Environment Enrichment

Ulha, Grace and Hope take to a game of ball

You may remember the pony people of Paintedhorse got a little bit flooded out in Winter Waterland.  We put an old gym ball into their corral to give them some environmental enrichment and they seem to have created some entertainment for themselves.


Punctured Stifle

Gunner damages himself on the gate post

Essential Oils workshop Paintedhorse Somserset Juniper Natural Therapies Dorset

Our very handsome Gunner was injured this week on a gate post. After X-ray and scan the vet thankfully said the object had punctured deep but missed injuring the bone but the ligaments will take a little time to heal and some more time before Livvy and Gunner can get back on track with their endurance fun.

There are herbs and essential oils which can now help Gunner with his healing process and we will keep you updated. Alternatively if you want to see Gunner’s progress yourself and you fancy learning more about which oils to offer in a first aid situation like ours, we have organised our first Essential Oils Workshop for equine owners.  This workshop covers essential oils that are beneficial to equines, how to offer them and in what circumstances; there will be theory in the morning and a demo and practice on our horses in the afternoon. George McBurney from Juniper Natural Therapies in Dorset will be joining us at Paintedhorse on Sat 4th Mar 17 to run this workshop, if you are interested in booking your place, please contact us.

A testimonial from an Equine Oils Workshop:

Zoopharmacognosy Essential Oil Therapy Juniper Natural Therapies Paintedhorse Equine Owners Workshop
Jenny & Clay

“Wow, what an eye opener to how a horse reacts to oils! Thank you George for such a well put together workshop. We spent the morning discussing the theory of the oils, including the legal regulations and learning how to dilute the essential oil in a carrier for offering to the horse. After lunch, we had a lovely time spent with our horses offering them oils and deciphering their reactions, with George’s guidance. I have been able to contact George for further advice and friendly guidance” – Jenny, Weymouth.


The Tree in the Orchard

Messages carried out of prison on the manes of horses were tied up in the orchard tree today


Tied in its branches

are ribbons of dreams,

from men with dark futures, or so it seems.

The tree in the orchard

is no ordinary tree,

with roots firmly planted in Glastonbury.

With the mystery of Avalon

below and above,

the tree gives its dreamers unconditional love.

Wishes come true

and magic can happen

when we engage with our light and break our old patterns.

From a small seed

this tree grew strong, grew wiser,

it knew the shit it went through was life’s fertiliser.

Chasing Portland Prison Blues Away

Inmates tie their hopes onto their equine ally

This month Paintedhorse’s Livvy Adams gathered in a team of LEAP practitioners, equine specialists and horses, and joined charity Key4Life to provide Equine Therapy for the young men at HMP/YOI Portland Prison. Founder of the charity Eva Hamilton (MBE) created a year long, 7-Step model to successfully help rehabilitate young offenders at Portland, HMP/YOI Isis and HMP/YOI Wormwood Scrubs, pre and post release.

Four beautiful, kind hearted horses entered the prison with their human team and met with prison staff and the young men who had signed up for the pre-release programme. During the two days the horses certainly captured the attention and in some cases hearts of the young men and staff. Horses have an undeniable ability to help keep people in the here and now, which is very therapeutic, and as many of our animal allies do, they also give humans unconditional positive regard which aids in the process of self actualisation. The equine herd of mares and geldings had some important messages to get across to the young men, and acted out on the energy presented in the group in various ways. The young men in turn had some messages they wanted to send out to the outside world. They wrote wishes and hopes for the future on ribbons which were tied into the manes of the horse they had the most connection with. The horses then carried them out of prison and they will be hung on the branches of the tree in the Orchard at Paintedhorse.

Several months later the messages on the ribbons full of hopes and wishes have been washed away by the elements having been seen and heard by the universe.  The Tree in the Orchard is now in full spring bloom, as we suspect are the young men’s wishes and dreams.


Equine Therapy Somerset EFL LEAP Paintedhorse Livvy Adams Juniper Natural Therapies George McBurney
Wishes granted as ribbons are washed clean by the elements

Winter Waterland

Grace and Hope check out the new pool

This was winter on the Somerset levels this year. Ponies Grace and Hope investigate their new water world whilst their human team member Livvy arranged for temporary living accommodation on higher ground.

Grace, Hope and their taller legged pony friend Ulha are now on dry land waiting for their home to drain but are sure enjoying their winter routine on dry land with lots of haylage. Whilst horses Prada, Danny and Gunner managed to stay at their home with use of stables and yard area and a clever ‘land bridge’ to get them to the only field that isn’t water logged during the day.

Life on what was once the Glastonbury Lake Village is never dull for the Painted Horse Gang.