OTTWA Community Fund | Horse Sense 

In 2023, Off the Track WA (OTTWA) launched the OTTWA Community Fund aimed at funding projects utilizing retired racehorses within their programs. The fund received many wonderful applications from which several were chosen. One of these wonderful projects was ‘Horse Sense’.  

Horse Sense

Based in Ruabon WA, Horse Sense is a wellness program designed around helping children develop the appropriate skills to regulate their emotions and physical reactions. Through interactions with the horses and specialized learning sessions, children increased their awareness of feelings and body language, learnt regulation skills, understood boundaries and emotions, and identified ways in which to express themselves safely. After the program concluded, children demonstrated better relationships with their family and friends, increased school participation, willingness to share feelings, and overall, improved mental health and well-being. Off the Track WA are thrilled to have played a part in supporting these children in their development. 

Amongst the Horse Sense herd of equine educators are several retired racehorses enjoying a quiet life following their racing careers; horses such as Deheune, Montoyas, Grinding Hard and Saxapak. 

These horses provide the children with the opportunity to connect, build trust and respect, and develop a valuable insight into the way horses communicate amongst each other. These programs are non-ridden and allow the children to work with the horses to develop awareness and understanding of themselves and others. 

“Thank you to the Off the Track WA Community Fund for giving students the opportunity to be educated by the herd and allow them to experience authentic relationships and loving connections with the amazing thoroughbred teachers residing here.” – Claire Wright, Horse Sense Director. 

“I never miss a day of school because I always want to come to Horse Sense,” said a nine-year old boy partaking in the program. Another child expressed that, “The horses make me feel so sleepy,” which we can assume is a positive!  

Applications are currently open for the 2024 Community Fund applications, closing on March 15.

All relevant information can be found at the link provided. We look forward to selecting the next projects for the year.