On Monday, June 9th, Norman and I were invited to the Lea Valley Riding Stables to see ten disabled children have their fourth riding lesson. Each child was accompanied by a responsible adult and other helpers were on hand to give assistance.
The children came from the following schools: Millfield; St John & St. James; Lauriston and Seabright. Lessons are held Monday and Wednesday mornings.
The group were divided into two, so that five rode at a time, while the others had a snack in the canteen.
As it was such a beautiful day, after a brief trial walk around the exercise arena, the horses and riders were led into the grounds.
One beautiful little girl, who had great difficulty in walking by herself, sat upright and confident once placed on the horse. She was so much at ease, one could be forgiven in thinking she had been riding for years! Several others were timid and unsure at first, but they soon relaxed and began to enjoy themselves once the horses were moving. It was obvious that contact with the animals had a positive affect on all the children – their happy smiling faces said it all.
We were given a copy of a book each child would receive as a memento, and for follow-up work and discussion . It contained photographs, symbols and words describing their riding experiences. Later, at school and home they would be encouraged to share their personal thoughts with friends and family.
The children gained a good deal from this project and we sincerely hope the Learning Trust can offer further support in the future.
We also had a good time and were pleased to be invited.
Dorothy and Norman