Athens, Greece – Shrieks of terror mixed with squeals of unbridled excitement pierce the quiet afternoon in a small vineyard behind a horse stable in Ilion, a suburb of Athens, Greece.

The noisemakers, two 17-year-old Afghan refugee girls, are riding horses for the first time in their lives.

Once a week since early October, young Syrian, Afghan and African refugees from camps and shelters across Athens have been brought to the United Pony Caravan to ride and care for horses as part of an equine therapy programme for refugee children stranded in Athens.

The United Pony Caravan, a privately funded organisation, was founded by Joffrey Debut and a small group of horse riders and trainers from France, aiming to help refugee children heal.

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