and not been successful. Many have given up on the systems and people that are offering help. Many of the young people have become completely rejecting of help offered and counseling in particular, as they have lost trust in themselves and others. Much like the horses they help in the program.  

The life circumstances that have had such effect on many of the people who attend Horses For Hope often include:

  • Those who live with the effects of family circumstances that did not provide them as children the needed nurturing, support and protection from abuse and trauma and were removed into care .
  • Those who have suffered forms of abuse and trauma at any stage in their lives, including violence and sexual abuse
  • Those who live with the effects of PTSD from many different circumstances, including from the trauma of natural disasters such as bushfires.
  • Those who live with the effects of conditions such Autism.
  • Those who live with the effects of mental illness.

For 15 years Horses For Hope has been enabling people and horses to find hope and we intend to keep developing the program and make it available to more people.

From the first experimental steps to try the idea as a method to engage those for whom engagement in counseling was difficult, Horses For Hope has been developing and refining the model and enabling people to find hope. Hope that they can improve their management of the often debilitating effects of life experiences and difficulties and that their life can be improved in ways that they may have previously lost hope of ever achieving.