Two years ago, I was lucky enough to spend a day at Ebony Horse Club in Brixton photographing the children and the horses to provide photographs for the charity to use in their publicity materials (and you can see some of the photographs from my previous visit here). My great friend Letty worked at Ebony Horse Club at the time, and had told me what a wonderful place it was – I remember being so excited when I first arrived and then having the most incredible day. It truly is a wonderful place – set in the heart of Brixton, it is a thriving riding school teaching children from the local area to ride, and also to care for the horses and to look after the stables themselves.
I was so thrilled to be asked to visit again. Many of the children who I had met last time are still regularly riding at Ebony, having progressed from nervous juniors to the experienced senior riders. They are now helping the younger children – showing them the ropes, keeping everything running smoothly, and the yard spick and span. It’s clear the children feel an incredible pride in the stables and their place as part of the community – they all had favourite ponies and were keen to tell me all about their different personalities.
I also loved hearing about their plans for the future, as many of the children were planning careers based around animals – vets and veterinary nurses being extremely popular choices – and it was great to see that they had everything planned so that they could achieve those goals. The day after I visited, a group were visiting the National Stud in Newmarket – opportunities that will be remembered all their lives.
It was wonderful to see how the children’s riding had come on, too – some of the children who last time were being led round were now confidently taking on large jumps and riding with great skill. It was wonderful to see.
Here are some of my favourite pictures from the day – I do hope you enjoy them. Also, do take a look at Ebony Horse Club’s website and have a read about the wonderful work they are doing there. Their mission statement states ‘at Ebony Horse Club we uses horses to improve the education, life skills and aspirations of disadvantaged young people growing up in Brixton, South London. We teach riding and horse care, take groups to outdoor events, in and outside of London, and mentor children experiencing significant challenges in their everyday lives’ – it’s an incredible thing that they do and equally, should you be looking for a charity to support this year, this really is a very special place and deserves any help you can give.