A NEW business for children and adults with special needs which uses horse therapy has opened in Old Basing.

Juliette Hammond started the project, named Pony TLC, after leaving her job at Robert Mays School, where she worked with children with special needs, last year.

The project which is labelled as a small Equine Assisted Therapy project and is based at her home in Old Basing, In the last year she has been awarded status as a special needs activity provider, working with children from The Sebastian Trust, Treloar, Naomi House, Care Homes and schools.

She has also received funding from Hampshire County Council to provide the activities to low income families with disabled children.

Juliette said: “After rediscovering horses in my 40's during a period of long term illness, I realized myself what a positive affect these animals have on our lives and our families.

I had a vision after taking on some land at the back of my house to create a calm and beautiful learning environment for vulnerable people.”

She has also just been awarded status as a riding establishment to provide riding experiences for people of all ages. It is not a riding school, but she is able to offer tailor made experiences in the saddle.

Juliette added: “I have managed to reach many different families, from a consultant Paediatrician with a disabled child, who strongly believes in Pony TLC as an alternative therapy, to teachers, carers and ex-military who have had a fear of horses. It has been an incredible year.”

Reviewing Pong TLC, Carrie Ryan said: “My 13-year-old daughter had lost her confidence with horses after a bad riding experience, but with the help of Pony TLC she rode again and loved it.

“I never thought I’d ever hug a horse again as I didn’t trust them either, but I cried after hugging Joe the horse.”

Another parent, Lisa Windiate said: “Holly, who has Autism had an amazing time at Pny TLC, she was very nervous, but Juliette put her at ease and went at Holly’s pace.

“Thank you so much Juliette and your gorgeous animals – you are all very special and are doing something amazing.”

To find out more about Pony TLC visit: facebook.com/PonyTLC/