Trot along to stables’ family fun day

A youngster riding at Horsewyse in Long Crendon
A youngster riding at Horsewyse in Long Crendon

A horse-lover is opening his riding school to the public to let them see what goes on behind its stable doors.

Horsewyse in Long Crendon is the brainchild of Neil Smith, who has been working with the animals since the age of 10 in his native South Africa.

Neil, his business partner Claire Brooke and their team of volunteers teach children and young adults with emotional,behavioural and social difficulties to ride at the specialist equine learning centre on Westfield Road.

On Sunday from noon until 4pm, there will be a family fun day where animal-lovers will meet ‘magic’ horse Patrick, watch a polocross demo and gymkhana games. There will also be refreshments, cake stalls and a tombola on offer.

Neil has extensive experience in show jumping, team chasing and polocrosse, but it was through his interest in horses that he began working as a residential social worker, introducing children to riding with an aim to develop their confidence and self-esteem.

A parent of a child who has been helped by Horsewyse said: “From the side of the indoor school I watched in total amazement as my daughter not only followed instructions but also trusted Neil to keep her safe, which is something she really lacks confidence in.”