GUL Outdoor Therapy

At the end of April, Katie Williams, Claire Akers and I took a trip down to the south west, during which we enjoyed paying a visit to James and the team at GUL Outdoor Therapy in Wiltshire. GUL provides various outdoor activities, including equine assisted therapy, to individuals and groups to help improve mental and physical wellbeing.

They currently have 16 horses and ponies who are used for therapy, all of whom have been selected for their role based on their gentle temperaments. They are fed a Dengie fibre diet, which works well for them because it is high in fibre but low in starch. This means that the feed shouldn’t increase excitable behaviour, which is of course an essential consideration for therapy horses. Last year, GUL were involved in trialling our new Meadow Lite with Herbs before it was launched, and we are so pleased that they’ve had great success with it and have continued to use it ever since.

GUL Outdoor Therapy Team

After catching up on how the horses are all getting on, we weighed them on our weighbridge, which the team at GUL found interesting to compare to previous records. We are also continuing our previous work on weigh tapes, and the horses and ponies at GUL were ideal candidates to take part. They have a variety of horses of different shapes and sizes, ranging from Anna, the 11.2hh Welsh pony, who weighed in at 296kg, through to William the Highland who was over 600kg.

Horse being weighed on weighbridge

The horse with the biggest difference between the weigh tape and the weighbridge on the day was Betty, a lovely 16.2hh cob, who was 586kg on the weighbridge but just 461kg on one of the weigh tapes – a difference of 125kg! Brenin, a 14hh Welsh Section D gelding, had the smallest difference of just 2kg between one of the weigh tapes and the weighbridge. Whilst weigh tapes can be useful for monitoring changes, this shows why it’s so important to see how your weigh tape compares with a weighbridge if you have the opportunity – then you can work out what the difference is likely to be for your tape and your horse.

Despite the extremely blustery weather on the day, none of the horses batted an eyelid about walking on the weighbridge and being weigh taped, demonstrating why they are so perfect at their jobs!

For more information on GUL Outdoor Therapy and the work they do, please visit: