The Family Care Authority (FCA) has signed an agreement with the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation, marking a significant step in expanding FCA's services into the equestrian field. This partnership will provide FCA with support, including horses, venues, training, and expertise in equine-assisted therapy, all provided by the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation. The collaboration will pave the way for the integration of equine-assisted therapy, utilising horses in animal-assisted therapy, as part of FCA's mental health and trauma recovery services.

Dr Bushra Al Mulla, Director General of the Family Care Authority, said: "This partnership with the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation is an important addition to FCA's diverse variety of services. We are committed to providing our community with the best, evidence-based therapies to support mental health. Equine-assisted therapy is a unique approach that has shown remarkable results in enhancing emotional wellbeing and we believe it will be a valuable addition to our offerings.

“The MoU is not just about the immediate benefits; it marks the beginning of a long-term commitment to bringing innovative, effective therapies to our community. We are proud to be working with the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation, who have generously offered their resources and expertise to make this initiative possible."

Major General Dr Ahmed Naser Al Raisi, President of the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation, said: "We are honoured to provide FCA with the necessary resources to bring equine-assisted therapy to those who need it. We believe that the wellbeing of our community is a collective responsibility, and through this partnership, we hope to contribute positively to the mental health of individuals in need. Our commitment is evident in the provision of horses, facilities, and expertise, all offered free of charge to support FCA's noble mission."

Professor Dr Andreas Liefooghe, a renowned expert in equine-assisted therapy, said: "The introduction of equine-assisted therapy into family care services in Abu Dhabi marks a significant step in promoting mental health and wellbeing. Horses have a unique ability to connect with individuals on a profound level, fostering emotional growth and self-awareness. By harnessing this power, FCA is opening doors for individuals seeking effective mental health support in a refreshing and innovative way. I am delighted to be part of this initiative and believe it will positively impact the lives of many."

As part of the initial activation, a workshop and training days were scheduled with UK-based expert Professor Dr Andreas Liefooghe, renowned for his expertise in psychology-based training. This collaboration represents the first of many planned initiatives within the partnership, promising an ongoing commitment to improving mental health through equine-assisted therapy. FCA and the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation are excited about the positive impact this innovative approach will have on the community.