Paloniemi psychiatric hospital has got it’s own horse therapy unit and a stable, which is inhabited by horses who have been trained for mental health work. Therapy is good for children, young and adults as well. Taakankantaja (2006) is a documentary movie of a horse helping human patients with their mental problems. Taakankantaja follows one mental patient going through therapy sessions and shows how the horse can help them, to pull them out from their loneliness and isolation. It’s a documentray about hope, that this therapy can give to those who are difficult to help otherwise. See Taakankantaja’s page at Finnish Movie Foundation website.
Finnhorses Pahe and Pomo and Icelandic horse Bra have worked as therapy horses for years now, helping dozens of patients.
Ratsastus.net published a pdf article about them –Paloniemen sairaalan hoitavat hevoset (the healing horses of Paloniemi Hospital). Helsingin Sanomat and Länsi-Uusimaa newspapers have also written about the great work these horses have done during the years, Pahe being the first of their horses. He became a therapy horse as a six-year-old and has worked already for 14 years up to date.
Photos: Kinotar photo bank