The Leg-Up Trust currently hosts between 60 and 70 students per week. These consist of youngsters with behavioral issues, victims of abuse and neglect and learning difficulties. A select few are sent to hone their recognised leadership potential. The children come to Leg-Up through school referrals, Police, CYFS and CAFS to name the principal sources. The point of difference in Leg Up Trust's approach which succeeds where all else has failed lies in the use of horses as teachers. Where human beings may be suspect in the view of abused and neglected children, the horses pose no such risk to damaged souls. They keep their own counsel, offer what is perceived as unconditional love and do not judge. The students learn the basics of a relationship which has to supersede the predator/prey barrier, and through this become aware of how their actions influence those around them. To see a selective mute start whispering to his or her horse and then eventually speak to the humans at Leg-Up is a very moving experience. To witness a known bully tenderly grooming his horse when he thinks nobody is watching gives hope for the future conduct of someone previously destined for a life of violence. Leg-Up Trust receives no government funding and relies on the generosity of volunteers and the public to supplement the Trust’s own fundraising efforts.
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