Think Like a Pony – Empowering Children Through Riding

Think Like a Pony is a unique approach to horsemanship that inspires, educates and empowers children through learning to ride, care for and handle ponies.

Our unique children’s riding centres offer horsemanship experiences that help children to develop empathy, compassion and understanding for others at the same time as learning horsemanship skills. This provides an opportunity to refine key communication and social skills that help children to thrive in many areas of life. Children may begin lessons at a centre through a simple desire to learn how to ride and understand ponies, or in some cases, children can be referred to a centre due to specific social or emotional needs they may have.

All of our ponies have a solid foundation of training and are willing partners, and children are always taught ‘one-to-one’ until they are competent riders and handlers. These factors make the child’s learning safer and more fun. Children with their own pony can even book one of our instructors to bring the Think Like a Pony approach to their own yard!

Whether learning with a Think Like a Pony instructor, through the Youth Development Programme, at a local centre or with their parents, we support and monitor each student’s progress through our unique educational Think Like a Pony Club. The Think Like a Pony Club is a unique learning system whereby children access worksheets, video lessons, workbooks and journals which support their work towards awards and badges that mark achievements. This Club is due to be relaunched as an hugely developed online learning resource in September 2017.

Children who are referred to our centres due to additional needs, join our Youth Development Programme. This programme helps them to develop skills that are transferrable to all areas of their life.

Funders including the Big Lottery Fund, Comic Relief, the School For Social Entrepeneurs and Sport England as well as local councils have helped to fund our successful Youth Development Programme so these positive experiences can be offered to a wide range of children throughout the community. This includes children who are in foster care, children who are repeatedly excluded from school, young offenders, children with special educational needs and those with social and emotional difficulties. Involvement in the Youth Development Programme can be a life-changing experience for the children involved.