• One of the key aims of Happy Hooves is to offer Donkey Facilitated Learning programmes to a wide client group encompassing a more diverse set of emotional, psychological or physical needs. This may include clients such as children, veterans, youth at risk, those suffering the legacy of abuse or trauma, anyone who has suffered suicidal thoughts/self harm or has been affected by suicide and clients with cerebral palsy and autism.
  • More than ever before both adults and young people are besieged by mental health issues, emotional and behavioural problems and/or learning difficulties. Sadly, too many  struggle to engage in traditional therapy and classroom settings but thrive in the inclusive outdoor settings of our stables.
  • Donkeys in particular, are often overlooked over equines and not given the status that they really deserve. Quite often they are treated as inferior to equines, but as part of our programmes, education about these lovely animals are included, especially welfare and their origins. Overall, the  whole experience at Healing Hooves is to be therapeutic, educational, enjoyable and fun.


Donkey Facilitated Learning (DFL) 

Donkey Facilitated Learning   ( DFL)

DFL is experiential learning in the presence of donkeys supported by a qualified facilitator. The aim of these sessions is to create a space for individuals to discover their own capabilities, offering opportunities to develop wellbeing and life skills, through observations of, and interactions with, the donkeys. Programmes run over a set number of weeks. Prior to the first session, a staff member, the client, and a designated support will meet to gain some understanding and agree a way forward for the client. 

Throughout the programme, the facilitator will work alongside the donkeys, using skills to support the individual to develop aspects of wellbeing and life skills using specific session guides. Sessions are tailored to develop aspects of wellbeing and self-development, allowing facilitators to adapt sessions to meet the client’s evolving needs. 















Donkey Management programmes

DMP is an activity led programme, educating people on donkey welfare and wellbeing, through a physical approach. These sessions help to develop a greater understanding of the donkeys’ day-to-day care, whilst offering a unique learning environment that supports self-development and wellbeing, creating positive relationships between humans and animals. 

The sessions are structured around the five Welfare Domains (Nutrition, Environment, Health, Behaviour, and Mental State); key aspects of animal care and welfare that give the client an insight into caring for donkeys and what we can do to provide for their health and happiness. As such, Donkey care sessions provides an opportunity for developing a knowledge of animal care, as well as developing key life skills. The Client will be awarded a Certificate of Achievement in Donkey care on completion of course.


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