Ebony's annual trip to Wales took place in April – the 14th year that club members have visited Tregoyd Mountain Riding Centre in the Brecon Beacons.
10 excited teenagers, 6 boys and 4 girls, boarded the minibus at 6.30am on Thursday morning and all 10 returned, muddier but otherwise unscathed, on Sunday evening! They were accompanied by Jess, a former Youth Worker at Ebony, who took time out from university, and Sue and Julian, two of our volunteer instructors. The dormitory accommodation, though basic, did nothing to quell the mounting anticipation to meet the pony that each rider would be allocated for the trip. By 2pm on the first afternoon, everyone was mounted and ready to set off on their first ride.
For the next 3 days, the group rode for 5 hours a day. The trails, consisting of weaving through forests, scrambling down tracks, jumping over streams and cantering across the mountainside, were tackled with huge enthusiasm and determination by all the young riders. It was wonderful to see their confidence and ability flourish with every new challenge. Snow-capped peaks and newborn lambs gambolling in the valleys provided the sort of breathtaking scenery that these young people had never experienced. After a delicious supper cooked by lovely Linda, trips to skim stones and wade in the nearby river were another highlight. No television, no phones, no internet - but nobody missed them!
As always, 3 awards were given: Adetayo won Most Improved Rider, Cameron took Best Bond with Horse, and Chloe, who never stopped smiling, was deemed Best Team Player. But it was hard to choose! They all excelled themselves. Laura and Emsy, the trail leaders, said they were one of the best groups they have had at Tregoyd, and that included groups from top public schools! Our members' attitude, their horse care ability, their riding and their behaviour impressed them. The trip was a fantastic opportunity for these young people to escape from the city and the difficulties they encounter in their everyday lives.
Ebony Horse Club is grateful for the donation from the Loriners’ Charitable Trust which made this trip possible.