AN AMERICAN horse whisperer came to Gwent to help youngsters with autism and behavioural issues.

Franklin Levinson was invited to Wales by Abergavenny mum Emma Meredith, who wanted youngsters to work with her ponies now her children have grown up.

Her daughter Agatha, 19, was born with hypermobility, or loose joints, but benefited greatly once Mrs Meredith bought her a pony and learned how to ride.

The mum-of-three, who lives between Raglan and Abergavenny, felt other children could benefit, and after doing some online research, discovered equine facilitated learning which helps youngsters with autism.

She saw a clip of Mr Levinson working online and decided to invite him to Wales as a starting point for seeing if there was a need for such classes in the local area.

On Thursday, a group of youngsters spent the day communicating with ponies at Triley Fields Equestrian Centre, getting them to walk alongside them and brushing their manes.

Mrs Meredith, 42, believes youngsters can benefit physically and mentally.

She said: “The ultimate aim is to set this up as a business and show how beneficial it can be.” For more details, contact Mrs Meredith on 07828522614.