Mission, Vision, & Core Values


Riding for Smiles’ (RfS) mission is to enrich the lives of young people and adults through the opportunity to be involved in a range of equestrian experiences.

RfS mission is to be a leader in providing equestrianism for young people who are disabled; physically or mentally; disadvantaged, or in need of distraction or relief from hurt and pain.

RfS mission is to be a leader in providing equestrianism experiences that are determined and specified for the special educational needs (SEN) of the young person.

RfS will positively target young people. However, the opportunity will be extended to people of all ages.


RfS will partner with Coloured Cob Equestrian Centre (CCEC) in order to deliver a range of activities.

RfS will partner with a professional in special educational needs so that experiences are planned, monitored, and evaluated.

RfS will use all its best endevours to nurture these two very valued relationships.

RfS will seek grant funding to enable experiences to de delivered at zero / low cost to the participant.

Core Values

Appropriateness – RfS will endevour to provide experiences that are suitable, relevant and beneficial to every young person.

Inclusivity – RfS will seek to provide a range of experiences which will enable all young people to participate regardless of their disability or financial status.

Kindness – CCEC number one core value is ‘kindness to animals’. CCEC and RfS will embrace this core value, kindness to our users instilling kindness to each other and to all animals.

Respect – Riding for Smiles will be understanding and sympathetic to all problems and needs and will treat everyone with equality and respect.

Where did we come from?

Riding for Smiles was started in 2017 by Sharon Tolley (Proprietor of The Coloured Cob Equestrian Centre) and Stephanie Hind (Special Needs Teacher). They share the same passion and belief that riding and interaction with horses can provide a therapeutic experience and an enjoyable and immensely beneficial platform for learning, fostering development in many areas.

For a number of years, Sharon had provided successful riding sessions for disabled children and young people in her riding school. Stephanie had, as part of her special needs and physical education teaching career, provided animal therapy and alternative strategies as part of kinaesthetic learning provision. Together they combined their skills and professional knowledge and began offering riding and activity sessions to schools for children with additional needs. After a year we were granted charitable status and the first board of trustees was formed.

Who we are

Riding for Smiles is a registered charity offering inclusive and innovative equestrian based activities to disabled and vulnerable children, young people and adults.  Our Registered Charity Number is 1174773

Riding for Smiles works with those who have physical, social, learning, behavioral and emotional/mental disabilities or multiple needs and those who are disaffected, excluded or marginalised.

The Coloured Cob Equestrian Centre is Riding for Smiles’ home. The Centre provides the equestrian experiences for Riding for Smiles It is also a riding school open to the public; offering riding lessons, pony parties, pony club, carriage driving and much more. Based on the border of rural Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire and set on a bridleway, Coloured Cob is blessed with some of the most stunning pony treks in the UK. Most of their rides take you through the archaeological beauty spot of Creswell Crags, which is a limestone gorge, honeycombed with caves that date back to the Ice Age and provide a quite breath-taking trekking experience. Creswell Crags

The Team

Sarah Atkin

Sarah Atkin


Solicitor, Civil litigation
Head of Operations and Technical Performance
Horse owner

Dr. Geoff Cutts

Dr. Geoff Cutts

Chair & Treasurer

Retired, Director and Academic, Sheffield Hallam University
Former Chair of Governors, The Bolsover School
Volunteer, Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Riding for Smiles since 2017
Husband of horse owner

Stephanie Hind

Stephanie Hind

Project liaison officer

Co-founder of Riding for Smiles
Retired, Special Educational Needs teacher
Contracted by RfS, project liaison officer with CCEC, clients and funders.

Read more about


Sharon Tolley

Sharon Tolley


Co-founder of Riding for Smiles
Proprietor: Coloured Cob Equestrian Centre

Helen Stuckey

Helen Stuckey


Retired – Inclusion manager, Special Educational Needs Coordinator, Primary school setting
Voluteer - Girl Guiding UK
Horse loaner - Coloured Cob Equestrian Centre

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