Horse charity is ready to restart

Judith Edwards of the Spirit at Play equine centre in Illston on the Hill.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160728-132952005

Judith Edwards of the Spirit at Play equine centre in Illston on the Hill. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160728-132952005

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The long-running saga of the ‘healing horses’ charity looks set for a happy ending next month.

The group’s Centre near Illston on the Hill shut down in February after suffering from theft and vandalism.

But centre manager Judith Edwards said a series of donations and some hard work had helped the centre get back on its feet again.

“It’s a complete new centre with all-new facilities including a log cabin, a hay store and a hard track for users” said Judith.

“We’re hoping to re-open within the next month.”

The Spirit At Play organisation offers an ‘equine-assisted learning centre’ - horse skills training for people with problems and disabilities.

The not-for-profit organisation uses seven rescue horses to interact with people with ‘life problems’, either physical or emotional.

Mrs Edwards, who lives in Fleckney, said: “What we do is help people by allowing them to interact with the horses.

“One of our main clients is Autism Outreach. We’ve had some wonderful outcomes.”

Harborough District Council’s planning committee gave the go-ahead for the charity to use a site just outside Illston last October.

Cllr Sindy Modha said: “This seems to me to be a very laudable and lovely venture to support.”

But the Centre was hit by by vandalism. On one occasion the horses escaped and had to be rounded up on the nearby B6047 between Market Harborough and Melton.

Now Mrs Edwards said any volunteers happy to help with the horses or with a planned open day in August should ring her on 07904 053899.