Jethro has a rare genetic condition called Mowat-Wilson syndrome. He is happy and social but he struggles to balance, sit, walk and communicate. With a soft sheepskin on its back, the RDA pony relaxes Jethro’s legs with its rhythmic walk and builds his core strength and balance.
Jethro’s mum, Shelley, says “Jethro absolutely loves his horse riding. I sincerely believe that without RDA Jethro would never have learned to walk. This has made not only a huge difference to Jethro but also to our whole family.”
RDA horses give many people like Jethro a huge confidence boost. It improves balance, strength & coordination, assists communication and social skills whilst giving riders a great sense of freedom and achievement.
Emily started riding when she was 5 years old, first in the Early Intervention programme on Tuesdays and then in the Riding for Development programme on Mondays. Riding greatly improved Emily’s balance and coordination, and helped her learn left and right and directional and spatial skills. Speech was another area that riding helped develop as she learned to use her voice to give clear commands to the horse, and was very motivated to communicate with her riding friends and helpers. Having horse riding in her life helped her develop a confidence which extended into in other aspects of her life. Emily’s mother Rosie says “RDA was a very important part of Emily’s early school years and we are so thankful we were given the opportunity to attend such a beneficial form of therapy. A big thank you to all the team of volunteers at RDA who supported Emily and who do and amazing with all of the children.”
Jack loves coming to riding. He mostly rides our lovely therapy horse Eclipse. Jack really enjoys being up there on the horse. When in his wheelchair he is always lower than everyone else. He has made great progress, learning to balance himself, and responding well to the volunteers. Nanna Sheryl, who brings Jack every week says, “Jack gets all excited when he knows it’s a riding day, and it has made a real difference to him.”