Merry Christmas from Ebony Horse Club

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Ebony Horse Club


“Some of the ponies love it, some of them aren’t as impressed, but they all look cute at the end of it…”

Naomi Howgate


Ebony Horse Club – a Brixton based charity that works with disadvantaged children and teenagers – host a Christmas show every year where their ponies take the leading roles.

Whatever your tradition may be, we wish you a Merry Chrismas and a happy new year.

From the Museum of London.


Naomi Howgate:

We have two Christmas traditions. One of them is that our young members – who range from about eight up to about 20 – decorate our ponies with tinsel, and sometimes fairy lights, to make them all sparkly and get them in the Christmas spirit. Some of the horses love it, some of them aren’t so impressed, but they look cute at the end of it with antlers on them and Santa hats, and the ponies get little Santa sacks full of carrots as a treat to say well done.

The horses do have to be really patient when we’re doing this because obviously tinsel is a bit scary for them – it’s not really something they see everyday. We teach all week and we’ll see about 140 children but for the Christmas decorating it will probably be about 20 or 30. We have loads of volunteers who get involved and to be honest it’s one of the best things we get to do all year. We always take pictures at the end which the kids can take home.

Our second Christmas tradition is sort of an end of year show. We’ve done this in various ways but it usually involves a drama piece, or a piece of theatre, and we also involve the horses. So last year we had a production – it was basically a horsey take on A Christmas Carol. We had about 20 kids involved in the production and there was singing and acting and one of our ponies was the star of the show. There was a part for him in the play. He came out of his stable and walked around and kind of interacted with the kids on the stage and it was great.

For that we invite all the parents, volunteers and friends from the local community. We probably had around 60 people watching and are hoping for even more this year. We bring out mulled wine and that sort of thing and make it a festive end of year celebration. It’s a great way for everyone to show off their non-horsey skills but involving a horsey twist.


Museum of performers

The image is part of a series of collaborative works between the Museum of London, photographer Annie Collinge and Londoners.