Ballycreen care farm is a 62 acre hill farm, nestled at the foot of the Brown Mountain, in Aughrim, Co. Wicklow. The farm is home to a flock of mountain sheep, horses, goats, kune kune pigs, a donkey and a collection of poultry. The picturesque natural environment of secluded oak woodland, contrasting with wild mountain creates an ambiance of tranquillity and peace. The meandering river walk and woodland trail provides a haven to wildlife. The colours ever changing with the seasons is a delight to the senses.
Equine Assisted Therapy. The horse is a powerful partner in learning and has been described as the “Finest mood altering drug”. When horses interest, inspire and motivate an individual, a passion is developed and learning has a purpose. The work with the horse, a large non judgemental partner gives the opportunity for the building of relationships and communication skills in a real and tactile environment. The learning is by doing and the horse can offer direct and honest feedback. The horse can provide purpose, structure and routine where perhaps this had never been a part of an individual’s life previously.
Care farming promotes mental and physical well being. It provides children and adults, who may be experiencing life’s challenges, with an opportunity to partner with animals and nature. This partnership can be led through structured programmes of farm related activities . The outcomes can positively enhance the social and emotional well being of an individual.
Animal Assisted Therapy motivates individuals to have close physical contact with the animals, a hugely tactile experience offering warmth and comfort. A growing experience for the person whilst learning to look after the animals, can often lead to learning to look after oneself. Many studies of the human and animal bond reveal physiological and psychological benefits from release of stress, to increased self esteem , a sense of calmness and a decrease in feelings of anxiety.