Horses helping to harness emotions in Homerton

Abooka (aged 4) and Kelsey (aged 5) with Digby the pony at an equine facilitated learning session at

Abooka (aged 4) and Kelsey (aged 5) with Digby the pony at an equine facilitated learning session at Berger Primary School in Hommerton. - Credit: Vickie Flores/Archant

A visit from some horses delighted the children of a Homerton primary school who were working with the gentle giants to learn about different emotions.

The pupils, aged between five and seven, from Berger Primary School, in Anderson Road welcomed the horses from equine facilitated learning company, Stable Relationships.

Debbie Horse, from Stable Relationships, said: “We take horses into schools to teach young children emotional intelligence and they learn through the horses about the importance of being calm. They also learn names for different emotions, and what they look like and why horses and people feel different emotions. Through this they also learn to be trustworthy and to trust horses and learn to communicate with them.

“Just seeing the children with the horses, giving them hugs and seeing children that don’t often show emotions not wanting to leave them – a lot of the teachers said it was quite moving.”

She added: “A lot of the children haven’t seen horses before and just seeing them overcome their fear and just being comfortable was great. “Where the school is, in the middle of lots of estates, it is a completely alien thing to see the horses in that area.

“The sessions are so successful because horses are prey animals and therefore highly sensitive, which makes them good at picking up emotions. The children have to learn to be calm and trustworthy to be successful with them.”

Year 1 teacher Joanna Davies, said: “The children that were involved loved it and were able to talk to the class about how they could react in different situations and how they would react in the future based on what they learnt. It was really good for developing their teamwork skills – the horses made it quite novel.”