The use of animals to soothe people in distress can be traced back thousands of years.
Their ability to read human emotion can make them the perfect antidote to a stressful life.
Horses are becoming particularly well known for their ability to connect with people and help them talk.
Christine Worthington, who has been a therapeutic and wellbeing coach for more than a decade, realised their potential whilst working at a livery yard and joined HorseHeard.
The charitable organisation uses horses to deliver coaching in supporting people to manage emotions, overcome challenges in their life and improve confidence.
It was developed as a social enterprise with its parent organisation LeadChange to work with young people and NEETs (not in employment, education or training) and became a charity last year.
It works with young people across the county, largely working with clients at Horse and Ponies Protection Association (HAPPA) in Burnley.
Christine, of Heapey, near Chorley, says: “I deal with Neuro-Linguistic Programming, which is basically coaching with the horses as these animals are key to people opening up.
“I work with a group of people and we have a couple of ponies and we allow them the space to connect with them.
“It is powerful intervention to get people thinking about what’s going on and what they want to change and what they want to do more of. The horses really make a difference.”
Christine, 62, has been a coach for 12 years, focusing on individuals, wellbeing and nutrition, as well as her work with horses.
She has also written a book - How to Become a Confident Writer.
She adds: “I had been working at Runshaw Business Centre as manager there with the part time adult programme.
“I wanted to do something different and work for myself. I realised I had a very powerful connection with horses when I ran a livery yard.
“I like to talk about mental wellbeing and creating a resilience to deal with things that come up in life and horses are a great way to do that.
“So I became a equestrian facilitator and coach.”
HorseHeard has supported youngsters across Lancashire, including Blackpool and Burnley.
Christine, a mother-of-two, with four grandchildren, adds: “We can work anywhere in Lancashire and anywhere in the UK.
“My colleague has been in talks with Thompson House Equestrian Centre in Standish, near Wigan to see if we can coach there. We have worked with students at Nelson and Colne College and we have been working with primary schools in Cumbria on a project called Being Friends.”
In order to match fund some of its coaching sessions with schools, HorseHeard will be holding its first charity ball on Saturday July 8, at The Dunkenhalgh Hotel, Clayton-le-Moors, from 7pm.
The event, with tickets priced at £50 per person, will include a welcome drink, three course meal and live entertainment from Brothers of Swing.
Christine adds: “We are so excited to hold our first ball to raise vital funds to support the amazing work at HorseHeard that will help our future generation unlock their potential and become more confident and resilient through powerful connection with horses. Please join us for a fun filled night that will make a big difference to hundreds of young lives.”
The charity is aiming to raise £5,000 at the ball to support around 500 young people. It would also like to hear from businesses who would like to join sponsors for the event like Windoworld, Chorley.
For tickets email Rosie Rainford at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07929 645 204.