Young people who have worked with horses to overcome challenges have celebrated their achievements with a special Christmas trip.
Bristol-based equine charity HorseWorld has been helping children who have difficulties accessing mainstream education through its Discovery programme.
The initiative involves sessions where horses are used to help young people develop skills to cope with life’s challenges.
Recent graduates from the course and charity volunteers enjoyed a well-deserved day out to London to attend Olympia.
“The transformations that we have seen in these young people during their time with the programme has been remarkable,” said Sarah Payton, one of the Discovery facilitators.
“When they first started at Discovery, some of the young people faced big challenges with their anxiety and confidence in everyday social situations, especially meeting new people. For others, changes to their routine and facing new challenges could be really overwhelming and daunting.
“As they have spent more time with the horses, learning how to take care of them and how they need to be around them to build their trust and relationship, we have seen their emotional and social resilience grow.
“We are so proud of [them]. On this trip, they broke out of their daily routine, spent time with others they may not have known well and went into an unfamiliar environment which was exciting and noisy!”
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‘Now, we are also helping horses to have a new start in life too. It doesn’t get any better’
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HorseWorld rescues and rehabilitates horses, ponies and donkeys. It cares for more than 100 equines and provides after-care and support for around 200 more who have been rehomed throughout the south west.
Its Discovery programme involves horses who have been specially chosen to work with vulnerable children, many of whom have also been rescued by the charity.
The programme uses horses as a learning tool to promote development, while supporting emotional growth through close contact with the animals.
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