Devon Recovery Learning Community
The wisdom of resilience, emotional understanding, true connection, and social confidence – straight from the horse's mouth.
Where authentic horsemanship meets recovery and empowerement, a heart-lifting course in support of mental health and wellbeing, offered in partnership with the Devon Recovery Learning Community, a NHS Partnership Trust organisation.
Classes are offered to people with experience of mental health difficulties, their family and friends, and the professionals who support them.
Courses of 5 weekly classes, between March and October.
With the Horse & Heart herd
Come and learn what your emotions are about, and how to truly find resilience and recovery within yourself through the wisdom of horses.
Animals have got an innate instinct for resilience and recovery and by learning from them we can discover an amazing skill set to help us on our own journeys.
What do our feelings mean and what are we supposed do about them? Animals teach us that there is a reason and a place for everyone and for every feeling, and they show us how it all fits. Animals also hold a completely non judgemental, loving space and enable everyone to be exactly as they are: many people find it easier to open their hearts to animals than to other people.
Through connecting with the horses of the Horse & Heart herd and through guided exercises and games for awareness, this course will enable you to find and explore your own potential for emotional intelligence, empathy, resilience, positive leadership, and co-creation through play: a toolkit for recovery.
Surrounded by the love of horses, this is a gentle approach with no expectation to achieve anything, and you will not be pushed to interact with the horses more than you wish to. Whether you would like to play with a horse at Liberty or would simply like to watch from a safe distance, you will learn skills that will be valuable to you for the rest of your life. It is also a great space to get over a fear of horses!
Everyone is welcome, no particular experience required, and no need to be “horsey”.
« It's been fabulous, amazing, empowering, and deeply moving. »
« This has completely changed my belief in myself. I now believe in myself more when taking up space in the world. »
« This is the one place where I can come and just be ME, knowing that I will be received and welcome with all that I am, without anything being taken away from me. »
« I'm standing in a herd of horses, able to speak a language that they understand, and they listen to me, and I'm no longer afraid of them – this is AMAZING!! »
« Humour – you make a serious experience fun with lots of laughter. Is this your super power? »
« It was like a mental reset... I've been needing this for so long and didn't even know I needed it. »
« I left the first session feeling so much joy, that I can be me, that I am ok. And every week has given me tools to meet my life fully, and to do the things I love. »
« The horses have taught me to live in the moment and to let go of fear from the past and of fear of the future. Just to be – and enjoy – now. »
« This course has enabled me to feel that I have a right to my own freedom and happiness. »
« What I have learnt... is to greet the world with more compassion. »
« I now feel courage to be in the world. »
« Normally I can't cope with groups but here I've been fine. Because here we all belong. »
« What I have learnt here has literally opened up a new path of successful relationships for me. »
« I have learnt to understand my needs and am much better at looking after myself. It has given me a key to being with others whom I normally avoided, and be clear about my boundaries. »
« This course has enabled me to find PEACE despite the chaos and worries of my life. »
« It was so incredibly precious... and magical. »
« JOY! And Thank You! »
« Fantastic course... I would recommend it to anyone! »
« I have done lots of courses, I have been in retreat spaces, attended lots of mindfulness exercise groups, trauma release exercise groups, read self help books and been a client for lots of therapies... and I have never come across anyone who interacts in such a safe, engaging way that covers all parts of being human. »
« This course has taught me FREEDOM. Doing things that are good for my soul and listening to my heart's needs when I wouldn't have done that before »
« I feel empowered. Like I've come home to myself. Like I belong. »
« I feel truly calm for the very first time. »
« Marie is so intuitive, I feel very seen by her, and she knows things way beyond words. Her warm manner and kind heartedness first threw me off, maybe I was untrusting of someone being that kind, that open, that welcoming of every part of me, even the horrible parts. How is someone so open when the world is so cruel? But over time I started to believe it that her heart is open, in an honest way, despite experiencing the challenges of existence. And I see it now as a revolutionary way of being and I aspire to it myself. »
« I have been supported by mental health services for a long time and I've received so many tools too help me, all of which are great when I'm able to think, but when I'm unwell I can't access them. What you have created here is a sanctuary where everything is ok – and when I feel overwhelmed I now know how to simply BE with that, and I am ok. For that I will be forever grateful. »
« The work we do here is rippling out much further and beyond the people who come here. It's like seeds sown in the world. »
« It's like being human again, at last. »
« Thank you for your generosity in sharing this and so passionately encouraging everyone to share in each other. »
« It's the horses of course, but it is also your presence that is special – like magically calming and soothing somehow. The space you hold is incredible, and so healing, and I'm very grateful for that. »
« I can't thank Marie and the Herd enough for their impact in my life so far. There aren't words to describe it but I feel more herd(!) and seen than ever before. »
« I'm a totally different person – truly calm, peacefully happy. My other half won't recognise me when I get home! »
« It has helped us remember who we truly are, and that we are free. »
« People should ignore all the above, try it for themselves and ask their souls what just happened. »