It's been acknowledged by various health professionals that animals can have a healing effect on children struggling with mental health issues.


But Hannah Rogers has hit on a very unusual way of getting horses to assist such kids.


A qualified behavioural therapist, the Welsh woman (26) offers equine-assisted therapy to young kids.


What, you ask? Well, basically kids turn up and paint on horses. Hannah believes that this treatment is less intrusive for young children than other forms of therapy.


She uses a non-toxic, mineral, chalk-based paint to offer the kids a way to express themselves, while bonding with the animals.



“Horses have a calming presence and because they are quite large, it can be empowering for a person to work with them,” Hannah told Metro.


“A lot of the people I work with don’t have strong bonds or relationships in their life and because the bond they create with the horses is a really trusting one, it’s very important to them and so it’s effective.”


Hannah was inspired to set the equine-therapy service after she helped a young girl overcome a very unusual condition.


“A little girl came to me and she absolutely loved it,” she said. “She had selective mutism and her parents had tried every type of art-based therapy but nothing worked, she recalls.”




“We tried drawing on the floor with chalk, but it didn’t work, and then we came up with the idea of the horses. After about five weeks, she spoke and it was the most amazing thing.”


She now uses it to treat people with a range of conditions including ADHD, depression, anxiety and autism. And she’s keen to stress that it’s not just the children who are happy with the arrangement.


“The paint is 100% safe and it brushes right out,” she says. “The horses love it because they absolutely love being groomed. They love a fuss and if they did not have it, they would miss the attention.”


Well, if it’s not hurting the animals, and it’s actually helping children, why not?


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