IN BETWEEN jumps and barrels, young equine enthusiasts at the Warwick Pony Club took a break to reflect on bullying at their first rally day.
Headspace care coordinator Travis Maguire pulled on his boots last Sunday and visited the young riders to give a talk about how to recognised and respond to bullying.
Warwick Pony Club public relations officer Jennifer Topp said participating in pony club helped her two sons, both with autism, build the confidence to stand up to bullies.
"My son last year had never ridden before but when he went to pony club he was encouraged the whole time to ride and try new things and extend himself," Mrs Topp said.
"He is riding a 16-hand thoroughbred mare and he's pulling her up and making her turn. He is learning to be confident in his own actions."
But despite the positive messages in the arena, Mrs Topp acknowledged that social media had started to infiltrate the equine community, and could provide a platform for bullying to take place.
"I am part of 12 equine-related groups myself, and I am on only on the fringes as a parent.
"There would be way more for kids who are doing it regularly," she said.
Plans to raise funds for the the Dolly's Dream Foundation have been put on hold for Warwick Pony Club, as the foundation goes through the process of registering their charity after the tragic death of Amy 'Dolly' Everett in January.
The charity expects to be accepting donations once again by March.
Mrs Topp said the Warwick Pony Club planned to hold another fundraising event in the future.
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