Posted on Friday, February 9, 2018 by Heather Dodd
A North Wiltshire equestrian centre is seeking sponsorship to be able to hold an event offering free equine-assisted learning for autistic children.
Rein & Shine’s Hoof Club is running the event in support of the National Autistic Society (NAS), with the aim of benefitting the wider community on a not for profit basis.
The centre hopes to fund the event with the help of local companies with any profits being donated to the National Autistic Society.
Rein &Shine is an Accessibility Mark accredited centre, with a well-respected reputation for teaching disabled riders.
Riding for the Disabled Association, in partnership with the British Equestrian Federation’s participation programme, launched the revolutionary Accessibility Mark scheme to work with commercial riding centres with the aim of getting more disabled people to participate in riding.
This unique opportunity is offering 80 autistic children in the community a chance to experience the many benefits equine-assisted learning has to offer.
The free sessions will take place at Rein &Shine’s wonderful facility near to Swindon and will last around two-hours. The sessions will consist of 30-minutes of riding and a contact and care session lasting 45-60 minutes to include basic welfare and safety.
This free service is being provided via schools as, amongst other benefits, equine assisted learning is proven to be very therapeutic and educational to those on the spectrum. Whilst supporting the children, Rein &Shine is also hoping to raise funds for National Autistic Society.
Johanna McDonald, who owns and runs Rein &Shine with husband John McDonald said: “Horses can hugely benefit children with autism and we want to give them a chance to experience this help without any associated costs.”
“I have never seen a child with learning difficulties act negatively towards a horse or even the staff on the yard. They seem to become truly engaged and absorbed around the horses and their focus is phenomenal. It helps the children forget the number of challenges they must deal with daily as they become emerged in the equine activity of riding, grooming and care. Those that are nervous around the horses seem to conquer their fear incredible quickly and we see them become more resilient and less anxious. The levels of personal growth, concentration, confidence and even teamwork improves enormously,” continued Johanna.
“Horses have been proven effective in creating an emotional healing bond and improving cognitive, language, motor and social skills. For many children, the bond developed with horses can help promote self-awareness in their everyday life which can give them the confidence to learn other skills outside of the equine world.”
A JustGiving page has been set up for anyone that would like to donate:
https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/equine-learningand companies wishing to sponsor should get in touch with Rein and Shine directly.
If you have or know of a child educated in Swindon or North Wiltshire area that may qualify for this activity you should contact their school directly and ask them to get in touch with Rein & Shine: 01666 860068 | [email protected]
Accessibility Mark status is awarded to a riding centre that has been approved by the RDA following training and assessment. The close link with the RDA means that it can offer continuous support to the establishment to ensure it provides a first-class experience that aims to be hugely beneficial.
There are currently 42 Accessibility Mark approved centres across the country.