Horseshoes and Handprints Fund

Apply for a grant for your organisation to offer a 50% discount on the cost of horse therapy sessions (up to the value of £250 per child) for children/young people who have a neurological difference and live in Somerset, east Devon or north Dorset.

Ask for money by Friday 29 September 2023 and we’ll let you know if we can help you by the end of October 2023.

What is horse therapy?

Horse therapy (or equine-assisted therapy) is provided in a horse-based environment to promote physical, occupational, and emotional growth for people with needs arising from for example, ADHD, anxiety, autism, Cerebral Palsy, dementia, depression, developmental delay, PDA, Down Syndrome, brain injuries and behavioural/abuse issues.

Horses have similar social and responsive behaviours to humans, making it easier to create a connection with them, and animals give immediate feedback. Horses also can mirror the feelings of the handler or rider and their size can help develop trust and self-confidence.

Who can apply for money?

Horse therapy providers can apply for a grant to be able to offer a 50% discount on the cost of horse therapy sessions (up to the value of £250 per child) for children/young people who:

How much funding can I apply for?

This year we have £8,000 available, to divide between 5 horse therapy providers, to provide a geographical spread across Somerset. These organisations will have previously been the most sought after by families applying for funding and we recognise that your organisation is better equipped to know the capacity available to offer these sessions. The funding will be divided on a pro-rata basis to successful applicants, dependant on the number of eligible children/young people you think you can support over the coming 8 months.

When completing the application form please enter the amount you think you can spend over the coming 8 months, being mindful of the potential number of eligible children and your capacity to offer sessions.  Please also be aware that if an award is made, it may be for a lower amount than requested.

What reporting is needed?

If awarded a grant, we ask that you:

How long does it take to get the money?

You must apply by 5pm, Friday 29 September 2023.

We’ll let you know if we can help you by the end of October 2023.

Grants are paid by bank transfer once we have received confirmation from you of grant use and that your bank details are the same as that included in the grant application.

Grants must be used by 30 June 2024.

Where does the money come from?

The Horseshoes and Handprints Fund was created using money held by the Horseshoes and Handprints Trust. That money was transferred to Somerset Community Foundation when the Trust closed in 2021. Additional donations into the Fund are occasionally received. The Trust originally supported families with children or young people with a variety of additional needs, with a focus on neurological conditions, by helping with costs towards horse therapy and this continues through the Horseshoes and Handprints Fund.

How do I apply for money?

You can apply for money by clicking on the button below to access an online application form.  This application form is our standard ‘grants to groups’ form and we recognise it is not an exact fit here. Please complete the form as best you can and if you have any questions contact Kirsty on 01749 344949, ext 204 or email:

What supporting documents do I need to send with the application?

To consider your application we need to have a copy of the following:

If you have applied to us before for a grant, we may already have some of the above documents on file. If so, you do not need to re-send them.

What will we do with your application?

A member of our Grants Team will look at your application. If we have a question, then we’ll email you. If preferred, we can arrange a phone call or video call.

Applications are considered by a Grants Panel who decide whether to award a grant or not.

If you have any questions, then please get in touch with us. It’s usually best to email us on but you can also call on 01749 344949.

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Click here to apply for funding

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