What We Do

Horseshoes and Handprints support families with children or youngsters with mental or emotional needs by helping to fund equine therapy.

Horse based therapy has been proven to be beneficial for conditions such as:

The above list is only an example as there are many other disorders which have been helped.

Currently we help fund children living within a 25-mile radius of Ilminster. This area reaches from Tiverton in the west to Wincanton in the east, and from Sidmouth and Dorchester in the south to Watchet, Brean and Shepton Mallet in the north.

We welcome applications at any time from families who live in this area - and there is a list of centres on the contact page.

Contact Us


About Us

We are a small band of Trustees who raise and administer the funds. We are actively seeking applications from people from all walks of life and age groups to jon our board and help with the future development of the charity.

Voluntary fundraisers - we would welcome your help in any shape or form!

Please either telephone 01460 63856 or email info@horseshoesandhandprints.org for further information.



What Are The Benefits of Equine Therapy?

These are some benefits that have been reported after equine therapy: 

  • Reduction of stress and anxiety. 
  • Increased confidence and feeling of self-worth.
  • Improved communication and speech.
  • Longer concentration span.
  • Better eating and sleeping patterns.
  • A stronger immune system.
  • Improvement in spatial awareness and boundary perspective.
  • Reduction of frustration.
  • Fewer and less frequent meltdowns. 
  • Anger management. 
  • Generally improved social skills.
  • Better ability to retain and impart information.
  • Improved school work.
  • Improvements in family relationships – especially if family members become involved in the therapy.
  • Developing degrees of independence.
  • Learning to cope better with everyday situations at home/school and in public


Over the years we have seen some wonderful results and here are just a few snippets so that you can understand what equine therapy means to children and their families.

"I just wanted to say a big thank you for the funding you gave F last term, she has done so well, her confidence has improved so much. F’s relationship building and her school life has changed so much. F has also gained levels 1,2,3&4 in stable management which has really boosted her confidence.

She started secondary school in September and is doing really well. She stills goes to equine therapy every week which has made her transition so much easier. We are really grateful for your help and support you gave F who has a learning disability and educational needs, but her love and passion for horses is amazing.

You have helped make my daughter achieve and experience something extremely special. She has found something she’s very good at and that takes away that fact she has additional needs.

I cannot thank you enough, Mary, F's Mum".


“9 months speech and language progress in 90 minutes. Visible results in our son after every session.”


"L thoroughly enjoyed her sessions and to see her confidence start to build even from her first day was just amazing and has meant so much to both of us. When L arrived on her first visit, she had her head down and hood up and she did not want to leave my side.  She had been this way for several months prior, having been suffering with severe anxiety which had come to a head when she realised that she just could not face going back to school. By the time we left that day I had been able to leave her in the care of M and the ponies for the best part of an hour. That had been the longest separation between us for many months and I must admit that I shed a few secret tears of both relief and happiness that she had discovered just how therapeutic the ponies could be and felt secure enough with M to be able to separate from me for that time.  A few more 1-1 sessions followed and L felt comfortable enough to immediately walk away and leave me for the hour so I could just sit and have a cup of tea and relax.  For the above reasons I believe that it is imperative for L's (as well as my own) wellbeing for her to continue with equine therapy over the next few weeks/months or years or however long it takes to build her confidence and knock her worries on the head."

How To Apply

No referral is required.

Please contact us for further details.

"Come to the Cabaret!"

 Who remembers Liza Minnelli in her top hat and suspenders!

This is going to be such a fun evening at Horton Village Hall on 18th May 2019 - so get your tickets Now as it is a Ticket Only event, and if you book a table of ten before 1st May, one ticket is free.

We are very fortunate to get Jan as she entertains throughout the length and breadth of the country with her host of very entertaining stories and songs from life aboard some of the most amazing cruise ships, working with extremely well known entertainers.

Tickets are available from Desi on 01460 63856 or info@horseshoesandhandprints.org

Delicious food will be provided by www.mykitchencatering.co.uk

"Dress to Impress" that leaves a wide interpretation! But bring your dancing shoes and we look forward to seeing you.

Please phone or email if you need to know anything else.