Riding fun for disadvantaged children and adults
Thanks to money raised at our pleasure rides, we’ve provided horsey experiences for scores of disadvantaged children and vulnerable adults from cities across Yorkshire, including York and inner-city areas such as Beeston in Leeds and Bransholme in Hull. The children range from primary to secondary school age while the adults have a variety of challenges which riding can help to address.
We have arranged riding lessons at local equestrian centres, or a horse-themed 'family fun' day in the countryside. Especially amongst the youngsters, there's great enthusiasm even for mucking out and sweeping up as well as for riding, while tasks such as filling haynets foster teamwork. Here's some extracts from a letter from the organiser of our 2019 programme:
"The riding lessons enable our young people to get off of the estate, have up-close contact with horses and engage in fun activity whilst learning to overcome fears and learning new skills. It also creates positive memories which is really important in what can be challenging home situations and life circumstances."
"This year was about some of our quieter young people trying something new. One young person was very scared in her first week. Once she was sat on the horse and the horse started to move she actually burst into tears because of how afraid she felt. With lots of gentle coaxing this young person managed to stay on for the full session and felt much better when returning the following week. She noticeably grew in confidence over the sessions. This confidence con then be transferred into other situations that young people face."
And the best part? You've guessed it: it's always "the riding!”
We also work with other groups to help with their fund-raising: for instance for we run an annual ride for Bridges Hull, and we've also raised funds for Ryedale Special Families, Yorkshire Cancer Research, the NSPCC, the Brooke, The Stroke Association, and local charities.
“I wish this could go on longer” - Sarah, Leeds, aged 12
“This is the best thing I have ever done” - Jayde, Leeds, aged 13
"I love it here, can I stay? I got to see chicks in a nest being fed by their mum. Collecting up horse poo was smelly.” - Kara, Hull, aged 7
"Trotting was fun but it hurts bouncing up and down.” - Paul, Hull, aged 11
"It's hard work clearing up the stables. They eat way too much food - lots of muck.” - Holly, Hull, aged 12
“It sort of like changes the rest of your day. You’re up, and you’re on it, and you come back and then you’re ready to go, tackle the rest of the day. You come back revived.” - Liam, York
“I do think it’s therapeutic. It relaxes you and calms you and gets you into a good state of mind. I went there not feeling great this morning, and came back feeling fine.” - Jo, York