We are harnessing the power of horses to help people overcome anxiety, loneliness and isolation. The Covid restrictions have taken their toll on everyone. Increasing numbers of military and local families, young people and children are coming to Tedworth Equestrian, the Armed Forces Equine Charity, for help.
Can you help us raise money to buy adaptive riding equipment so we can help more disabled young people and children?
We are raising £4,000 for
- Two adaptive saddles to allow help disabled young people to experience the joy of riding
- A hoist to enable the more severely disabled riders to mount a horse
Tidworth Garrison, the largest in the UK, is home to 30,000 people - mostly young families and single soldiers. We know that soldiers’ mental health has been seriously impacted over the last six months, and the risk of suicide has increased. Tedworth Equestrian works to support these people to meet others, gain social skills and develop their self-confidence through interaction with horses.
One in six children and young people in our community live with a mental health condition, and the Covid restrictions have put increased strain on these young people, as well as those with long-term disabilities. Families and carers are also in desperate need of respite, having worked tirelessly during the crisis.
As the Armed Forces Equine Charity, Tedworth Equestrian was established in 2019 to bring people and horses together. We are about people - we aim to foster a sense of belonging in our communities and to promote people’s wellbeing through sport and recreation.
" My autistic son Joshua is a different child when he is at the stables. Animated, interested, eager to learn and much more vocal than normal. It really is something he gets excited about. For us as a family it’s really important that he continues with this as it’s wonderful when there is something he can get involved in and it’s making a real difference to him.” Joanne
So far we have used interaction with horses to help over 300 young people and children, primarily from local schools such as Icknield and Grateley House, to develop their confidence, interpersonal and communication skills.
Karolyn is the mother of one of our young riders. She says: "My son Brody loves horse riding. He has Autism, learning difficulties, Epilepsy, Scoliosis and high anxiety levels. When he is riding he is so relaxed and happy. He has gained a real understanding of how to care for a horse - mucking it out and grooming it. His horse is called Barbie, and he talks a lot about her, which shows just how important she is in his life."
We have also helped disabled servicepeople, referred to us by Help for Heroes, and other people with complex needs, supported by a range of charities. Everyone who comes to us learns how to care for horses, building trust through interaction and many gaining technical riding skills.
Our centre in Tedworth Park is a place where anyone, regardless of age or ability, can access help and support.
We reach out through the following programmes:
• Equine Recovery supports people coping with anxiety and depression, grief, domestic abuse and isolation issues. The demand to support this latter group has significantly increased as a result of Covid-19. We are also working with the National Health Service in their delivery of social prescribing.
• Equine Assisted Learning helps people to develop life skills, values and build confidence.
• Our Equine Rehabilitation Programme supports people rehabilitating from a range of issues. Our current projects are helping those recovering from addiction (drugs, alcohol and gambling).
• Our Equine Assisted Therapy helps those with declared mental and physical challenges and involves the careful combination of clinician, equine expert, the individual and our specialist horses.
• Equine Sport and Recreation programmes fully support active lifestyles for both able and disabled.
“Jasmine has Retts syndrome a neurological disorder and very low muscle tone. She has not been able to get on a horse for years but you helped her to sit on a horse and I cried when I saw the photos of her looking so happy! The hoist would fulfil our children’s dreams to be able to ride regularly.” Tracey
Paul Hoggett, Assistant Headteacher of Icknield School, says riding is “a wonderful opportunity for our students and it provides a learning opportunity that enhances our young people in so many ways. We are eternally grateful to the team at Tedworth for sharing their expertise and facilities with us. Icknield School supports children with severe physical and learning disabilities and focuses on their growth as a human being so they can live as enriched a life as their health and ability allows.
Being with horses and riding helps students in many ways, he continues, “The touch and smell of horses are new and stimulating experiences for many of our sensory impaired students. Horse riding and the other activities such as mucking out and grooming provide lots of opportunity to teach about shape, space, measure and number.
“Unique experiences such as this provide so many opportunities for students to engage in conversation with others and the feelings and emotions often mean we hear students speak far more often than they do at the school!”
Please help us to buy this vital equipment so we can open up more opportunities for young people and children with disabilities and mental health to find self-esteem and confidence on our courses.
We need to raise £4,000 for:
- Two adaptive saddles
- A hoist to help more severely disabled riders to get on horseback
so that we can help more people like Joshua, Brody and Jasmine.
We have set up a rewards-based crowdfunding campaign to help fund the costs for our project. You can choose to either purchase a reward or just donate directly using the tabs on the right-hand side of the page.
We really appreciate any support that you can give and if you can't give financially we'd be really grateful if you can share our Crowdfunder campaign on social media!