Irish Horse Welfare Trust
Our school is very fortunate to have a strong link with the Irish Horse Welfare Trust (IHWT) and specifically with trainer Lesley Jones. The IHWT is a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting equine welfare. Based in Co. Wicklow this leading equine charity operates throughout Ireland.
Part of the charity is dedicated to empowering the lives of children and young adults at risk with an interest in equines, through the Outreach Programme ‘Education through Equines’. This programme has proven to be one of the most beneficial forms of education at Corpus Christi Primary School. Horses are powerful tools for physical therapy, emotional growth and cognitive improvement in programmes that are designed to be physically challenging and emotionally demanding.
Trainer Lesley Jones travels throughout the country delivering the IHWT programmes whilst promoting equine welfare. There is structured education in care and management as well as the welfare of horses and ponies to IHWT/FETAC accreditation. Last summer, Lesley received a scholarship to a residential therapeutic center in England, which would be regarded as one of the best in Europe.
Lesley has very successfully implemented Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) programmes in our school.
Equine Assisted Therapy:
The programme consists of 10 weekly sessions in Clare Equestrian Center working collaboratively with the horse, child and parent. The actual physical and emotional contact and bonding with the horse is a large part of the programme. The therapeutic benefits of working with the horses are making a huge difference to the families that have availed to the programme.
Equine Assisted Learning:
The programme is a 6-week programme which is run in the classroom. This is where Lesley delivers the key welfare messages of how to properly manage and maintain horses and ponies. The children receive a practical experience which they thoroughly enjoy.