It is always a great moment at HorseBack when a plan goes from on paper to real life. It is even more gratifying when that plan turns out to work. This week, there was such a plan and such a moment.
Regular readers will know that this year we initiated our first Mentors’ Programme. This was where veterans who had been through the HorseBack courses trained to support, encourage and mentor new course participants. The reason we love this idea so much is that we believe the best way to help someone is to empower them to help others. Many of our veterans had said to us that they really wanted to give something back. We had a rolling volunteer programme, but becoming a mentor was a more formal thing, with full training and an official role in the organisation.
The training programme went better than we could have dreamt, and this week saw the mentors in action for the first time.
They had a few challenges to meet. They rose to those challenges, without hesitating. ‘They were brilliant,’ says HorseBack co-founder Jock Hutchison. ‘They got everything right. They were always there when people needed them. You could see them growing in confidence, day by day.’
He pauses, thinks, smiles. ‘Human beings need to be part of something,’ he says. ‘That’s where the power is. These mentors are part of something now.’
It was a grand week. The course participants worked hard, achieved fine successes, conquered doubts and fears. And the mentors were there beside them, every step of the way. We salute them all.