‘How my horse helped me beat school bullies’

  • A film-maker whose horse helped her beat school bullies is using her own experience to raise awareness of others in a similar situation.

    Writer/director Meloni Poole’s proposal for short film TRiGGA was selected by Creative England to be developed and crowd-funded as part of its “iShorts” scheme.

    Miss Poole explained the story, of a young girl suffering verbal and physical abuse from school bullies, is based on her own experience in the 1970s.

    Horses have the power to change difficult situations in our lives,” she said.

    “I’ve wanted to tell this story for a long time, to send a positive message and an inspiring one, about how a young girl dealt with bullying with the help of her horse.”

    Miss Poole, who grew up in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, said her schoolfriends did not believe that she, as a coal miner’s daughter, could really own a horse.

    She said: “But my dad worked overtime in the pit for 35 years. We went to BSJA [now British Showjumping] shows every weekend.

    “When we had a school pet day, I rode my horse Peter in and they couldn’t believe it. I was cantering around the playing fields. The bullying stopped from that day.

    “Being around horses helps you be strong, confident and resourceful… it was thanks to my relationship with my horse that I found a way through.”

    “TRiGGA is a story of one young girl’s resourcefulness in stopping bullying. We want the film to leave a legacy through our outreach work and hope to raise issues around bullying in schools to help young people.”

    Miss Poole is seeking sponsorship for the film, which she hopes will be shot this summer. The team has already raised £7,000 of the £10,000 they need.

    She is also looking for an actress, aged 11 to 12 who can ride, to play the lead, and is running a competition for children’s artwork, which will be shown in the film.

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    Miss Poole said: “TRiGGA is for every young child, in every school who has been a victim of bullying.

    “If you can share this empowering story we can find a way of talking about bullying so that young people don’t have to suffer in silence.”

    For more information, including on casting and the art competition, visit the film’s Facebook page, and for the crowd-funding page, click here.

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