Holly has ridden with us since she joined the school however in the last few years her confidence and ability has grown tremendously. Holly is doing Therapeutic riding where we do some work on her core strength and balance, but we are actually teaching her to control the pony using reins and leg aids. She has started to ride independently off the lead rein so she is in complete control of the pony. Holly can ride circles, weave between cones, stop and start, she has even been practicing going backwards! She can trot a full circuit of the arena in both directions keeping her body well balanced without a saddle or stirrups. She has practiced sections of a dressage test where a sequence of movements around the arena have to be memorised and performed in order.
We also do activities such as collecting and placing hoops over poles which involves reaching a long way out to the side, as well as riding over poles. This has been a very big achievement for Holly as the pony tripped on a pole a few years ago and she was very nervous of them after that, but she has overcome that fear and sits tall as Todd steps over each one.
A special bond has formed between Holly and Todd where he interprets her adapted signals and appears to look after while she trusts in him too. As she has the last session of the week we have been able to allow her to stroke the pony before he goes off for the weekend and he always turns his head gently towards her, it’s a very special moment for us to be part of. Holly’s sessions are such a pleasure and help to keep me on my toes thinking about what I can challenge her with next!
Our therapeutic riding and hippotherapy service is funded entirely by voluntary donations, if you would like to see the ways you can donate to support this service, please click here.