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Battle depression by meeting Harvey the horse for therapy

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 13, 2014

zeb&horse

Zeb and her horse Harvet - who offer therapy to beat depression

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SHE battled depression and dark thoughts – but now Zeb Nawaz is helping other people with their demons by offering them time with her horse.

Zeb, 35, from Gloucester, struggled with depression and anxiety earlier in her life and sought medical help.

She tried various anti-depressants prescribed to her but none of them helped.

But she found when she visited her horse she felt a lot better and she is now looking to help others by exposing them to the same treatment.

She said: “There are so many different anti-depressants out there but many of them have really bad side-effects that you just don’t want to deal with.

“They can give you insomnia and even make you suicidal.

“And you feel like you’re on a bit of a conveyor belt when you go to therapy sessions.

“You queue up, then you have an allotted time with the therapist, then you leave and the next one goes in.

“I found that when I was around my horse it was really calming and relaxing and it made me feel a lot better.

“Now I want other people to feel that.”

Her horse Harvey is kept in stables at Newent but for therapy sessions, which started back in August, he is transported to Home Farm Equestrian Centre in Cheltenham.

Sessions take place in the Indoor Arena. Attendees are seated next to the arena, where Harvey stands safely behind a fence, and at the end of the meeting, people can meet him.

“Having my horse at these groups initiates depressed people to get out of the house,” added Zeb.

“Horses know when a person is happy or sad.

“They are non-judgmental too. They take the person for what they are, and don’t expect anything.

“They also offer kindness, compassion, and love.

“I have already had a lot of interest and my Facebook page has attracted more than 300 likes which is great.”

Zeb’s sessions are done on a voluntary basis for the Depression Alliance, who provide help and information about the illness.

She is now looking for help with funding to keep her group going.

She added: “Its costs money to transport Harvey and there are other costs too, if there is someone who would like to help me that would be great.”

The monthly costs of meetings include horsebox hire and fuel costs of around £100, venue hire of £100, and insurance of £25.

For more information people can contact Zeb on 07923 9344 57 or info@hhpda.co.uk.

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  • Kay_Powell  |  January 13 2014, 5:01PM

    That's a good idea. Cats and dogs can work their magic in a similar way. There's even a charity called Pets As Therapy.

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