At Shiresmill we offer Therapeutic Riding. Lessons are all under the direction of a trained RDA Coach and take place as listed under 'Session Times'.
Download our Participant Application Form and Guidelines below:
In Therapeutic Riding the aim is to teach basic riding skills and horsecare, gradually decreasing the level of assistance required; riding is taught but there is also a focus on the specific need of the participant.
Man has been using the horse for work and pleasure since ancient times. There is a unique relationship between man and a horse, and it has been said that ‘the outside of a horse is good for the inside of man’. This is because a horse truly lives in the moment and is non judgemental.
Horse riding is a real rehabilitation of both the mind and the body. Physically riding can affect balance, posture, coordination and muscle control. In addition motor planning (getting on and off the horse, decision making, communication and social skills can be enhanced in an enjoyable environment. The horse with his rhythmic walk provides a multi-sensory experience hard to replicate by any other means.
Some individuals who display challenging behaviour hyperactivity or poor attention span find that the horse gives an immediate non-judgemental response to their actions which calms and focuses their attention.
Horse related activities such as grooming leading and learning how to care for the horse can help to develop self-esteem and confidence.
Most of all being with horses is fun and a place where participants can learn new skills, often through games, working as a team or individually, for example, through a dressage test. There are always certificates to work towards and endeavour awards to encourage progress.
All the sessions are lead by trained coaches and are supported by the team allocated to each horse or pony; usually a leader and side walkers as required. The classes usually have a maximum of 4 or 5 riders.
How to Start...
For Therapeutic Riding or Equine facilitated groundwork sessions;
- Complete and return application form with medical section completed and signed by a professional person who knows the applicant. Should you require further information please email [email protected]
Participants must be a minimum of 5 years of age, and both adults and children can apply.
For therapeutic riding there is a weight limit of 12 and a half stones (80.64 kg). This is for the welfare of our horses.
Currently we ask for a donation of £10 per person per ride for group lessons or £15 for individual sessions.
The Pony or Horse
The pony or horse is specifically selected for the rider according to height and weight. Most riders mount the pony from a raised hydraulic platform with the support of coach and helpers.
We do have a waiting list of participants and the availability of a suitable pony may determine priority. A retired physiotherapist and experienced coaches carry out assessments on all new participants.
Ultimately, the aim is to achieve maximum independence for each rider. Ultimately whether on the horse's back or on the ground the aim is to help achieve maximum benefit both mentally and physically.
Equine Facilitated Ground Sessions
There is increasing evidence of the huge impact that working with the horse solely on the ground can have. The recent inclusion of these sessions has shown amazing benefits.
These are quiet sessions encouraging the participant to create their own relationship with the horse. These sessions may also include walking with the horse, taking control of his movements negotiating a circuit or it may just be stroking, grooming or massaging him as he stands. It is very empowering to feel at one with such a big animal, but also to realise that like us, they need trust; love and routine. This is an option prior to riding or as a standalone alternative.
Education Through Horses
RDA isn't only about riding a horse, it is also a platform for learning in an engaging, supportive, rewarding and fun environment.Increasingly RDA activities are being recognised for their educational benefit as curriculum-based subjects can very easily be incorporated into the sessions. The end result can simply be life changing! Numeracy and increased vocabulary can be included easily whilst tacking up the pony, laying out the arena or making up the feeds for the next day.At Shiresmill we offer;
- Grade Certificates for horse riding
- Grade Certificates for horse care.
- Endeavour Awards
- Endurance Awards
Equi-PowerWe have a connection with Equi-Power who occasionally use our centre while their own facilities are being built. If you would like to find out more about vaulting then please visit Equi-Power's website or we are happy to pass on their contact details. They are hoping to settle in a new venue in Stirling in the near future.