Riding to success

Thanks to your donations 35-40 disabled children are enabled to experience enjoyment, challenge, and a sense of achievement through participation in equestrian activities that improves their quality of life, assists to attain personal goals and develop life skills.

A $10,000 grant from the Give Where You Live Foundation allows Riding for Disabled – Barwon Centre to focus on developing the overall wellbeing of disabled children, specifically, confidence, physical attributes, social outlook and interaction enabling them to cope better with life challenges and giving them the confidence to ‘have a go ‘at other sporting activities and whatever other opportunities life may offer them.

A letter from one of the participants mothers:
Matt has Cerebral Palsy complicated by Dystonia. While he can walk in his walker mostly he accesses the community in his wheelchair.

It must be 11 or 12 years that Matt has been attending RDA. In the beginning Matt had no strength to even sit on the horse. There was talk among specialists that his hips were starting to come away from his sockets and in the future, may need surgery.

Each time the horse moved Matt would fall forward and they have to start again. As time went on Matt was getting older and stronger and was able to stay upright for longer. One day one of the volunteers came with a handle that sat under the saddle, so Matt could hold on. This made all the difference. We never did need that surgery.

He now has an amazing relationship with the horse he rides, and he is able to feel like everyone else on a horse. He still needs a lot of support but the volunteers each week to give him the security he needs/ help, so he can succeed. They treat every person, child, parent, carer or teacher the same with dignity and respect no matter your background and in that, the child learns to respect the horse.

Thank you to the Geelong based group Give Where You Live. Their support means each rider can access the program free of charge and have individual support and includes boots and helmet. I love Fridays and watching a young man with significant disability and others with different needs, have an hour on a horse like Floyd. He can see the world with a different view and most of all to be included, is everything.

– From a Mum who will remain grateful to the volunteers of Riding for Disabled.