A new wellbeing centre to support people struggling with their mental health has been opened in Mickleover, Derby.

Hope Equine Healing was opened in August 2021 by founder Marie Abbott with the purpose of helping those struggling with invisible illnesses or their mental health through equine-assisted therapy.

Marie was inspired to set up the centre after years of struggling with her own and her family’s health.

“I’ve had a lot of problems with my health, as have my children,” said Marie.

Marie with one of the therapy horses

“My daughter was bullied at school and she lost all of her confidence. Her mental health really suffered, and she still suffers now with anxiety.

“My son became ill and had to have stoma surgery, which is a major operation. It took us four attempts to have the operation done, because we knew how life-changing it would be for him.”

Having been around horses since she was a young girl, Marie was aware of the benefits that spending time with them could bring, so encouraged her son to give it a try.

“The horses really helped to calm him and let him forget about it all for a while,” she said.

Making lives better

Before opening the centre, Marie completed an equine-assisted therapy course and learning course, as well as achieving other mental health qualifications.

Hope Equine Healing centre offers pony days for children, as well as one-to-one sessions, peer support and group courses. All of the activities will be groundwork based.

“Horses helped me to get my life back and I’m keen to help others that have gone through similar things,” said Marie. “I’m wanting to make peoples’ lives better.”

Follow Hope Equine Healing on Facebook here.

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