Ida Thorne of the Aldersbrook Riding School seeking sponsors for horses and ponies to stay open

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Ida Thorne with Cheynne James on Danny the horse sponsored by the Nightingale pub. Buy this photo » Ida Thorne with Cheynne James on Danny the horse sponsored by the Nightingale pub.

The owner of a riding school which has provided pleasure for hundreds of children for the last 40 years says she fears she might have to close.

Ida Thorne, 75, set up the Aldersbrook Riding School in Empress Avenue in 1973 and lives on the site.

She runs private lessons but also provides special classes for partially sighted children using the nine horses and ponies at the school.

Buts she says she has only been able to stay open after ploughing her own savings into the business and is now running out of cash.

She said: “I don’t have much of my own money left and our financial forecasts are dire.

“We try to stay as cheap as we can because the whole point of this place is to make horseriding as accessible to as many people as possible

“But we have been hit hard with all the snow and the price of hay, straw and feed have gone through the roof.”

The school is seeking sponsors for its animals in an effort to raise funds.

Mrs Thorne has already struck a deal with Wanstead pub, The Nightingale, to sponsor one of its ponies, Danny.

She said: “We are delighted that the Nightingale are getting involved, but we need more help, so we hope some other businesses might get in touch.

“I can’t contemplate life without this place, I love the work we do so much – especially with the children.

“I have always thought that horses and children are good for each other and that’s what we have built our reputation on.”

Shaheda Patel, 45, of Coventry Road in Ilford sends her daughters 16-year-old Uzma and 14-year-old Zainab to the school.

She said: “They have been going since last year and they absolutely love it.

“They even come down to do voluntary work with the horses when they are not riding.

“It has been so good for them and I think working and interacting with the animals has been very character building.

“I can’t imagine how upset they would be if the place had to close. It would be very sad.”

To find out how your business can sponsor one of the ponies at the Aldersbrook Riding Schoolcall Ida Thorne on 020 8530 4648

Comments (2)

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12:42am Thu 21 Feb 13

Cornbeefur says...

It is fantastic news that the Nightingale have save local stables from closure and I hope that the customers support the cause. It is very expensive to keep a horse i am told.

Unless you are on benefits and the public pay the £200 a month like the Lady in the papers today with the 11 children and whose local authority are building her a nice six bedroom house, paying for her kids, water, electric, gas and school uniforms and so on.

Where are the Father(s) of these children? Why can they not at least pay for the horse?

Another report says that children in the UK are on the lowest poverty line.

How does this work when they ride a horse?
It is fantastic news that the Nightingale have save local stables from closure and I hope that the customers support the cause. It is very expensive to keep a horse i am told. Unless you are on benefits and the public pay the £200 a month like the Lady in the papers today with the 11 children and whose local authority are building her a nice six bedroom house, paying for her kids, water, electric, gas and school uniforms and so on. Where are the Father(s) of these children? Why can they not at least pay for the horse? Another report says that children in the UK are on the lowest poverty line. How does this work when they ride a horse? Cornbeefur

8:32am Sun 24 Feb 13

LakeBreeze says...

This is sad, because this riding school is also part of Aldersbrook/Wanstead life and recent history. And although yes, riding and owning a horse is a pricey thing basically, stables like these can offer kids of all backgrounds a valuable experience volunteering to take care of animals -- that's a character-forming experience. Stables like these don't just benefit the wealthy; they are not always unaffordable to use, they help keep something of wholesome interest in the neighbourhood, it's wonderful to encounter riders rambling on Wanstead Flats. The loss of such a place would leave a hole in the feel of the general community.
This is sad, because this riding school is also part of Aldersbrook/Wanstead life and recent history. And although yes, riding and owning a horse is a pricey thing basically, stables like these can offer kids of all backgrounds a valuable experience volunteering to take care of animals -- that's a character-forming experience. Stables like these don't just benefit the wealthy; they are not always unaffordable to use, they help keep something of wholesome interest in the neighbourhood, it's wonderful to encounter riders rambling on Wanstead Flats. The loss of such a place would leave a hole in the feel of the general community. LakeBreeze

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