Therapeutic Support

Mane Chance Sanctuary- Transforming lives together.

Walking the Shetlands

Meeting Mr Smith

Overcoming Fears

Students have been given the opportunity to visit Mane Chance Sanctuary in Compton, a charity which aims to rescue and rehabilitate abused, abandoned and old horses and integrate them with the local community.

Students have been taking part in their Chance2be sessions, a mindfulness-based programme which uses the human-horse connection to reinforce the teaching. Set in the tranquil surroundings of the Sanctuary, the aim of the 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 being around the horses. It teaches 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 the horses with the horses benefiting too, as the young people learn to be considerate, calm and compassionate, both to the horses and to themselves.

Students have learned important strategies which can be taken back to the classroom, such as breathing exercises, being aware of how their bodies are reacting to stresses and an exercise called STOP, which aims to allow the young person time to observe what they are feeling before reacting.

Each week students have been given a specific challenge to practice and we have been able to see how some of the challenges have really helped to keep frustrations lowered. Students have reflected on their time at Mane Chance and many have reported that it has taught them to be calmer saying that ‘if you stay calm then the ponies will stay calm as well’. Horses do seem to reach the children in a way that conventional teaching methods are sometimes unable to, and we have seen some remarkable progress from our students, who have thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and been a credit to the school.