The new-found confidence of young horse riders is captured in this winning image from Community Care’s second Inspiring Images of Social Care photography competition.
The stars of the image are riders from the Diamond Riding Centre, which provides therapeutic riding for children and adults with learning disabilities.
The centre celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and the picture of the five little snowmen was taken at their annual Christmas event.
Lyn Axon, group instructor at the centre, said: “We decided to enter the competition because we wanted to show people the enjoyment and the sheer thrill that is achieved by riding.
“For some of the children, this is the only time they are out of a wheelchair in a week, sitting up higher than someone else and looking down on the world, and that makes it very special.”
The Christmas event is funded by the Andrew Ballardie Trust, which was set up in memory of Andrew, a rider at the centre who passed away in 1999.
It gives children the opportunity to showcase the riding skills they have learnt during the year and each event is themed, with previous years including nursery rhyme and pantomime themes.
Lyn, who has been an instructor at the centre for 20 years, added: “The work is very rewarding and very humbling. It might be somebody sitting up on a pony for the first time or coming off the reigns and riding independently for the first time, but it is just all those special little moments that make it worthwhile.”
The winning image will join 11 others on a charity calendar, which is sponsored by Caritas recruitment and sent out to thousands of social care professionals.