Horseshoes and Handprints





What can I use a grant for?

Horse therapy (or equine-assisted learning) 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 large appearance can help develop trust and self-confidence.

Horseshoes and Handprints grants are awarded to offer a 50% discount on the cost of a series of horse therapy sessions (up to the value of £250 per child) for children/young people who are aged under 18 (or up to age 25 with an Education Health Care Plan), live in Somerset (excludes North Somerset and BANES), East Devon or North Dorset at the date of application, and have additional needs (such as a neurological difference or experiencing significant mental health issues).

At a glance

  • Grant size: Up to £3,000
  • Typical grant: £1,500
  • Apply by: Monday 5 August, 2024
  • Decision in: late August 2024
  • Who is it for? Organisations that provide horse therapy to children and young people with additional needs
  • What is it for? Subsidising the cost of horse therapy sessions for families on low incomes


Who can apply?

We can only consider your group for a grant from this grant programme if you plan to use a Horseshoes and Handprints grant 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 are:

  • aged under 18, or up to age 25 with an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP)
  • live in Somerset (excludes North Somerset and BANES), East Devon or North Dorset at the date of application
  • have a neurological difference and/or are experiencing significant mental health issues
  • want to use the grant for equine therapy sessions
  • applying for up to 50% of the cost of a course of equine therapy sessions, (typically 10 sessions) and up to a maximum of £250 (please note the Fund will not support standalone riding lessons unless it is part of horse therapy)
  • would struggle to afford the full cost of lessons


  • your group meets our minimum standards.

Our minimum standards cover things like:

  • the types of groups we can give a grant to and how we expect them to be run
  • how we expect those groups to manage their finances
  • how those groups keep people safe.

All of our minimum standards are on our FAQ page, where you can also find lots of information about applying for funding.

You can also use our eligibility checker which will help you understand if you can apply for a grant from us.


When do I have to apply?

Apply by 5pm on Monday 5 August, 2024.

We will let you know the outcome of your application by the end of August.


How likely am I to get a grant?

This year we have around £8,000 available, to divide between 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 recognize 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 between September 2024 and July 2025.

When completing the application form please enter the amount you think you can spend between September 2o24 and July 2025, 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.


How are decisions made?

Your application will be assessed by one of our team. They’ll read through what you’ve written, look at your supporting documents, and check places like the Charity Commission and your website. We may contact you if we have any questions.


How do I apply to this programme?

The next step is to fill in our online application form.  

Click on the link below and you will be asked to register your email address.  You will then be sent an email with a link to the online application form.  You can save your progress by clicking ‘save as draft’ at the end of the form.  The link in the email allows you to return to the form. At the end of the form, you can attach supporting documents.

You need to click ‘Submit’ at the bottom of the form to send your completed application to us.

You can access the online application form by clicking: Apply to the Horseshoes and Handprints Fund.  Please contact us if you can’t use the online form, letting us know you want to apply to Horseshoes and Handprints. We’ll support you to make your application in another way.

Get help with this funding programme

This funding programme is managed by Kirsty Campbell. Kirsty’s pronouns are she and her. Kirsty can help you if you aren’t sure if you meet our standards, aren’t sure if this is the best fund to apply for, can’t use our online form, need extra support with your application or if English isn’t your first language or can’t attach the documents we’ve asked for.

Kirsty Campbell (She/Her)
Senior Programmes Manager
Working days: Mon – Fri, 8am – 1pm