Stable Life is a registered charity that supports referred disadvantaged young people at risk of becoming disengaged from education, home life, peer groups and their communities in the Scottish Borders. Our overall aim is in “making a difference” thus leading to social inclusion and integration of these young people within their own community. Many of the young people referred to Stable Life are from poor social backgrounds and abusive relationships or living within second relationships with step-siblings and parents. They suffer from abuse and neglect and many are living in poverty.

 

Utilising Equine Assisted Learning (EAL), working together using the horse and its environment, we help these young people to discover a sense of self, build resilience, learn transferable life skills and look to a healthier and happier future with empowered choice, aspiration and dreams. This safe space and respite allows young people to look at their current situation and learn and develop positive coping strategies and often find the courage to change. We support young people with social, emotional and behavioural issues to succeed, re-engage with mainstream education, learn transferable life skills, reduce the need for intervention through the Children’s Hearing System and bring multiple benefits to children, young people, their families and communities.

 

Through the physical aspects of doing the young people become more motivated, fitter and happier within themselves. For example: regular periods of trotting in a riding session enhances the energy expended and associated health benefits. Horse riding stimulates mainly positive psychological feelings and the young people are strongly motivated to take part in riding by the sense of well-being they gain from interacting with the horses. This important psychological interaction with an animal occurs in very few sports and is so important in aiding the recovery of some of our most damaged young people.

 

We have been delivering Equine Assisted Learning since 2008 and have seen amazing outcomes with the young people. In 2013 we took on the long-term lease of Dryden equine yard which has enabled us to deliver and develop our services better to reach a wider range of young people and have developed a very successful Social Enterprise delivering various equine activities including: lessons, hacks, livery, Hoofbeats Pony Club and various clinics which helps support the work we do.

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