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Disney blossoms in new role

December 22, 2010

A horse rescued from the horrors of Spindles Farm in Buckinghamshire in 2008 will soon be ridden by youngsters involved in a personal development programme.

Disney on arrival at The Horse Trust.

Disney being ridden by Theresa Barrett at the Horse Rangers Association.

The Horse Trust is celebrating the success for its rehoming of Disney, who has made strong progress with his training under the care of the Horse Rangers Association.

The association, based at the Royal Mews at Hampton Court Palace in Surrey, provides young people with an opportunity to achieve personal development and independence through horsemanship.

Disney, rescued with more than 100 other neglected horses in what was believed to be the biggest equine rescue operation in British history, was rehomed the Horse Rangers in August.

It was thought to be the ideal home for Disney as he is a calm, sociable horse who is good with children.

Given the horrors Disney had experienced at Spindles Farm, and as he had never been ridden before, The Horse Trust and Horse Rangers Association were uncertain how quickly his training would progress.

But, according to Theresa Barrett, stable manager with the Horse Rangers, his training has exceeded all expectations.

"Disney's training has progressed amazingly fast," she said.

"After just two weeks of training, I was able to sit on him and begin ridden work. Over the last couple of months, all the grooms have been riding him regularly and we plan to have Horse Rangers riding him within three or four months," said Theresa.

"He has been the dream horse to back as he is so chilled out."

Liane Crowther, who manages the rehoming scheme at The Horse Trust, said she was delighted by Disney's progress.

"I thought he would be the perfect horse for the Horse Rangers because of his personality, but it's always hard to know how long it will take to train a horse, particularly a rescue horse that has had a traumatic experience," she said.

Disney nearly doubled his original weight in his time at The Horse Trust.

Disney in his new home with (from left) Horse Ranger Mae Thompson, Stable Manager Theresa Barrett and Horse Ranger Layla Thompson.

"When Disney arrived at The Horse Trust in January 2008, I wasn't even sure if he would survive as he was so underweight and had a bad salmonella infection.

"I'm thrilled that he's got such a bright future ahead of him training kids to ride."

Not only is Disney's backing progressing well, but he has also coped well with living in the Rangers' busy stable complex.

"Initially, we kept him in one of our fields as that was what he was used to.

"In October, we decided to bring him into our stables for a few weeks.

"He coped so well that he now does two weeks in the stables, then one week at the field. We have around 300 children passing through here at weekends, so it's quite a lot for a horse to get used to.

"But Disney has taken it in his stride and loves the attention from the children," said Theresa.



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