An experienced horse riding instructor from East Durham has expanded her business into Pakistan to help teach staff who work with children with learning difficulties.
Laura Moir, 33, from Shotton Colliery runs East Durham Equine Solutions, a business she set up in 2016 after working in various roles within the horse riding world, from a competition groom to a chief instructor at a riding school.
Laura has also competed on her own and client horses.
In May she was approached by The Sunrise Therapeutic Horsemanship Program based in Islamabad, Pakistan.
She was asked to visit them to help some very experienced instructors become better at teaching children with special needs how to ride, and is currently in the middle of a two week stay.
Laura said: “I jumped at the chance. So here I am, one week into my two week stay. The centre is small compared to British riding schools; they have two riding horses and a four-month old foal.
“There are four instructors, three side walkers and a leader. The teach approximately 35 children, all of whom have a disability, how to do the basics and it is a self funded charity.
“The children pay nothing and they get a riding lesson as well as a grooming lesson every week.
“It’s such a fantastic program to be involved in and it is so rewarding to see these children and their parents get so much out of there sessions.
“I’m working with the whole team and improving their teaching skills, riding skills, as well as their team work ethics and the way they communicate with the children, and we have just introduced some hand signals to go with the verbal commands in the hope that children that can not speak can communicate back to us.
“We’re all working hard – the progression from the team is brilliant and it shows in the children’s lessons.”
East Durham Equine Solutions offers services including teaching, clipping, school, back and break and also provides clients with a livery service.
Laura added: “The hospitality in Pakistan is also brilliant and it’s a wonderful place to visit. I am really enjoying my stay here – it is hard work but it has also been incredibly rewarding and something I’d definitely do again.”