Jacob wins British Horse Society award

Horse with staff

Jacob wins British Horse Society award

17-year-old Jacob Porter has won the Pamela Almond Changing Lives through Horses Achieve Award after studying The British Horse Society’s Changing Lives through Horses programme at the Mare and Foal Sanctuary. The award has been made due to Jacob’s exceptional growth and commitment to his personal development.

Jacob began working with the team at the sanctuary in 2019 after struggling at school due to dyslexia and dyscalculia. He had already left mainstream education when his family heard about the Equine Assisted Services offered by the sanctuary and its focus on growing confidence by building transferrable life skills. Jacob started with The British Horse Society’s Changing Lives through Horses programme and quickly worked his way through all ten stable management awards and all six ridden awards.

We are the first and only equine welfare organisation to offer the Changing Lives through Horses programme.

Jacob’s mum, Cheryl, explains why the programme at the sanctuary was so important: “Jacob has always loved horses and wants a career with them. However, due to his severe dyslexia, the standard school system posed many difficulties for him in achieving this aim. The loss of his father to a long-term illness only added to the intensity of his situation. Since attending the Mare and Foal Sanctuary he has overcome adversity by applying himself with tenacity, courage and determination, making incredible progress. He has been committed and worked extremely hard.” 

Jacob now hopes to go on to complete The British Horse Society’s professional pathway to gain his coaching qualifications. He has embraced learning and is inspired to become a riding coach. Thanks to his time at the Mare and Foal Sanctuary he has also been able to go back to education and is attending South Devon College to study Animal Care and Car Mechanics. Jacob says: “I’ve very pleased as I’ve put in a lot of work. It’s life changing!” 

 Dawn Neil, Head of Education and Equine Assisted Services, shares her happiness at Jacob’s award: “We’re delighted that Jacob has won the Achieve Award. It has been an absolute pleasure to see the progress he has made with the Changing Lives through Horses and Challenge Awards programme at our sanctuary. His passion and commitment has shone through as he has developed knowledge, skills and confidence working with our rescued horses and ponies. We love seeing the difference horses and ponies make in people’s lives and the difference people make in their lives and Jacob has been a shining example of this.” 

Alison Blackmore, Head of Changing Lives through Horses at The British Horse Society said: “We’re delighted to present Jacob with our annual Pamela Almond Changing Lives through Horses Achieve Award. Our programme supports children and young people to develop key life skills such as confidence and building relationships as well as learning how to care for and work with horses, giving a tremendous sense of personal achievement.  Jacob has embraced this opportunity with the team at the Mare and Foal Sanctuary and dedicated so much of his time to his personal growth. It’s wonderful to see how the programme and the power of horses has positively impacted Jacob.”

 We offer a number of different Equine Assisted Services at our peaceful Devon sanctuaries. We provide human-equine interaction through equine assisted learning and equine assisted activities with our rescued horses and ponies to children, young people and adults in the community. As an equine welfare charity, our horses’ and ponies’ needs are paramount. The horses and ponies are equal partners in the team. We are a fully inclusive organisation offering both a person-centred and equine-centred approach. All Equine Assisted Services sessions have both a facilitator, who focuses entirely on the participant’s needs, and an Equine Specialist, whose job is solely to monitor the horses and ponies and advocate for them. We are an accredited member of the National Equine Welfare Council and is closely involved with the Human Equine Interaction Register. 

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