The most recent SLL charity ride project from the Camargue in Southern France to London, England took place May to October 2012 under the name of the Caravan of Hope.

The project maintained the principal aims of the charity:

  • To help children and adults with disabilities and/or special needs by giving them horses to ride

  • To help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds or with sociological problems, by enabling them to care for and ride horses.  Their participation in the Caravan of Hope project will give them an opportunity to get their lives working.

The young British and French participants were formed and accompanied by a support group, on the 1,500 km ride from Southern France to England. The horses were again donated to Riding for the Disabled Association centres in the UK and equivalent centres in France.

The project provided these young people with new skills and experience which to help them reintegrate into society. They learned about communal life, respect for people and animals and for their environment.  The ethological approach of learning about horses was seen as an educational tool, and the youngsters were able to discover each other’s culture and language through the experience.

Participating in the new project were 8 horses, of which 2 pairs of draft horses were driven in tandem pulling 2 covered wagons; with the Camargue horses, ridden by the 8 young people (2 British and 2 French for the first 3 months, and the 4 others for the remaining months) and the SLL team. The whole team including SLL support and ride leaders will number 9 – 10 people for 8 horses for the duration of the project.

Our new objective: Respect for the environment

The 2012 project endeavoured to educate and encourage the young people to become more aware of the natural environments through which the group passed. It is hoped that they could learn to live in an environment of minimum comfort, where typical home comforts are not an absolute necessity, and to understand renewable energy production.

This “Journey of Discovery” operated with a minimum of motorized escort vehicles, which is the major difference to the previous projects and our objective was to leave as small a carbon footprint as possible. (In the end, one small car was needed for running errands, fetching supplies and airport duties.)

Read the blog diary and see the photos of the ride: English blog

SLL would like to thank the various partners, sponsors and individuals for their valuable contributions and help. Please join us again in 2016!