Posted on 24th October 2023
On September 14th, against the backdrop of a picturesque and sunny day, Gul Outdoor Therapy had the distinct honour of hosting a Royal Visit at their Wiltshire site. Gul is renowned for offering Equine Assisted services dedicated to health and wellbeing, alongside a diverse array of outdoor activities, including equestrian sports. They hold a long membership with ABRS+, a testament to their enduring commitment.
The esteemed guest for this memorable occasion was The Duchess of Edinburgh, who arrived by helicopter and spent an enchanting hour with the dedicated team at Wiltshire. Her Royal Highness had the opportunity to engage with various groups, including primary school children with educational needs in the tranquil woodland area, learning disabled adults in the vibrant garden, and teenagers navigating the complexities of behaviour and mental wellbeing through the riding programme.
The highlight of the visit was the heartwarming reunion with two cherished ponies, His Majesty the King’s ponies. These ponies, on their well-deserved retirement from the Balmoral Estate, have found a loving home at Gul for over a decade. The Duchess, in particular, was delighted to reconnect with Balmoral Ulleam (William), and regaled those in attendance with the endearing tale of the moment “she and William parted company” during a horseback ride on the estate, when an unexpected duck flew up in their path when riding on the estate.
The visit was a true delight, as The Duchess demonstrated her remarkable equestrian skills and an innate affinity for the Royal Highland Ponies as well as her knowledge about the benefits of Equine Assisted Services, a field in which Gul has been a pioneer for 15 years, left a lasting impression.
This royal visit was not just a special day for Gul Outdoor Therapy, but a heartwarming celebration of their enduring commitment to equine-assisted well-being and the harmonious coexistence of man and horse in a serene Wiltshire landscape.
Gul is an accredited provider of the new OCN London Level 3 Diploma in Equine Assisted Services and encourages all riding centres to consider this area of work to fill the quieter hours of the school day without causing equines to work hard physically. For information on the course please visit Gul’s website on www.guloutdoortherapy.org