Disabled riding centre welcomes new team member – 14-year-old Shelly the pony (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Disabled riding centre welcomes new team member – 14-year-old Shelly the pony
VOLUNTEERS at an organisation dedicated to helping disabled youngsters experience the pleas-ures of horse riding have wel-comed a new member of the team.
Shelly, a 14-year-old pony, has been officially handed over to the Lytchett Riding for the Disabled Group from the Rushall Park Riding Stables, Corfe Mullen, where the group meets every Friday.
Group riding instructor and secretary Diana Drew said: “We’ve been using Stacey for some time but now we’ve offi-cially bought her from the stables.
“We have autistic children coming here and the riding seems to almost unlock them, it is amazing the way they relate to the movement of the horses.”
The Lytchett team caters for around a dozen young people, from specialist local schools, who are either disabled or have learning difficulties.
These youngsters are closely monitored by skilled instructors and Mrs Drew says it is clear they gain a lot from the experience.
“Horses actually seem to have this amazing ability to make the youngsters relax and calm down,” she explained.
“They love the trotting move-ment. We have some who might not seem to be there at all, then after trotting this huge smile breaks out on their faces.
“The whole riding business is very good for their balance and flexibility. The young people know what horse they’ve been on last time and can get quite upset if they have a different horse, even for one week.”
Lytchett Riding for the Disabled Group purchased the pony after a significant donation from Poole’s Blue Boar pub, following the pub’s charity cycle ride last year.
They’ve also been supported by the Sherborne Castle County Fair.
However, they still need volunteer helpers to work with the horses and youngsters every Friday.
If you would like to help, or for information on the disabled riding programme, call 0845 241 6325.
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