We have long understood the healing potential of horses, particularly when it comes to our herd at Mane Chance. As you know, our horses have re-learnt trust and have the ability to engage with us in a lovely, calm way here – we see wonderful connections on site every day when we welcome our community visitors to spend time with them.
Our Chance2Be project is a mindfulness-based programme using the human-horse connection to reinforce the teaching. Aimed at young people who have been referred for their mental health condition as an early intervention, Chance2Be has been running since 2017. By helping children before their problems become too ingrained resulting in the young person going on a downwards trajectory into serious mental health problems, we hope to increase the opportunities available to them and enable them to reach their full potential.
Set in the tranquil surroundings of the Sanctuary, the aim of our Chance2Be programme is to bring together horses and young people, with mutual benefit. Young people may have low mood, anxiety, confidence and self-esteem issues or may simply want to learn relaxation techniques and they gain so much from time spent with our herd. This is not therapy in any form; instead an opportunity to teach those people who wish to learn, how to approach things in a different way - in a bid to improve social skills, self-esteem or just to increase their ability to deal with life’s ups and downs. And all of this is done alongside our horses with the horses benefitting as the young people also learn to be considerate, calm and compassionate.
The effect our course has had on some young people thus far has been described as remarkable and transformational. Some of the young people have reported an ability to control their feelings more (particularly anger) and that they feel more confident. They have been able to learn ways to overcome the day to day problems that they face which, prior to attending our course, would have been impossible. They have been shown to have stronger friendships, to be more adept at maintaining their attention and to learn new skills more easily. They also tend to deal better with the disappointments of daily life.
Our horses reach the children in a way that conventional teaching methods seem unable to - the group of disparate individuals that start each course, ends a cohesive team – and it’s a privilege to be part of this result.
It is one way that we are able to complete our circle of care – help us help them – and is what Mane Chance is all about.
If you are a healthcare or educational professional that has a group of children that you think would benefit from the course, please get in touch. If, as a parent or carer, you would like enquire about your child participating in the course, please contact us and we would be delighted to discuss any options open to them in a small group capacity and the costs involved.
We are immensely grateful to BBC Children in Need, The National Lottery Community Fund and Amber’s Fund for continuing to support this vital programme of sessions.
"You have helped me relax and stop bad thoughts overwhelming me. Thank you."
"An amazing place that has supported my son and shown him the healing power of animals and mindfulness. Thank you"
We can offer a range of opportunities for groups of young volunteers.
We have a detailed policy in place at the Sanctuary.
You can be a part of our horses' lives through our sponsorship programme.