· A visit to an international horse show signifies so much more than a festive day out to extraordinary young graduates of HorseWorld’s Discovery programme.
· From struggling to cope with many every-day experiences, the young people now have the confidence and resilience to enjoy life and celebrate their achievements.
Young people who have worked hard to overcome challenges, were given a festive opportunity to celebrate their achievements together, thanks to equine charity HorseWorld.
The organisation’s innovative Discovery programme helps children and young people who, for various reasons, have difficulties accessing mainstream education.
Through sessions with specially-selected rescued horses, the young people develop the skills to build resilience, enabling them to cope with the challenges that life can bring.
To celebrate their success during their time with Discovery, the charity organised for them and dedicated Discovery volunteers, to visit the Olympia London International Horse Show.
“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,” said Sarah.
HorseWorld’s Discovery programme enables these children and young people to work, learn, and grow in an outdoor environment that gives each individual the time and capacity to excel in a way its not always possible to do in a structured school setting.
The horses, many of which have been rescued by the charity, are specially chosen to work with these vulnerable and often very scared children.
The animals give the young people a sense of responsibility, with rules that have clear purpose and consequences, and produce rewarding emotional connections in return.
“We are so proud of our young people. On this trip, they’ll be breaking out of their daily routine, spending time with others they may not know well and going into an unfamiliar environment which will be exciting and noisy!
However, we know that they will be able to draw on the skills learnt at Discovery to step out of their comfort zones and enjoy the day,” said Sarah.