A young rider was left “very frightened” after a stranger grabbed her pony’s reins while out hacking.

Amelia Ryder, 13, was riding her skewbald gelding, Troy, when the incident took place last month (22 December).

The pair were walking along a path a few minutes away from their yard in Bury, Lancashire, at around 3pm when they were approached by a man.

“He stood in front of Troy and said he wanted to speak to her,” Amelia’s mother, Catherine, told H&H.

“She said she couldn’t and at this point the man grabbed Troy’s reins harshly which caused him to bolt.

“Amelia was very frightened and thought the man was trying to pull her off.”

Troy bolted back to the yard where Amelia was able to get help.

Catherine informed police of the incident.

Amelia, who hunts with the Holcombe, has had seven-year-old Troy for five years.

“He’s a fantastic pony — she’s done everything with him,” said Catherine.

amelia-and-troy-hunting

She added that Amelia was “very lucky” she had been riding at the time as she could get away more quickly than if she had been on foot.

Since the incident, the yard owner will not let any liveries hack on their own.

Riders have also been wearing hat cameras when they ride out in case they come across the man again.

“We’re taking extra precautions until we have some news,” added Catherine.

The man is described as 6ft 2ins tall, with dark skin and a beard, scratches all over his face and hands, and missing some teeth.

Any witnesses or anyone with further information can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.