Our Vision

To offer support to people in the community and visitors to the New Forest, to give a caring and loving environment to horses that have need of a sanctuary and to encourage interest in and thus conservation of the New Forest. 

The People

The connection to nature achieved by having understanding and empathy with animals is a powerful route to reclaiming our humanity. The horse-human interaction can provide a non-judgemental learning environment that enables those on a path of personal development and recovery to learn more about themselves and feel restored.

Those that may benefit are:

  • Cancer and other critically ill patients
  • Post illness, recovery patients
  • Mental health patients with anxiety or depression
  • People suffering from low self-esteem or loneliness…….trauma or stress
  • Those seeking to develop more self-awareness
  • ...or those just looking to have a unique and fun experience.

The benefits that can come from sessions with the Raft include: lower heart rates, reduced anxiety, improved empathy, greater understanding, mental and physical stimulation, improved confidence and a sense of calm and wellbeing. 

The New Forest

Situated in a unique and beautiful landscape in southern England, the Raft will stimulate curiosity about this lovely area. Experts give walking talks on their specialist subjects and so residents and visitors alike are encouraged to think about conservation of the New Forest and its way of life.   Our National Parks have been described as the 'Lungs of the Nation' and modern day life is so pressured that many people do not stop to appreciate their surroundings in any meaningful way.   The Raft takes both residents and visitors on a mindful immersion of sensations and learning that gives them a unique insight into the New Forest.   

The Horses

The Raft horses are those in need of a safe and caring home due to old age, owners moving, retirement or other circumstances.  The horses are able to act naturally as a herd and so be understood in this context but also build bonds individually.  The emphasis is on mutual trust and understanding.  No riding takes place.

The premise is that they have already given much in terms of support to people; this is now an opportunity for people to reflect and learn from that giving; understanding the process of gaining trust with empathy and compassion, enjoy and have fun being in their company.