As if I needed any more of a reminder, the day demonstrated just how much of an impact time spent on and around the horses has on the personal development of members.
By Davinia-Anne Robinson, Ebony Horse Club Sports Activator and Youth Worker
It’s not every Sunday you find yourself walking through the streets of London with five ponies, ten young people and a group of volunteers. But that’s exactly what I was doing at 10.30 on 4th October.
We were headed for a Fun Palace event taking place at Brockwell Lido – a day of interactive activities delivered by the local community, for the local community.
Organisers had invited us to set up a demonstration area where EHC members could put on riding displays and we could promote the work of our charity.
Having joined Ebony Horse Club in July as the Sports Activator and Youth Worker, this was the first time I had joined our members and ponies on a trip off the yard and I was incredibly excited, but a little apprehensive of what to expect.
There was something very special about walking through the residential streets of Lambeth, watching people’s faces light up as they heard the clip clop of hooves and then caught sight of the ponies and their entourage. From the moment we arrived at the park we were greeted by waves of inquisitive people from all walks of life, genuinely interested in the work we do and keen to find out more about the charity.
Throughout the day our amazing senior and intermediate members enchanted crowds with displays of their riding and jumping skills. But what I was most impressed by was the way they responded to the adulation of the audience, how confidently they spoke about EHC, and the way they helped nervous onlookers, especially younger children, pat the ponies.
Fun Palaces had organised lots of events and activities for children and young people to get involved in and, when not on the ponies or looking after them, our members made the most of everything on offer. Some even took to the water in the lido, trying their hand at kayaking while others (who shall remain nameless…) provided hilarious entertainment as they busted out some interesting moves to Jamiroquai played by the DJ. It was great to see them get stuck in and try different things.
I came away feeling incredibly lucky to be part of EHC.
Not all young people would have the confidence to perform in front of such a crowd, or feel comfortable answering questions from strangers, but EHC members took it all in their stride.
I hope the day will have served as a reminder that they have the ability to thrive in any situation and showed them that they are building the skills that will help them achieve whatever they set out to do. Now I cant wait for our next adventure!