NEWPORT'S Island Riding Centre opened its stable doors to more than 100 Island children aged 8-14 this Easter.

The children were given the opportunity to meet and work with horses and ponies during the holidays.

In partnership with the Isle of Wight Council and Wight Horse CIC, the free Easter Activity Club was available to children receiving free school meals, with the HTP Apprenticeship College supplying free meals on club days.

The children were taught how to care for a horse, stable management, horse themed crafts and the day-to-day chores of looking after horses and ponies.

Participants were given the opportunity to ride ponies and horses. The feedback from parents and carers has been nothing but positive.

Isle of Wight County Press: A selection of Island Riding Centre ribbons and certificates were given to participants.A selection of Island Riding Centre ribbons and certificates were given to participants.

One parent said of their son: “He came home buzzing and saying how much he enjoyed himself. It’s an experience he's never had before, and one he is pleased to have had.

"He has asked to come again, which is not something we hear often from him!”

Louise Buckner, Island Riding Centre director, added “After a long lockdown where children haven’t been able to socialise and meet, this has been the perfect way to get the kids out into the fresh air, work with a focus and to improve their wellbeing”

Working with horses is known to improve confidence and boost self-esteem and Wight Horse CIC alongside Island Riding Centre has said it is keen to run more activity sessions for the island’s community.