2018-07-03 10.10.47.jpg


Thursday lunchtime. Children. Wolverdene School

Coaches: Mary Childs with Elizabeth Maclay 

This account is from 2019. The Coronavirus has meant that we have not met this year.


We teach year 6 children, mostly boys, from Wolverdene Special School.  These children have all been excluded from their Primary School for behaviour issues.  They all have complex needs but very rarely have these surfaced when they are with us as it is all such a new adventure for them and our brilliant and empathetic helpers care so much for each and every one of them.  Autumn 2018 and the year six only had six boys in it and so they were all able to ride each week. With Mary’s enthusiastic coaching they all made good progress and had a fun last session with games and rosettes.

This summer a larger class of 9 with one girl who really became our star pupil despite her difficulties in coping with the whole School day and therefore being part time.  Six children came each week which meant fewer opportunities but huge progress as ever

The highlight has to be the Fun Day and all nine in their shirts and jods, hat covers and highly polished boots did us all proud.    I was particularly pleased that their head teacher came to see them and kept on saying how amazed he was by their patience in waiting their turn, learning the HP course and not minding if their gymkhana rosette was red or green. I said I wasn’t at all amazed by this – it was just what we expected of them!  At last he really ‘gets’ how transformative our horses/ponies are on these children.  So much so that they would like some ‘pony therapy’ for some of their troubled younger children!  We are working on this.

None of this can happen without our great group of helpers but I do need some more as we will miss Joan and her regular help over the years. Ponies turn up thanks to those who lend and Mary’s three and our faithful Toby who misses his driving.

We look forward to the new Year 6 in September whom Mary and I will go and see and fit hats and boots and meet the new teacher who is new to the School and so will be a bit unsure as to how it all happens.

As ever a huge thank you to all who give up their time and bring their interest and energy to these special children.


Elizabeth Maclay

Ride Leader