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

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