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Back To School

Blog 16Sept

We’ve got a going back to school feeling at HorseBack, as September rolls on. This makes us contemplate one of our favourite ideas: how you think about a thing can change that thing.

Going back to school can induce a sense of dread: back to lessons, and double maths, and loss of freedom. Or it can bring a feeling of anticipation – so many new things to learn, so many new challenges to tackle.

The long lockdown meant that we were thrown back on our own resources. There were no veterans walking up the drive; the farm was not filled with young people; there was silence where there once had been laughter. Our co-founder, Emma Hutchison, decided to see this as an opportunity instead of a curse. She put her thinking hat on and put into motion a whole raft of new projects and partnerships. Even as these words are being written, she is down in the south, working on a course with Tedworth Equestrian, so that she can share the HorseBack methods with the wider military family.

Because of all these new projects, our going back to school is absolutely packed with work. The small HorseBack team is going to have to go full steam ahead. Everyone will pull together.

We could see this as a bit of a stretch. We will be pushed to our limits over the next few months. And the strange coronavirus time has left us a little out of practice: our full steam ahead muscles will need to get back into shape. Yet we choose to see this as an excitement: it is what we are here for, after all.

One of the interesting things about our enforced break is that it did remind us why we do this, why we started this charity in the first place. When we were in our usual routine, we were so busy that we could go, just a little, into automatic pilot. The pause helped us to remember that we exist to help veterans who have given everything in the service of their country, and who deserve support and care and consideration in their turn. So many of them feel forgotten and abandoned; we are here to say, ‘No, you count. We see you. We are here for you.’

So the new term is going to call on us to stretch every sinew. We shall have to do our homework and sharpen our minds. And that is exactly how it should be: that is our best challenge. Because there is a reason for it and a meaning to it. We are giving back to those who gave everything. And there is nothing more satisfying than that.

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We do not rely on government funding so any donations will greatly assist with the running of our charity.

We do not rely on government funding so any donations will greatly assist with the running of our charity.