LEAP has a herd of 12 horses in the Forest of Dean, and smaller herd at our smaller venue in Horsley, Gloucestershire. With such a large family of horses it would be impossible to include them all in this section, so we will showcase a few of our equine therapists each month.
Much like us, each of our horses has his or her own story, talents and struggles...
Connie is our lead mare and has the ability to help teams and individuals realise their potential with fast-thinking action and a demand for clear communication. Connie is kind and compassionate, reponds with precision and enthusiasm, and is amazing when ridden bareback during a Journey Ride. And she has such beautiful eyelashes!
"H" is the newest addition to the LEAP family. "H" is owned by Harriet Day, and through her love, dedication, and experitise in the field of horsemanship, "H" has grown into a phenomenal horse in every respect. Standing at over 17hh, he is a gentle giant in every respect. He is patient and gentle with even the smallest child, but can also rise to the occassion and connect beautifully for active round pen and horse dancing. "H" has suffered some injuries in his life which have restricted his ridden career, but one might say they have opened him up for a whole new career helping people. And he can still take a rider for his favourite canter across the fields.
Milo is a beautiful, gentle, six-year-old thoroughbred. He has been with us for only a few months, but already has won the hearts of many with his gentle disposition and laid back attitude. He has clearly had some rough handling at some point in his short life, and is now learning to trust people again.
Amelia, a small dapple grey mare who was struck by lightning, offers a chance for mutual healing to those who have suffered trauma. She knows what it is like to experience pain, both physical and emotional, and offers her insight and empathy through her connected, gentle presence. And she loves a bit of massage and hands-on healing!
Seamus is beautiful boy, with a huge presence. He thinks he is in charge?!? (but he isn't) and likes to be the centre of attention. He is responsive and eager to please, but also insists that his space be respected when he needs some time off. He shows us what clear boundaries and healthy self asteem look like!
The importance of a mixed herd is paramount to the success of LEAP, as is the environment they live in.
LEAP is not a riding school, or a livery yard, these environments aren't conducive to our work. We are a dedicated therapeutic centre, which means we can care for our horses in a way that keeps them happy and healthy for their work with people, and give them lots of peace and quiet too.