Horses to provide a new form of dementia care in Cumbria

Gaudium Ltd, the Penrith-based company that supports older and disabled people living in the community, are pleased to announce details of a new project they are establishing.

The company is teaming up with Happy Hooves Riding Centre of Eamont Bridge, and ChangeWays Therapy Solutions, to provide courses in equine assisted therapy for people with dementia.

“It has long been known that equine therapy – the process of grooming, caring for, getting actively involved with and just generally being around horses and their environment – has been beneficial to those with various illnesses. I am very pleased that Gaudium Ltd will be involved in this new project that will help people with dementia.”

Mariusz Waluk 
Director of Gaudium Ltd

Equine assisted psychotherapy has proved successful in treating a range of conditions

Apart from dementia, equine therapy has been shown to be beneficial for those diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders, behavioural difficulties and cognitive incapacities as well as proving successful in assisting the rehabilitation of active and retired military veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The EAGALA model of equine assisted psychotherapy and it’s surrounding network of qualified EAGALA therapists works hard at providing equine assisted psychotherapy to active and retired military personnel suffering from post-war traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, addiction, depression and traumatic brain injury, often yielding very meaningful and positive results and now the

EAGALA network is extending it’s reach to help those struggling with the many cognitive impairments associated with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Specially designed dementia care courses

This new project will be led by Mariusz, and he will be working with Alison Noble of Happy Hooves, EAGALA certified Child and Adult Psychotherapist Coral Harrison of ChangeWays, and Equine Specialist Sue Pike.

Courses will run for one day a week for ten weeks. The first ten week course commences on 27th July 2015, and will be available for all people who live in the Eden District who have dementia. The course provides the opportunity to come into contact, care for and interact with calm-natured horses chosen specifically for the task of equine therapy from Alison’s stable. Sessions will be facilitated by Coral Harrison and Equine Specialist Sue Pike, and supported by Care Practitioners from Gaudium Ltd.

Equine therapy can help alleviate behavioural outbursts and frustration

This course has been designed following a recent study published by The Ohio State University in North America which found evidence that regular equine therapy does provide a positive impact on the management of perceived behavioural and aggressive tendencies that are sometimes associated with those struggling with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

The study found that those Dementia patients who spent one day a week at a local equine centre and received specialised equine therapy were much better at controlling their behavioural outbursts and frustrations than those that did not attend this course. Family members also commented that although their relatives may not have been able to recall what they did on days that were spent at the day-care facility, they did remember what they did during their equine therapy session suggesting that the equine therapy left a lasting, positive impression on these eight individuals who previously struggled to recall many day-to-day activities.

Gaudium Ltd will also be providing support for the Ohio State University study which may later lead to a breakthrough in the relationship between equine therapy and Alzheimer’s and Dementia care.

“By offering this ten week course, Gaudium Ltd will help improve participant’s quality of life by giving them an exciting opportunity to explore a new approach to their own therapy and care, and I encourage anyone with dementia to join us on the course.

“The course provides a new and stimulating environment that should help each individual find peace in themselves while working with these wonderful and sensitive four-legged creatures that have so much to offer in the way of relaxation therapy and the promotion of positive mental health.”

Maurisz Waluk 
Gaudium Ltd

To book a place, or for more information ...

please contact Gaudium Ltd on 01768 890353, or email

Article by Carl Fallowfield, first published in Cumbria Crack 10/7/15

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  • 28 July 2015