My great friends Wanda Lee Jones and her daughter Vanessa have the most inspiring animal assisted therapy Centre (therapy for humans through animals) in Carcassonne in France.

Last year we went out and stayed with them and we had a wonderful time! I would advise anyone who is interested in this area to have a look at their lovely photos & articles to get inspiration - and even share their page on Facebook so your friends can see too!

Wanda came into therapy having been a stunt rider and trainer for movies for years - and having bred and trained champion PRE Spanish horses. Her daughter Vanessa is a show-rider ( which also involves amazing stunts) and trainer.
They use gentle training techniques in-line with the latest in ethical Horsemanship theory.

Yasmin Fortune      November 2013

The feeling I have each time around horses is like a door opening on freedom and learning. To encounter with them is an awakening of the senses, to observe, to smell, to touch that which cannot speak. The way I walk with him, the way I position myself and the way I can let myself be guided by instinct all the while placing my trust in Wanda and the partnered horse. It’s a demanding relationship in its simplicity, which leaves no room for trivialities. It’s about finding the right time for you to experience these intense moments with the horse. 


I’m Brian 50 year’s old, British army veteran, served in Northern Ireland during the troubles and in the Gulf War and in Irak.

After returning to civil life having served in both these conflicts, I was diagnosed with many conditions, one of which was military PTSD.

These conditions affect my everyday life from mood swings to mobility issues.      

I was recently introduced to horse assisted education with the Association Vivre à Plein Temps.

Although I was skeptical at first, while taking part I found a sense of connection with the horse and for the first time felt that I could switch off and “Just be” with no worries or troubles. I also felt the need to open up to the horse; there was no judgment on what I did in the past. The horse gave me a peaceful feeling.

I strongly recommend this therapy to all military service personnel and I believe if I had this on a regular basis my moods would be less erratic, which in return would help my family life and my ability to deal with others.

This is an alternative treatment and I feel that the forces should use this route first before the mental hospitals and medication, a lot more service personnel would be on a faster road to recovery and enter civil life sooner.

September 2013.

I have known Wanda for about ten years, and I had the opportunity to share with her true and great moments of encounters and connections that she shares with her animals.

Now, after a long and enriching experience, full of energy, hard work and competence with the teenagers she welcomed while doing the residential home at the Pendazier, Wanda is involved putting all her knowledge and skills for use for older or troubled people. She uses her dog's natural and acquired abilities to create a relationship with the people who are suffering.

A few times I went with Wanda and her dogs to nursing homes, schools, etc. and I observed some very interesting situations. The relationship between a person and the dog brings different reactions and emotions: attraction, indifference, sometimes fear representing emotions from the past, and memories reappearing at the time of the encounter and gives pleasure or former pleasure through touch, communication with the animal and the emotion surrounding them.

This approach is necessary to build trust and help the person to evacuate his fears, his stress, often very strong in someone fragile. It also brings joy that will produce a real interpersonal and physical well being. This connection is exciting, reassuring and encourages communication between adults.

Wanda's dogs are handpicked and suitable to those situations that are new for them too. Socialized and trained, they are the essential elements to the daily life of old people in nursing homes. They attract, soothe, create links between humans, improve confidence and produce the love that people need apart from their family.

Wanda is a woman you need to meet because she is rich of her passions and experiences she offers. And with such a charming British smile, even the animals can't resist !!!  

Dominique PINSON – Special Needs Professional - Service Parquet des Mineurs de Nantes
January 2012 

Thanks to Association Vivre A Plein Temps I was able to recover feelings that I thought were lost. I also discovered another world of knowledge with horses, who, like I suspected, are wonderful therapists. This experience helped me spot what was shattered and rebuild it. I have very heartfull memories of Wanda, her cheerfulness, her comforting spirit and of all the horses, especially Labradora, Nirvana, Leo and Knaven... and the rest of them.
 Before I came I thought Equine Assisted Therapy would help me, and that's what happened, it gave me what I hoped for. I also discovered a lot. I got back with horses again. It is important, helpful and comforting all the time and above all during hard times.

Soizic  December 2011

The relationship and trust that Wanda can build between humans and animals is truly inspiring. Wanda adopted a beautiful horse from our association a few years ago and we couldn’t have wished for a better home for him.  Being able to see this big, beautiful stallion help improve the lives of children with difficulties has been a very emotional thing to witness. Wanda’s equine and canine family always look a picture of health and happiness…which is just how it should be!

Trina  -  ERF    Fevrier 2011



"I arrived at the Pendazier in september 2009
The dogs helped me to regain confidence in myself, they trust me and I trust them.
With these dogs I feel free from all the hate I have in me.
With Nirvana, it's the mare I prefer to stroke, brush and do her feet.
Here at the Pendazier it's as if I'm freed from Prison"

Hugo - Toulouse Mai 2010

The Pendazier was like a peaceful haven for me for over two years now (april 2006-july 2008).
Wanda has put a little normality in my life and helped me gain confidence to make important descisions. Working with horses was hard work but helped me to take my mind off the stress of life.
My time at the association vivre à plein temps is something I will never forget...

Susan loughlin. Rennes les Bains

" Here at Pendazier, I learnt to enjoy life"
Cyril Pisseau.   July 2008

My stay with the association  « vivre à plein temps » was from march to august 1999.
I met very warm and friendly people and also discovered a sence of responsibility looking after the horses, which made me become more mature.
Since then I have become more aware of others, and if I had to do it again, there would be no hesitation.

Fred Mellon  Quimper.

My experience at the Pendazier

I was at the Pendazier from august 2002 until october 2004. The stay helped me to have a good look at myself and my life. I learnt how to express myself and how to listen to others.
Being with horses, and specially Leo (the pony) helped me overcome my problems of authority, and the trick riding helped me to express myself and to have confidence in the horses.

I learnt to open up to people thanks to the trips I made with the association. My trip to England helped me to speak the language and to see a completely different lifestyle and my trips to Spain, Poland and Switzerland showed me how to face up to the unknown and to have confidence in myself.

I thank Wanda Lee-Jones and her family for all the help and support they gave me during a difficult time in my life.


Julien Tardivel Carcassonne.

I met Wanda when a court order placed one of the adolescents under my supervision into care at Pendazier. We worked together for eighteen months.

Wanda gave this youngster a close knit family life in the country,  filled with rural activities, but also open to the world with trips abroad on a regular basis.

Her care to achieve the objectives we set together for this youngster, along with her high professional standards and her real concern for the youngster as an individual, turned him round and helped him to re-establish a positive and dynamic attitude to life.
I wish the Association every success and hope that Wanda's professional competences get her the recognition she deserves as a truly qualified specialized educator.

I hope we will get to work together again.


Gislaine Darré,     Specialized Educator,    Medico-Social  Center, Coursan.


Mrs Lee-Jones knows how to use her qualities of kindness and generosity to a professionnal cause : taking in youth at risk. Her professionalism has grown over the years with her training and also with an authentic collaboration with the parteners of the psycho-socio-educational services for younsters of the Aude.

Nathalie TAVAGNUTTI, psychologiste, A.S.E. medico-social center, Lézignan.


I first met Wanda in 2001 when I was working in a specialized service of the County Council. Over the years we have met frequently. I very much appreciated her availability, her seriousness and spontaneousness. Wanda has developped an original approach  with her love of culture, art, voyages, which opens up the association to the world.

She has a rare capacity to see the youngters potentials rapidly and also to spot the youngsters weaknesses. This helps her to find different ways of helping the youngsters find out what they want to be.

Wanda uses her passion for horses as a remedy for youth at risk. She also saw the importance of opening up to outside events (including music, storytelling, themed trips, linguistic holidays and trips to discover Europe).

Family life at the Pendazier is also very important for the youngsters (participation in everyday life, festivals, team TREC competitions, foaling and breeding at the stud...).

Concerning the organization of the association, new rules and regulations meant that Wanda had to work hard on the followup of paperwork even though time was limited. She started the association with people from different horizons who were complimentary to each other in order to make the Pendazier run smoothly.

In conclusion! I saw the Pendazier grow thanks to Wanda's energy and willpower, she gives the Pendazier her all. She is also vigilant to keep the Pendazier going on track, so does not hesitate to stop and think.

Playing a small part in this with Wanda has been a very gratifying professionnal and personnal experience and I thank her very much for allowing me to participate.
I also wish her all the best for 2008 and hope she aquires the VAE of specialized educator that she has been working so hard for.


H. BIBES Social Assistante, Childwelfare Services,  Aude County Council