A Horses and Ponies Protection Association is encouraging all pony mad young people to get more involved with the charity with the launch of a new club.

HAPPA, based in Burnley, has launched a new club called the Pony Squad, in the hope that youngsters will come and interact with the resident rescue horses and ponies.

Keen equine lovers will be able to subscribe to the new club, which is aimed at ages up to 16 years, when it launches at the charity’s Shores Hey Farm in Burnley, on Saturday August 20.

As a special offer on this date, young people are invited to attend a free half hour taster session to meet squad leader Kelly Laird, and see what the club is all about.

HAPPA’s education and engagement manager, Ms Laird, said: “Shores Hey Farm is a great day out for people to learn more about horses and horse welfare.

"We have been very busy with our educational programme and identified the need to run a regular club to help young people discover and experience horses and make new friends.

"I am so excited that we have been able to put the programme together to bring to our regular and new supporters the Pony Squad, which will engage those pony mad youngsters in horsey activities at the farm.

"We are passionate about educating and inspiring the next generation of equine enthusiasts. I cannot wait to welcome our new Pony Squad members.”

HAPPA Pony Squad will run on the first Saturday of every month, from 10am-12pm for ages 6-10, and then from 1pm-3pm for ages 11-16.

Each session is designed to allow participants the opportunity to learn more, have fun and get up close and hands on with the HAPPA ponies.

A light refreshment is also included.

As well as attending the monthly sessions, members of the Pony Squad will be able to collect loyalty points, receive a horse grooming box on their first session, then collect stamps at every session completed to be awarded items to complete a full grooming box.

News and updates from the squad can be found in the HAPPA magazine and complimentary access to Shores Hey Farm will be given to all club members.

Taster sessions on August 20 are at 1pm and 2pm, and to secure a place please visit www.happa.org.uk/product/free-pony-squad-taster-session/

To subscribe to the Pony Squad and for more information email education@happa.org.uk or ring Kelly on 07736968079.