Thanks to our After School Club programme, children like Thea are benefiting from the amazing therapy riding can bring.  Read what Thea’s Mum has to say about Thea’s experiences.

My little girl who is coming up 8, has a diagnosis of Down Syndrome. And used to come here when she was at the Battledown Centre for Children and Families and she loved it then. And she loves it now!  She has now been coming up on a Tuesday evening to ride in the session Happy Hoof since it started.

I was so grateful that they had started this session a long with letting Thea  join. It has been like a life line to both of us really. Thea loves the pony she rides, and the sensory side of stroking him, brushing him, riding and trotting on him, her confidence is getting a lot better and her core strength is improving along with her seat.

She does nothing but talk about ‘Denver’ and going ‘horsey riding’ and if she could, I am sure she would go every day. The exercise does her good too, plus in a safe environment and one that I don’t have to worry so much as all the team are so professional, kind, patient and caring and Thea trusts them. That is a big issue for me, trusting someone else with my little girl. Thea has also made friends with two lads there who are older then her and tower above her, but they all get in so well.

I can’t praise the team there enough really, and of course the ponies. They are so wonderful and beautifully cared for.  Of course for me, its a chance to meet up with some lovely people along with other parents who have children with additional needs. I can have a chat and know my child is safe and having a damn great time. Even her speech is starting to come in a bit.  I just know that the RDA is an amazing place, filled with wonderful people and ponies. Both of which I would call angels. A little life line to Thea and myself.

Rider: Miriam's Story

Miriam has a hidden condition (hypermobility) and most people would not know just by looking at her how much she struggles with daily life, find out how riding helped Miriam.

Rider: Becky's Story

“Riding gives me an incredible sense of freedom. It’s one of the few times when I am able to get out of my wheelchair. I don’t feel inhibited or confined. It’s one of few times where my wheelchair isn’t the focus and that feels great”.

Rider: Lee's Story

Lee is a 30 year old young man who has a disability which only affects 1 in 5,000 babies born in the UK. Lee has had to cope with operation after operation since the age of 3 months (27 in total).

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