A MENTAL health service is using a rather unique method to enable members explore ways of communicating their feelings, via the 'magic' of horses.

The Three Bees Project, in Andover Down, is known for its use of animals such as therapy goats to improve the mental health of individuals but has now expanded into the use of horses.

According to Helen Watts, executive director of The Three Bees Project, Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) aims to provide an opportunity to become more self-aware, to "recognise emotional states that are not serving us positively and to practice groundwork activities that help us develop skills and techniques which allow us to alter our response".

She continued: "These are skills we can then apply in everyday situations to encourage emotional growth and development and in turn, greater wellbeing.

READ MORE:  Goat visits new postbox toppers celebrating work of mental health organisation

Helen Watts offers Equine Facilitated LearningHelen Watts offers Equine Facilitated Learning (Image: The Three Bees Project)

"EFL can help adults and young people to understand and acknowledge their own feelings, to explore ways of communicating these and to develop skills in self-advocacy."

Helen said: "The horses are quite simply amazing.

"They know a person’s truth, even when it is unspoken. Then they accept where that individual is at, without judgement, and begin the work of helping them find balance.

"Sometimes it’s quite subtle, sometimes there is a huge shift in perspective but it is always an honour to share the journey."

Horses are highly sensitive to the energy and emotions of individuals.

Their success and survival as a herd relies upon their ability to understand the state of other individuals around them and then either react accordingly or co-regulate with those individuals.

Helen added: "Their ability to communicate subtle shifts in our own energy as we consider our particular challenges in different ways gives us an immediate opportunity to adjust our behaviour and way of thinking.

"They are also wonderful to be around."

Helen is a qualified teacher with a fully enhanced DBS check and has achieved a Level 2 qualification in EFI (EFL) with the Athena Herd Foundation.

"I have particular experience working with young people who experience anxiety, depression, or difficulty communicating," she said.

Sessions are developed for the needs of the individual and can be provided for children aged seven and over.

"Sometimes, we as adults need a reset too and to have the chance to build our confidence, find ourselves again and let things go.

"Our team can help you do just that. Our work is 100 per cent non-ridden and for those who are less confident around horses, we can tailor early sessions so that it is not necessary to handle the horse, or even enter the paddock.

"Please advise us if this is the case before your first session."

People can book a single session, a course of sessions, or ongoing appointments without any requirement to commit.

The first session lasts for an hour and the fee is £60. Subsequent sessions last 45 minutes with a fee of £45. Shorter sessions can be offered by special arrangement.

For more information, head to thethreebeesproject.org or if you would like to make an appointment for a session, call or text 07788 880507 and leave a message.