Spark of Hope exists to champion the value and importance of the individual – both human and equine. It recognises that in our world today many suffer various forms of abuse, trauma and disappointment. This in turn can lead to disengagement and low self-esteem. Through the use of equine based learning programs, it is anticipated that participants will learn more healthy ways of engaging with others, as well as overcoming any fear or prejudice that they may have held.
Our vision for Spark of Hope is to create an environment that provides an improved quality of life for both the horse and adult or young person. Through the use of equine based learning programs, participants are able to develop improved levels of trust, focus, communication, self-esteem, emotional control, problem solving skills and a greater awareness of personal boundaries and strengths.
Many studies have highlighted the therapeutic value of animals such as cats, dogs, dolphins and horses. For some people, their ability to trust other people has been compromised. Animals can therefore provide an emotional bridge enabling them to rebuild trust again. Many animals, by their nature, also encourage the use of other senses such as touch, which can also improve mental well-being.
Due to their sheer size and power, horses command a certain degree of respect from even the most disengaged individual, as well as providing an opportunity for some people to address and overcome fear. Despite their size, horses also display a degree of vulnerability due to their prey animal status – something that some people can relate to. Horses also have a highly effective non-verbal communication system, are finely tuned to their environment and exhibit strong social bonds with other herd members. These characteristics provide ample opportunities for humans to develop better communicative skills, emotional, social and physical awareness skills.