Rehabilitated pony finds a new purpose in life helping to rehabilitate young people

Bingo, an eight year old Shetland pony, was rescued by Bristol-based charity HorseWorld in July 2011 after his hooves had been left to grow so long they turned up like Aladdin’s slippers.

 Bingo is now fully rehabilitated and returning the favour, doing some rehabilitation work of his own. Discovery Courses at HorseWorld provide first-hand experience of working with horses in the outdoors for children and young people. Combined with classroom-based interactive studies in numeracy, literacy and art, the courses are available to young people from across the west country.

“Bingo is extremely well suited to Discovery courses” said course leader Sharon Howell.  “It’s as though he is sympathetic and understanding to those who need his help. Many of these young people have been able to return to mainstream schooling after attending the Discovery programme, or have gone on to college courses; something which would previously have been out of the question for them.”  

 Case study

 One such example is 14 year old Discovery student, Nadine Bennett. Nadine started to develop behavioural issues when she started secondary school.

 “About a year ago, I found it hard to communicate with people” said Nadine. “Then I started coming to HorseWorld and it was like the horses read my mind. They take all the negativity out of you. They understand you. Horses like Bingo help me because they have been through hard times as well, so it sort of cheers you up and you can repay them.

 “I would like to carry on as a volunteer at HorseWorld and help support others. I would love to have my own farm one day or work somewhere like HorseWorld”

Thanks to Discovery courses Nadine is now able to return to mainstream school.

 Bingo on arrival at HorseWorld

 “Bingo was in a sorry state when he was rescued by HorseWorld,” says Equine Training Manager, Sarah Hollister. “He was overweight and his feet were extremely painful and long. It took months of remedial trimming and painkillers to bring his hooves back to a relatively normal and pain free state. He will need specialist trimming for the rest of his life. His owner was successfully prosecuted for his neglect.”

HorseWorld’s main concern is that funding is very hard to come by. Sharon Howell explains: Our future hopes are to secure enough funding to be able to help everybody who applies for the courses. We’re always on the lookout for businesses or individuals to sponsor aspects of the programmes – in doing so, they can help change lives.”


You will find further information about Discovery here


Article by: Amy Williams

Posted on: 23rd October 2013