Residents at one High Wycombe care home have been given the chance to meet therapy horses at a local riding school to help ease the symptoms of dementia.

The Grove Riding School in Lane End has been running the ‘Equine Connection’ sessions for offering residents from Ryeview Manor Care Home in High Wycombe.

Those visiting have the chance to stroke, groom, feed, lead and spend time with a number of the school’s horses.

Ruth Fernback, from Equine Connection, said: “The horses we choose to work with in the sessions are highly tuned in to the participants and can sense non-verbal communication, therefore they understand and immediately relax”.

The sessions are delivered as part of Ryeview Manor’s activities programme, led by Jeanette White, to better stimulate individuals living with dementia.

The High Wycombe care home has observed marked improvements in areas such as assertiveness and independence, as well as overall emotional wellbeing.

David Bond, Director of The Grove Riding School said: “Feedback from care homes that have attended our sessions has been 100% positive.

“Many benefits to the participants have been observed, the positive interactions with the horses immediately lifts the mood of participants, and there are lots of smiles and laughter.

“Residents are said to be more social and display less negative dementia-related behaviours. These positive effects last long into the day”.