What will the addition of a Mechanical Horse mean to us?
Barnfield Riding for the Disabled Association (BRDA) would like to acquire a mechanical horse (horse-riding simulator) to work alongside our existing horses. Whilst many of our disabled riders are able enough to ride a real horse with the support of riding support volunteers, for some of them it is too much of a challenge. We believe the use of a horse simulator would offer a riding experience to even the most disabled participant, for whom sitting on a live horse would not be possible or practical. Its use offers a safe and controlled environment for the development of skill and confidence.
The benefits disabled children and adults experience when engaging with these sensitive and intuitive animals is well known and we see this with our own eyes on a daily basis. There is nothing as rewarding - for our riders, their carers and ourselves - as watching a nervous disabled child or adult gradually grow in confidence on horseback.
The benefits of riding therapy are numerous:
- Physiological benefits through riding and touch, better attention, concentration, alertness, calmness, sensory movement, motivation and responsibility.
- Improvements of gross motor skills, self-esteem and confidence.
- Enhancement of social and communication skills through animal contact and peer group competition.
- Muscle development, co-ordination skills, joints being more supple and increased strength and balance.
- Helps self injurious and autistic behaviours, the gentle stimulation of touch relieves agitation and promotes relaxation.
- Riders, including those with ADD, anxiety, autism, dementia, developmental delay, Downs syndrome, depression, trauma and brain injuries, behaviour and abuse issues, can benefit from the psychological aspects of Animal Assisted Interventions (spending time with animals in a meaninful way)
Whilst our RDA riders, especially the more severely disabled, would be the main beneficiaries, the mechanical horse would also provide an opportunity for us to generate funds which help to keep Barnfield RDA afloat, by offering full price lessons to all our riders - and even people who are just looking for a new, fun form of exercise.
Because Barnfield Riding Stables provides services for disabled people, our premises and equipment have to be even safer and better maintained than riding stables who just cater for the able.
BRDA is a self-funded charity, relying heavily for its survival on fundraising activities, along with the enthusiasm of 40 volunteers.
The funds we need to raise.
Horse riding simulators are made by Cheshire-based Racewood Equestrian Simulators (http://www.racewood.com). Its Dressage RDA model, plus the building of its dedicated area will cost a hefty £55,000. So far we have raised an impressive £13,500 through fundraising activities and individual donations, meaning that we need to raise an additional £41,500.
We can’t do this without you!
Please engage in this worthwhile cause. All donations – no matter how small – will be very much appreciated.
You can get progress updates on the project by visiting our website.
As a donator you will be welcome at our launch party, the date of which will also be announced on the website -www.barnfieldrda.org.