Horse Project

Feedback from participants in traveller Pride week 2012As part of the Offaly Traveller Movement integrated men’s health plan, this project was launched in 2011.  The aim is part of a wider initiative for OTM to develop a higher level of engagement with Traveller men that is culturally responsive. During a very short period of time the Horse Project has become highly successful.

Aims and benefits of the programme include:

  • Increased engagement of Traveller men in relation to the social determinants of their health
  • Increased awareness of,  and access to existing health services and health professionals in Offaly
  • Increased access to and interaction with the OTM men’s health programmes, the OTM Primary Healthcare team and other OTM specialist services
  • Capacity building for Traveller men
  • Improvement of men’s physical and mental health through the interaction with the horse
  • Facilitated discussions around relationships, positive communication skills, leadership and trust

Engagement of Traveller men in health services is a major issue in public health in Ireland and the rapid success of this programme offers potential opportunity for scale-up and duplication of best practice nationally.

The short film ‘GO LASSIE GO’ by Ann-Marie Kelly below was specially commissioned for Traveller Pride week 2012 and shows some of the amazing work of the OTM horse project”