The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has been pleased to help a group of four disabled children from the Isle of Man attend a horse-riding centre in Wales.
Riding for the Disabled Isle of Man took the four children and their carers to Clywd Special Riding Centre, near Wrexham.
Established in 1976, Riding for the Disabled IOM is a registered charity that works to bring the benefits of riding to children with disabilities, such as improving physical exercise, self-esteem, and communication skills. Riding for the Disabled holds its lessons at Guilcagh Stables in Andreas and is run by qualified coaches and trained helpers, all of whom are volunteers.
Jude Starky from Riding for the Disabled said: ‘Because of their disabilities, each child needs one person to lead the horse and one person to walk alongside, so we needed to bring eight volunteers, along with the children’s carers, and a further two volunteers who look after the catering for the group.
‘This means it is quite a big team, so we are hugely grateful to the Steam Packet Company for kindly subsidising our travel with a minibus and support vehicle this year and helping continue this wonderful experience for our young people.’
Jude explained: ‘The children don’t just ride – they are involved with the horse care too; they bring the horses in from the fields, then groom and tack them up before riding. They get to enjoy the wonderful experience of riding out on trails around the complex, which is a very different experience to the indoor area riding they usually do.
‘The positive effects this experience has on our riders is evident each year; without exception, we see an amazing difference, not only in the children’s equestrian abilities, but in their self-esteem, confidence and interaction with others. The trip is also a wonderful experience for our volunteers, who make sure the children have everything they need during the holiday.’
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Managing Director Brian Thomson added: ‘It is lovely to be able to support groups like Riding for the Disabled in providing opportunities for young people with disabilities. It’s delightful to hear about the children developing their equestrian skills and making new friends.’
For further information out Riding for the Disabled, search for them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit the website: https://rda-iom.co.uk/