Young riders from stables in the middle of one of Brixton’s housing estates have trekked one hundred miles through Welsh mountains on horseback to raise funds for a horse and donkey welfare charity.
The ten youngsters spent four days riding through the Brecon Beacons National Park to raise £250 for Brooke, a welfare charity which helps working horses and donkeys.
Aged between eleven and sixteen, all the riders are members of Millbrook Road’s Ebony Horse Club, which to help children growing up in inner-city London learn how to ride.
The stables opened in 2012 just off Coldharbour Lane, and now have 90 full-time members who ride after school and at weekend.
Ebony Horse Club’s Chair of Trustees, Sue Collins, said: “For many of them, it was their first trip away from home and for all, it was a rare opportunity to escape the inner city.
“Many of the young people who join the charity are exposed to issues such as gang and crime culture, overcrowded housing and family breakdown.
“Being around horses teaches them to overcome some of the difficulties they face in their lives.
“Parents and teachers report that the lessons they learn such as empathy, respect and responsibility are reflected in their behaviour and attitude at home and school.”
The club’s riders decided they wanted to help raise funds for another charity this year, opting for Brooke, which aims to make life better for working donkeys, horses and mules, often in developing countries.
According to the charity, there are more than 100 million working equines helping people across the globe.
The trip to Tregoyd Mountain Riders was sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Loriners, which in past times was the livery company for the tradesmen who made pieces of horse harnesses – such as bits and bridles- and stirrups.
Ms Collins said: “The staff and volunteers were very moved that they chose Brooke, who, like Ebony, rely on donations to continue their work.
“Most of our members did not know anything about horses until they joined the club.
“They are interested to learn more about the different jobs horses have done in history and are still doing today.
“They are aware now, having read about Brooke, that life for some horses is not easy.”
You can sponsor the riders here.