We envision a community in which all people have access to information and treatment that can help them improve their mental and emotional health by the therapy of animals and achieve harmony, promoting healthier families and communities.
EDUCATE the public about mental health issues, treatment, the process of therapy.
EMPOWER all people’s wellness journeys through access to reliable, unbiased mental health information as well as trained mental health professionals.
CHALLENGE the myths, stereotypes, and stigmas that can surround mental health issues and treatment and prevent people from getting help.
the mental and emotional health of individuals and families in Dorset by providing professional, research-supported Animal Assisted And Equine therapy with the addition of rescued animals. We also aim to increase the knowledge and ethical practice of therapy with animals by links with the local communities.
The Ranch values making a positive impact of all forms of life, including human, animal and nature through promoting the use of animal/equine therapy
The Ranch only includes animals in its work that are positively enhanced by that work; each animal has a choice about its participation.
The Ranch values teaching through example the mutual benefits of the human-animal bond.
The Ranch values working as much as possible with each client’s strengths and building on those.
At The Ranch Weymouth, we are the home of Goat yoga in Dorset
Mindful stretching and relaxation with our yogi goats
The Original home of Goat Yoga in Dorset has proved so popular and after consultation with out regulars we have amended the session to include more mindful relation. whilst keeping true to our original roots. Goat therapy session, bring your exercise mat (some available to borrow at the ranch), some water to hydrate and experience something different with Emma and our resident Goat Team. This is an outdoor activity that aims to improve your physical and mental health but also offers an opportunity to connect with world around you Emma will lead you around some relaxing stretches while goats frolic around may even perch on you. The relaxed atmosphere at the Ranch allows you to connect with nature and you don't have to worry about others noticing you as all eyes are on the goats. These sessions have a go with the flow attitude , if a goat wanders up to you, you can simply stop what you are doing and have a cuddle for as long as you like before continuing on with the session. The ranch goats enjoy the fuss so don't be surprised if they fall asleep next to you. The sessions generally last an hour but you can always hang back for an extra cuddle. Children and goats have a lot in common from their innocent and curious nature to their fondness for fun.
Animal Assisted Activity/ Therapy
Animal Assisted Therapy & What Science Says
For Mental Health:
The simple act of petting animals releases an automatic relaxation response.
Humans interacting with animals have found that petting the animal promoted the release of serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin- all hormones that can play a part in elevating moods
Lowers anxiety and helps people relax.
Increases mental stimulation.
Assist in recall of memories and help sequence temporal events in patients with head injuries or chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Can provide an escape or happy distraction.
Can act as catalysts in the therapy process.
May help break the ice.May reduce the initial resistance that might accompany therapy.
For Physical Health:
Reduces the amount of medications some people need.
Lowers blood pressure
Breathing slows in those who are anxious.
Releases many hormones such as Phenylethylamine which has the same effect as chocolate.
Diminishes overall physical pain.
Relax more during exercise.
For Children with Autism
Many children with autism feel a deep bond with animals and feel that they are able to relate better than humans.
Children with autism are engaged in significantly greater use of language and social interaction in therapy sessions that incorporated animals
The sessions at the Ranch are person centred and led by you and your needs. A non structured approach to therapy works well when working in a relaxed and safe environment with our horses, goats and pigs. Through initial assessment a planned and structural session can be made to meet your need With feedback provided
Equine-assisted therapy involves a horse, a therapist and a horse expert. This team will work with individuals or groups to help them discover more about themselves and develop new ways of thinking. The role of the therapy team is to guide the individual or group along the way, encouraging them to reflect on their experiences and what it means to them.
After an initial consultation, a set of exercises will be carried out according to the needs of the person taking part. Equine-assisted therapy can help with many issues and is considered to be especially helpful for those who want to change elements of their behaviour.
The Ranch on the WILD side
Animals for therapy in care homes, hospitals and for recovery and mental well-being is not a new phenomenon, think fish tank in the doctors surgery, but it is not just stroking furry animals that has an impact on mental health. Reptiles are joining health teams around the world to aid humans as more studies are correlating improvements in health with animal interactions. We know not everybody has the time, space or ability to keep their own animal, that’s why us bringing the animal to you works so well.
The Wild Ranch team can join you in a school, for a party and in any setting. And we also are part of the The Ranch Weymouth so can offer 1~2~1 encounters onsite.
We are perfect for children with an interest in animals or anyone looking to create that magical themed party. Also with a range of party options you can be sure to find one that suits your needs.
But it’s not just for the children we will attend any type of party for any age, Hen Parties, Stag Parties, Weddings, if you are having a party we can bring the live entertainment to you. We also offer a private reptile experience at a location of your choice, so you can just learn about our animals without the need for a big party.
We have reptiles and invertebrates and provide a variety of snakes, lizards, tortoises, and other mini-beasts.
Bookings start at £100
Mini Ranchers (parent and toddler session)
A fluffy goat . A quacking duck. Even a muddy worm. You’d have to be blindfolded to miss the delight in a child’s face when they interact with other living things (that aren’t human of course) but there’s much more to children and animal interactions than meets the eye.
When children have opportunities to spend time with animals, it’s about much more than just stimulating their senses.
Yes, they love furry cuddles and experiencing the different ways that animals look, eat, move, sound and feel – but research shows that animal interactions can actually improve children’s social interaction, reduce stress and anxiety and increase motivation and learning.
A growing body of research shows that children who are supported in their love for animals tend to generalise that love to other living things, such as plants and nature. Research also shows that when children are encouraged to care for animals, they tend to be more sensitive and caring toward other people as well
Animals have long been embraced as a valuable resource in supporting and enriching children’s learning and here at The Ranch we are excited to offer an hourly session with all activities such as bug 🐛 hunting, animal feeding and interaction and much more.
Worried about the outside and mud situation ? Don’t be ...
Researchers from Bristol University and University College London have studied the connection between healthy immune systems and mental wellbeing.
They looked at the effects of a ‘friendly’ bacteria found in the soil – mycobacterium. The conclusion was that exposure to this bacteria could activate neurons in the brain that contain serotonin, the chemical said to help regulate mood, social behaviour, appetite, digestion and sleep. Contact with the many bacteria in mud can also help children to develop strong immune systems.
Thankfully, the emphasis on getting children to be active and engaged with the outdoors continues to increase in momentum, And The Ranch is committed in helping shape children’s attitude towards the outdoors and how they engage with nature that will stay with them for life and it all begins with a handful of mud
Looking for a stroll, but with a twist ? Well look no further than our brand new Goat Walking experience. Take one of our cheeky goats for a walk along various routes around The Ranch whilst they feast on the foliage.
You will find that the goats are gentle loving creatures full of mischief intelligence and just love human company. You will lead your own personal goat on a leisure stroll with frequent stops for them to nibble on their favourite leaves and bushes and for you to take photographs of the occasion.
This experience is so much fun, so pop on your wellies or walking boots and some old clothes and enjoy 1 hour of hands on goat antics. The Ranch goats will love to climb over you for food and cause general mayhem.
For just £15 your ticket allocates you one goat and 2 people entry for the session
The important stuff.
Sessions last for one hour. A meet and greet, a gentle walk and time for feeding your goats and photos afterwards. Please note the field and footpaths are uneven places so not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs. Please also note that goats can be unpredictable and are very likely to change direction especially if there is a tasty plant nearby so patience is a must.
Goats sometimes can butt each other and this is normal goat antics
All children under 16 to be accompanied by a full paying adult
We’re here for you when you need us. Call us to schedule an appointment or use the contact form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Coombe Valley Rd, Preston, Weymouth DT3, UK
Here to Support you
Animal facilitator (FdSe Animal Managment)
Mental health practitioner (RMN)
Mini Rancher Lead