Actress Claire King is to highlight World Horse Welfare’s international training work in a film about Lesotho, a tiny land-locked country surrounded by South Africa.
The special film will appear tomorrow, Wednesday 4 February, on ITV’s This Morning.
Claire King is best known for playing Kim Tate in Emmerdale, Karen Betts in Bad Girls and for partnering Brendan Cole in Strictly Come Dancing.
For the film, made last year, Claire met farriery and saddlery students being trained by the equine charity and saw first hand some of the problems faced by horses in Lesotho.
“What first struck me about Lesotho was how mountainous it was. The terrain is so harsh that they have no choice but to use the horse as their main mode of transport,” said Claire.
“What was especially noticeable was the tack. The bits were worn too low and were clanking against their teeth. The old military saddles they used were falling apart and the harnesses just didn’t fit at all. I saw horses with incredible sores on their backs.”
As well as Lesotho, World Horse Welfare’s international training programmes are also under way in Mexico, Romania and most recently in Soweto. Students are specially selected from the local community and spend a year training in the skills of either saddlery or farriery.
The best students go on to become the trainers of tomorrow and some are able to set up their own businesses, providing an affordable service to their village.
Watch a short film on Claire’s visit