Ride on: Supporting The Horse Rangers Association

The London Freemasons’ Charity recently provided a grant of £2,500 to the Horse Rangers Association. Bro Mark Russell spoke with Rachel Phelan, a Fundraiser for the Charity, to find out more about their work and how the grant would be used.


The Horse Rangers Association (HRA) was founded in 1954 and is now preparing to celebrate its 70th anniversary. Based in The Royal Mews, Hampton Court, the charity has been at the heart of the local community for all that time; providing the opportunity for children, young people and those living with disabilities to develop life and social skills whilst learning to ride and care for horses.

The HRA now has 43 horses and runs sessions lasting four hours on Saturdays or Sundays, 52 weeks of the year. The young people who attend follow a structured programme of riding lessons and stable management training. Their progress and achievements are celebrated through a badge and promotion system and participants are encouraged to take on more responsibility as they develop and grow in confidence.
The HRA also holds midweek sessions in conjunction with the Riding for the Disabled Association.
It’s not just about riding: the HRA’s work builds character, confidence and many other key skills. The sessions, whether weekday or weekend, are led by volunteers who aim to enhance each participant’s self-esteem, their ability to work as part of a team, sense of responsibility and communication skills. 

Rachel adds, “The LFC grant will be used to fund our Supporting Families Programme, which provides fully subsidised spaces in the mainstream sessions for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. These young people would not normally have the opportunity to become involved in horse riding, due to the high cost associated with equestrian activities.” 

Whilst looking after horses sounds like hard work, Rachel was keen to stress that there is plenty of time for fun and socialising as well – plus there are extra events. In addition to the practical sessions, HRA has arranged further equestrian opportunities, such as a recent visit to the police stables at Scotland  Yard. They also have an annual service at the Chapel Royal in Hampton Court Palace. 
When asked what the LFC grant will mean to the HRA, Chief Executive Jeremy Richardson said “On behalf of our entire organisation, we extend our deepest gratitude to the London Freemasons’ Charity for their generous contribution to our Supporting Families Programme. Through your kindness, we can continue to offer fully subsidised places in our programme, where disadvantaged children and young people can not only learn to ride and care for horses but also acquire valuable life skills. By fostering a love for animals, patience, teamwork, and responsibility, we are equipping these young individuals with skills that are not only vital in the stable but also highly transferrable into their everyday lives, education, and future employment. The London Freemasons’ Charity’s generosity is shaping not just their experiences in our programme but also their journey towards a brighter future.” 

Bro Mark was interested to find out that the Patron of the Horse Rangers Association is HRH Princess Michael of Kent who takes a keen interest in their activity and is an accomplished horsewoman herself. More information about the Horse Rangers Association and how volunteers can help the charity can be found on their website, at www.horserangers.com