We are delighted to have recently started working with Hampshire Riding Therapy Centre (HRTC), a registered charity dedicated to the provision of riding related therapies and tuition for children and adults with all kinds of disabilities and special needs.
Established in 1994 Hampshire Riding Therapy Centre supports children and adults with a range of lifetime conditions and special needs.
The HRTC Way
HRTC believe that equine-assisted therapy can provide both physical and mental health benefits for all, and the feedback that they get from those they support is overwhelming.
It is their Vision to improve the lives of young people that have diabetes or other life disadvantages through education and interaction with horses.
It is their Mission to provide therapeutic riding activities for mentally and physically disabled children and young adults; and to advance people’s understanding and education of diabetes and diabetic care through educational programmes using horses as teaching tools.
Hampshire Riding Therapy Centre needs support with on-going vet bills, the general care of all of their horses and the provision of their PEDS programme. They came to Daily Bread Consultancy to help them fundraising and to help steer them through a transitional period, moving towards a renewed focus on diabetes support and a refresh of the PEDS programme.
‘I like trotting,’ says nine-year-old Milo. ‘It’s really fast. And I like jumping too.’
Milo started riding when he was six years old. Not unusual, you may think. But for Milo and his family, riding has been physical therapy, structured learning and fun. In short, it’s been just what he needed.
Milo has high-functioning autism and hypermobility. ‘His muscles are floppy,’ says his mother, Vicky. Or at least they were.
Regular Sunday morning lessons on Bobby, an 8-year-old dark bay Welsh Section D pony have changed everything for Milo, including his muscle tone.
‘He’s in a totally different place now,’ says Vicky. ‘When he started, we wanted to strengthen his core muscles, as his balance wasn’t good and so his running was awkward and unnatural compared with his peers.
‘We wanted him to learn and follow instruction, and to have a sport that he could enjoy like other children.’
Four years on his muscles have developed so well that he’s taken part in a local fun run and joined a football club at school.
So it’s no surprise that his confidence has been boosted too, says Vicky. ‘Now he faces new challenges confidently,’ she says. ‘He wants to tackle things and push himself to do more and more.’
Jumping lessons are a case in point. On the quiet, Milo is a bit of a speed freak and loves the energy of jumping in the outdoor school. ‘I love the fast bits,’ he says.
‘There’s a lack of support for children like Milo,’ says Vicky. ‘But this is a real support for us all. This is like a dream come true.’
But Milo’s story doesn’t end there. Now, his little sister Tilly (7) has joined him at Hampshire Riding Therapy Centre for her own weekly lessons on ponies PT and Juniper. It’s a family outing that everyone loves.
Even Dad, Giles, has got the bug. ‘I don’t like animals, I don’t like the countryside, but I love it,’ he says. ‘It’s great. It’s just a happy experience.’