A charity that provides a range of equine-based therapy services to people with mental ill health or autism is facing closure unless it can find new premises before the end of June.

The Way of the Horse Therapeutic Centre has to move from its current location in Earl Shilton, Leicestershire, by the end of June, but, as yet, has no new premises to move to. Without new premises, the charity could close, and the horses would have to be re-homed, its manager, Dina Hooton, has warned. 

“If we were not able to find land all the horses that have been rescued would have to find new homes, which would be near-on impossible as they can’t be ridden,” said Hooton.

The charity is looking for premises it can rent that will give a longer-term contract, “which can give us an opportunity to develop the successful business further,” said Hooton. “We currently require about 10-15 acres of farm land to allow horses to roam and graze.”

However, this is proving difficult and the charity is not in a position to buy land.

The Way of the Horse provides a range of services to people with mental ill health, such as 'herd watching' to see the interaction of the horses in their natural environment. In addition, clients can learn key skills such as how to look after the horses and do simple but effective exercises that teach people about boundaries and leadership.

It also has a mobile sensory room that is beneficial for families with children with conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism.

“We help young people in the darkest times of their lives understand their emotions, feelings and how to process them. We help with self-confidence issues, which are so important to young people,” said Hooton.

Hooton added that The Way of the Horse is the only provider of such services in the area. “A provision like this that gives positive mindset skills to help them move forward rather than suppress emotions.”