Organisations and veterans


A video of The Ireland Fund’s visit to Horses For People to discover a programme created for Cooperation Ireland and Ardoyne Youth Club.

CATCH (Challenging Attitudes, Changing Horizons) is one of the many impactful community development and peacebuilding initiatives organised by Co-operation Ireland. It works with youth in North Belfast & Lurgan to develop a positive sense of identity, cross-community contact and mutual understanding. As part of CATCH they attend Horses for People to enhance that sense of cohesion and understanding.


Connect, communicate, let go

In a safe and peaceful environment, we highlight how capable you are and challenge negative perceptions so that you can move forward using the awareness gained in the programmes.

The emphasis is on recognising your strengths and developing your own identity so that you can make good decisions and choices in life. We investigate the importance of setting clear boundaries in relationships and illustrate that the most effective form of power is gentle but assertive rather than aggressive.

Benefits include:

  • improved self-esteem
  • clearer communication skills
  • increased empathy
  • self-awareness and an understanding of how their approach affects others
  • the confidence to be more innovative
  • coping with challenging circumstances


Back to grazing

Horses are quick to react to perceived danger but where no threat exists, go ‘back to grazing’. We use the same principle focus on helping people to develop a less reactive approach to situations and how to connect with others to create and maintain better relationship.

It’s about life skills, coping mechanisms, decision making and creating a brighter future. Participants tell us that they feel much more hopeful and positive following their time with the horses.

We also offer a free 6-week online follow up on-line course for veterans to help with establishing new, constructive practices.

Benefits (for veterans)

  • increased confidence
  • coping mechanisms
  • techniques for adjusting to new situations
  • ability to dial up assertiveness rather than aggression
  • breaking unhelpful behaviour patterns
  • focussing on strengths
  • focussing on where you are going rather than where you’ve been

Working with such powerful yet gentle animals can be both emotional and intimidating. Unable to draw upon physical strength, clients have to develop their inner resources and engage through co-operation and partnerships with the horses.

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