HorseWorld help young people to 'Discover' their future


Josh a 16 year old from Bristol is living proof that by bringing horses together with vulnerable young people lives can really be changed.

Josh joined HorseWorld’s Discovery programme due to his aggressive behaviour at school towards both teachers and fellow pupils which had resulted in him being expelled in year eleven, a vital year! Before his Discovery days Josh was aggressive and violent at school and at home to both teachers and his family and would often be involved in physical fights. After years of trouble and hesitance at school Josh was expelled and brought to join Discovery by Lansdown Park PRU (Pupil Referral Unit).

Each year hundreds of youngsters benefit from interacting with HorseWorld’s rescued horses through the educational programme Discovery, with incredibly positive results. The programme brings rescued horses together with young people who may be outside mainstream schooling due to learning disabilities or behavioural difficulties (or at risk of under-achieving), in tailored educational programmes. The horse is an ideal tool for the promotion of emotional growth and learning in young people with special educational needs.

Whilst taking part in the Discovery programme Josh grew in confidence and matured. He became a great leader towards the younger students and was a great role model. He learnt how to cope with his emotions and how to control his anger which made his life alot more settled at home.

Josh’s horsemanship skills developed and he quickly became a very valued member of the Discovery team.  It also helped Josh academically as before Discovery he had poor reading abilities and had very little interest in education. As part of the Discovery course students have to undertake certain reading and written tasks which allow them to improve both of these skills without always being in a classroom environment. “Discovery gives them the opportunity to be successful at something when they haven’t been successful anywhere else” Rachael Illingworth, learning mentor from Lansdown Park School.


With the vital support from the rescued horses and Discovery course leader Sharon Howell Josh left the programme in the summer 2013 with a new dream of becoming a vet or an RSPCA inspector after witnessing the horrors of neglect and mistreated animals that arrive at HorseWorld. Josh has enrolled to college to do maths, English and Animal Care and is doing really well.

Discovery course leader Sharon Howell comments that “Josh has now become a great example of how successful our Discovery courses are. He is an astonishing lad with a great ability to do well. We have continued to support Josh and allow his dreams to be achieved. He still volunteers at the Discovery programme and has become a great role model to the younger students. We are all so proud of him.”

If you would like to support the Discovery programme or want to find out more, please contact the Discovery Course leader Sharon Howell  on or call 01275 893023.




Article by: Samantha Greatbanks

Posted on: 7th January 2014