RESEARCH has proven equine therapy can have numerous benefits and that's exactly what a Leeton organisation is hoping to provide.
Helping with Horses was started last year and aims to provide a range of benefits to residents of all ages and abilities.
Owner Jamie-Lee Cooper said equine therapy has a way of helping people with issues such as mental health, but it is also a fun way to get people together in a social setting.
Helping with Horses has been assisting with NDIS residents, but it is open to any and all to try.
It has even visited nursing homes and schools in the shire to bring smiles and a sense of calmness to those who get up close and personal with the horses.
Ms Cooper is currently in the process of becoming a registered nurse, while Belinda Mahalm, who also works at the organisation, has been completing various training, including in the mental health and counselling field.
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"We love the idea of being able to help people," Ms Cooper said.
"I know how much horses can do for people.
"It kind of started with me working with My Plan Connect last year and seeing the benefits people with a disability would have with equine therapy, but the mental health aspect as well.
"I really wanted to help in that way. It's been really great."
Those who connect with Helping with Horses will have activities and a program tailored to their needs and what they would like to get out of taking part.
Social NDIS groups are also welcome.
"It can be as simply as learning to ride or just being around the horses, giving them a pat, leading them around," Ms Cooper said.
"Horses provide a level of calmness to people and that's what we see happen.
"People leave with big smiles on their faces and you just see them start to relax."
Both Ms Cooper and Ms Mahalm agreed the best part of the job was helping to make a difference in people's lives.
For more information about Helping with Horses visit the organisation on Facebook or call Ms Cooper on 0447 026 519.
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