During March and April, the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust, based at Parke, has been using its equine assisted learning programmes to prepare 18 Devon youngsters to take part in ‘Fresh Tracks’, a special category of the Ten Tors Jubilee Challenge.

Following last year’s successful pilot project, on Saturday 6th May, Dartmoor ponies Rolo, George and Smartie (ponies who can also be ‘adopted’ by members of the public) will motivate three teams of young people – who would never previously have thought it possible – to take part in a 14-mile challenge to trek across Dartmoor.

Supported by DPHT volunteers, teachers and care staff, ‘Fresh Tracks’ helps young adults with a range of challenging life issues from both mainstream and special needs schools to overcome anxiety and gain resilience, self-belief and life skills.

Said one student last year: “I love the ponies.  I didn’t think I could do any of this, I didn’t want to do it.  Now I don’t want it to stop.”

Typically stoic and gentle, but also tough and resilient, the Dartmoor ponies seem to be able to share these attributes with the students and undoubtedly motivate them to succeed.

To donate to the work of this charity (no. 1109196) and in particular, to support its fundraising to enable students to take part in Fresh Tracks, please see www.dpht.co.uk.

For further information about its work to preserve the Dartmoor pony on Dartmoor, and its ‘Ponies Inspiring People’ programmes, please email admin@dpht.co.uk or call 01626 833234.

Please come along to our Centre Open Days:  April 16 and 30; May 14 and 28; June 11 and 25; July 9 and 23 – all from 1330-1600

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