Peak District Kids writer: Helen from Little Puddle People
Based in Edale, Amerron Acres CIC is a small equestrian centre specialising in activities and therapies to support humans with their mental health. With a range of experiences available for both adults and children, the centre offers the opportunity to spend time amongst the horses, learning and being outdoors without a focus being put on riding.
Peak District Kids was invited to visit Amerron Acres FOC for the purposes of this honest review.
Arriving to Amerron Acres
We parked our car in the farmyard at the top of the drive and were welcomed to Amerron Acres by a very smiley Jess. After saying our hellos, she showed us across the field to the paddock, just a few minutes walk away.
The setting is stunning. Nestled between Mam Tor and the Great Ridge on one side and Kinder Scout on the other, with 360° views of the Peak District, no busy roads, and barely a house in site for miles, it feels extremely peaceful.
Facilities at Amerron Acres
There is a small building with a toilet, sofa and facilities to make drinks. This building is also used for the goats and horses, so although dry and sheltered it’s not heated.
The walls display evidence of the really valuable work done with some of the regular learners here.
What to wear
Dress for the weather and be comfortable. Sturdy footwear to protect feet from the horses hoofs and the expected mud are also important.
We visited on a cold January weekend and it even started snowing while we were there. In this region of the National Park, you are exposed to the elements where the weather rarely follows the forecast. So be prepared with layers.
What to expect
We attended a Family Visit, which is a 1 hour private session, costing £50. Amerron Acres also offers Equine Facilitated Learning and Retreats for those who want to enjoy the experience over a series of sessions or a for longer, more immersive visit.
Jess began by spending time introducing us to each horse, we stroked them and felt their fur as we learnt about their breed and how they’d come to the farm, their personalities and names. We then went to meet the goats and her dog who was enjoying a snooze in the cosy barn area and indoor classroom (this is set up for experiences to still go ahead on adverse weather days).
My son then got to choose out of a few activities which he’d like to do. He chose to build an obstacle course for a horse. First he revisited each of the horses and chose who the obstacle course was for. Then together we all built an obstacle course using jumps, cones and hoops. Harvey (aged 6) helped Jess get the harness on and lead his chosen horse, Freya, around his creation. Much hilarity ensued as Freya kept tripping over his obstacle course and going the wrong way!
We then spent time grooming the horses before having a go at sitting on one. Harvey wasn’t sure at first, but there was no pressure so he soon changed his mind. Gently supported and encouraged by Jess he was delighted to be up on the horse. He was absolutely beaming from ear to ear as he leant in to cuddle her. Once he was ready we said goodbye to all the horses before heading back across the fields.
How to book an experience with Amerron Acres
Sessions must be booked in advance via email with Jess. Click here to visit the website.
Final thoughts on our experience with Amerron Acres
Jess was so lovely and warm, with a gentle calm approach, sharing in our joy and laughing along with us. It really put us at ease with the horses; animals we have no experience with.
Her passion for horse therapy and the impact it can have on children’s lives, especially those with SEN really shines through, and is at the heart of everything she does here.
Later on Harvey exclaimed, “It wasn’t just good mummy, it was amazing!” and declared horses his new favourite animal.