Lucy Seeley, Founder of Equihandee

The creator of a safety harness for young and disabled horse riders which enhances confidence and greater stability 

I don’t know where my passion for horse riding comes from, because no-one else in my family were riders!

I’ve ridden since the age of eight. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but I found a chap who had some horses and I’d do a bit of work around the place, like mucking out, in exchange for lessons.

The last 14 years were spent managing an office, but I was made redundant earlier this year. I created the Equihandee in my spare time – dedicating evenings, weekends and paid holidays to get it off the ground.

It all started when my daughter was three and learning to ride. I struggled to hold her safely in the saddle because my body was pointed in two different directions – very uncomfortable! She wasn’t totally safe and I couldn’t run the risk of anything happening to her, so I created a product which enables children to grow core strength and find their balance whilst also feeling confident in the saddle. Its carefully designed handle also allows the parent/instructor to walk with a straight body; hold the child securely; and enjoy complete peace of mind.

Completely self-funded and launched in 2017, I’m using the time I have following my redundancy to plough even more energy into the business. My creation is manufactured by a UK-based blue-chip safety harness company and I’m proud to say that since launching the Equihandee, it’s helped many young and disabled horse riders.

I’ve also created the Equihandee Freedom for children with sensory needs and autism, which utilises a padded jacket underneath the harness to relieve physical pressure on their bodies, and this week I’m trialling a third product for children with spinal injuries or low core strength.

When I see a child enjoying 10 minutes of pure freedom and joy on a horse because of my creation, it’s an unbelievable feeling which can’t be beat. I’ve had ups and downs bringing my products to market, but I never lost faith because I knew they were good.

I’ll keep putting the work in and I’ll continue to learn about building a business because I’m thoroughly determined to get to where I want to be.