From Referrers and Funders

Case Manager for Motueka SASH (Sexual Abuse and Healing) Clinic:

“I write this letter in support of the Horses Helping Humans Program that is operating in Marahau. Recently one of my SASH clients took part and completed the program. The feedback and changes seen in this client were extremely positive. My client was able to understand herself in a much deeper way and although her old behaviors were challenged and she wanted to leave, she remained and came away feeling proud of herself and more confident with her communication skills. The skills she learnt have benefited all aspects of her life. The anxiety she has experienced since being assaulted is starting to ease and she can implement what she learnt on the program when she starts to feel the anxiety rise. The program is beneficial for anyone with mental health issues to gain personal insight as well as positive communication skills. Lenna has a way of making everyone feel at ease and her gentle nature and positive reinforcement gives the clients the trust and belief in themselves to achieve the outcomes set in the program. Case Manager for Motueka Sexual Abuse and Healing Clinic.

From a SASH referrer: “I have noticed a real shift in her ability to communicate and she presents physically having more confidence. My client has now started a part time job working back in hospitality which is amazing!!! Overall the program has made a big difference to her self esteem.” Case manager

HOD Learner Support Motueka High School:

“Recently, a student from our school participated in the equine-assisted life coaching
programme. She was the first student from our school to trial the programme.
The two days were very successful for the student, and for her nominated partner, her
The programme is an innovative equine-assisted life coaching programme that integrates
extensive knowledge-bases in interpersonal communication skills, body language, emotional
intelligence and personality types. It is designed to help people develop emotional control,
effective communication and body language skills. These basic skills are necessary to
enable people to turn their aggression or anxiety into calm assertiveness.
Both mother and daughter have reported back to me, to say how much they have both
gained from the experience. The strategies that they were both introduced to are proving
useful in their day to day lives.
The student has become more communicative and positive in the school setting, and she is
able to manage herself in a more positive manner.” HOD Learner Support Motueka High School

Women’s Support Motueka

“To date we have been lucky enough to be able to refer two clients to the programme, both of whom have benefited significantly from the experience. They have experienced increased self -esteem, self-worth and agency over their own lives and, a decrease in anxiety. Neither of these clients would have been able to access the programme without the support of generous funders. Our experience of Lenna is that she is incredibly professional and knowledgeable while also providing a calm, safe and validating presence. We particularly value her clear and prompt communication during all aspects of the course. From referal to post program follow up, there is a real sense of shared support for the clients. We whole- heartedly support this programme and will continue to refer clients when ever possible. As a specialist family- harm agency, it is extremely valuable to have a wide range of interventions available to help support our clients’ healing journey.” Motueka Womens Support

Funder Lindsay Foundation

“Well done on all the work that you’re doing at Equine Inspired Charitable Trust. Horses Helping Humans is such a wonderful concept and we are delighted to be able to assist you to bring this award winning programme to the Tasman region.” Lindsay Foundation

Whanau Ora Te Awhina Marae

“From the onset Lenna created a safe and relaxed environment for the Whanau I was there to support. She was able to genuinely engage with them and communicate in a gentle manner the content and requirement of the course. The experience of being in a rural environment and working with the horses provided the Whanau with an opportunity to reconnect to his childhood and love of horses. It was an opportunity for him to safely show his caring and nurturing nature. The simple presentation of the personality types provides a safe way for a person who has experienced violence all their life to understand the effects of this. In this case the Whanau was able to recognize who he had been conditioned to be as opposed to who he really was. As a practitioner in the Whanau Violence sector the language associated of the program provides non-threatening and effective metaphors for continuing conversations. I would fully recommend Horses Helping Human’s as strength’s based healing practice and will continue to utilize Lenna’s expertise.”

From Program Participants

“I noticed my voice was different when I was there.” Rangatahi. “Why do you think that was?” Support person. “I was happy. I don’t feel like that often. It was the best day I have ever had.”

“I often feel swamped by emotions that take over and leave me feeling powerless. With these new tools I can catch these feelings when they are coming on and I know how to calm myself before getting overwhelmed.” From a Trauma Client

“Through this program I was able to see the change in my brain living in the past/ reliving the trauma experience to living in the present moment. I am now able to have a much happier life with a range of tools to assist myself when needed.” From a PTSD Client

” Jed the horse has shown me that even a simple breath out doesn’t go un noticed. I no longer feel invisible and know how to stand to look and feel confident” From a Young women

“My favourite part was seeing how powerful my boundaries really are when I mean it. If I stand in a way that looks confident, I feel confident too and can ask a huge horse not to come into my personal space and it works.” From a Young Person

“The breathing I learnt is really helpful through out the day when I get flustered, anxious or angry. I do the breathing exercise and it calms me down again and I can then act and talk the way I really want to rather than it coming from raw emotions.” From a Young Person

“After struggling at school and being left out I was diagnosed with anxiety and severe depression. I lost confidence to participate at school and try anything new. I felt hopeless, invisible and worthless. I had reached out for help and Doctors had sent me to councilors but none of this really helped. I then did the Horses Helping Humans course where the horse helped me learn how to calm myself down, how to stand to look and feel confident. I feel more confident and worthy and now have tools to help me communicate in a way that I am heard. I am back at school and much happier within myself.” Young Women

“Horses Helping Humans was a very eye opening experience for me, and I greatly enjoyed every session I had. At first I was quite nervous because I had never really been around horses before, but Lenna helped ease me into the sessions so I was feeling comfortable in no time. A lot of the things I practiced in HHH (like breathing and body language) are things I have been taught or have at least heard about before, and have tried numerous times, but they would never stick. In this course I learned how to really utilize them and was able to see the benefits of them because I was able to see how these changes affected the horse that I had been working with. This really helped me see that the tools I was being taught actually did help, and it made me excited to use them outside of the sessions as well. The course has helped me gain useful tools that I had previously overlooked that now help me a lot every day, and has made me a huge fan of horses! I really loved the programme and Lenna was wonderful to work with, I would definitely do it again.” Young Women

We had a young women complete our program who been referred due to self harm and lost hope. She had lost her self respect, confidence and overall zest for life. She had an extremely powerful Horses Helping Humans Experience and here is what she said she learnt. ” Persist no matter what. When I felt like the horse wasn’t doing what I wanted him too, instead of giving up and shutting down I kept my confident stance and remained calm to get my intention across. I know this will help with other interactions too.” A few weeks on she is now working part time and also volunteering at a local RDA with her new found love of horses. The transformation from loosing hope to having enough to even enrich others lives is phenomenal, especially in such a small space of time.

As part of our program debrief we ask participants how they will use the tools they learnt going forwards, here is what a young women who was with us the past few weeks said: “To do the breathing exercise when ever I feel any negative emotions and paying attention to my body language not only to communicate with others but also to let my body know that everything is ok.”

“Since the trauma of my service I was constantly looking for ways to escape my mind. The experiences haunted me and I was living in constant state of anxiety and fear. I was missing my kids growing up and my marriage was suffering as I wasn’t able to be present, instead trying to find ways to pass time to just exist. I had tried many different therapies and counselling but every time I had to recall the trauma the anxiety worsened. I then did the Horses Helping Humans program and this was the first time in many years I realized I was living in the very moment. My mind was able to be calm and focus on the horse and my task at hand and not once during the session did the trauma enter my mind.  I learnt why I respond to stress in a certain way, and powerful tools to regain emotional control. The horse helped me see how powerful these tools are as I learnt to communicate with him just using my breath and energy projection. I can now easily apply effective tools during my daily life to help me feel calm and deal with my anxiety as soon as I feel it coming on. My family relationships have improved 10 fold and I am now a present and  active part of my children’s lives” Veteran

“My two girls were recently sponsored to join the Horses Helping Humans program in Marahau, Tasman. We arrived in the peaceful setting of Marahau for our first session and met Lenna and Marie and our two horses. The surrounding area of paddocks was alive with Piwakawaka (Fantails), Pukekos and Weka as well as the rest of their horses and there was an air of calm and tranquility. After getting to know each other, going through some breathing and relaxing techniques my girls moved into the arena and then moved onto various activities with their horse and teacher. In the “class room” we learnt of the different types of personalities and how each deals with stress and then how to develop better coping strategies. We were then able to practice these strategies in the arena with the horses. We visited Horses Helping Humans for 3 sessions and each visit built on the previous week. I noticed a calm with both my girls as they went through the various activities each week. We also worked on these calming techniques “as homework” during the week between sessions and still think of, and use some of these now, a few weeks later. This experience has been valuable for all of us as we learn to cope with the passing of my Husband, their Dad and start rebuilding our family values and traditions. We are learning how to help ourselves and each other move through trying times and having empathy for others during difficulty.” CanTeen Family

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