Fifty years ago when Milton Keynes was but a dream, a 40-acre site was designated for use as a riding school.
The idea was that local residents could enjoy horses and green space right in the heart of the town.
That space is in Loughton and after many years of underinvestment the charity, Ride High, has taken over a 30-year lease of the site and a commitment to turn it into a thriving riding school that everyone can enjoy.
The Ride High Equestrian Centre is just 10 minutes walk from the train station and the heart of Milton Keynes.
Rachel Medill, founder and chief executive of Ride High, said: “This huge green oasis of land sits in the heart of Milton Keynes but is almost unknown.
“It was intended to be a space where local people could enjoy the countryside and the gentle beauty of horses but it has been forgotten about for many years – now we are bringing it back to life.
“We have 30 horses and ponies so we can offer riding lessons to children and adults as well as the organise the best pony parties in town.”
A groundbreaking first for Milton Keynes – The Ride High Equestrian Centre will be the long term home for the charity.
The venture is a social enterprise and the first riding school in the UK which is run with the primary aim of supporting disadvantaged children. Any profits from the equestrian centre will fund the charitable work with the children. Once again Milton Keynes is leading the field.
Ride High is the Mayor’s Charity of the Year. Councillor David Hopkins said: “How fitting that in MK’s 50th year this wonderful site will come back to life for the benefit of the whole community but also for some of our most disadvantaged children.”
Joanna Fay, managing director, said: “The Ride High Equestrian Centre is set in a beautiful green space in the heart of Milton Keynes.
“Whether you want to learn to ride, brush up your skills, enjoy some quiet time with a pony, set up a memorable party for your child or arrange a corporate event using horses we will do our best to provide you with an experience that is second to none. Every member of our team is passionate about our horses and ponies and our aim is that you make an equine friend at our centre.”
> The Ride High Equestrian Centre works with beautiful horses and ponies but very dilapidated stables.
This is where readers and supporters of the venture come in with the community encouraged to get involved with a crowdfunding campaign to help give the ponies safe and warm stables before the winter sets in. Donors can get involved and become part of the team that makes the site come alive and benefit from a range of benefits such as free riding lessons.