Participant TestimonialsParticipant Testimonials
Benjamin has become more comfortable around people and has grown in confidence. He is developing patience . He was excited to hand in chocolates which before he would have asked me to do so which is huge.
He’s so proud of his personal achievements within the lessons and looks visibly more relaxed. He is also asking for things as he develops confidence for example he was able to ask to try riding unleaded . This are huge personal growth achievements.
A huge thank you to all who work alongside Benjamin your such special and kind people and the very special Harry who shares a lot of similarities in personality as my boy .
I really like riding on Harry and love trotting and wearing my riding hat. Riding my horse makes me feel good!
The benefits for Brann are many and we feel that these sessions have had a very positive
impact on Brann's development. Brann has a diagnosis of ADHD and Autism. Physically this has affected his development with Hypermobility issues and poor coordination. This means he is exceptionally flexible. Whilst young this is not an issue but as he develops he also needs to develop muscle strength around his joints otherwise he could develop joint issues due to overextension and ligament damage if not properly strengthened. The riding and his time around the horses have helped him with his coordination and understanding of over-stretching at a certain time. But also helped him to develop confidence in his actions even after failure.
These sessions have also led to him finding confidence and joy in life that does not come easy to him. He knows that he thinks and communicates differently from most of the people around him and often depression can afflict autistic people due to their frustrations over this inability to communicate. But with Brann, his Doctors have said that Brann shows a very atypical ability to emote his feelings, to empathise and communicate. We feel that this is because of his sessions as he has developed a connection with the horses and can now understand consequential action. Another thing that he has struggled with due to his lack of impulse control. Both Physically, mentally and developmentally His sessions at Shiresmill have been very positive and continue to help him in his development through his childhood to be better able to live his life to his full potential and not be held back by his neurodiversity. But to learn how to develop his personal talents and abilities.
Thank you and all of the volunteers for the great work and commitment that you pour into
I like coming to horse riding because I enjoy how riding makes me feel. I like grooming and helping to look after a horse when we get to help (Callum).
Horse riding helps Callum be calm after sometimes a bad week at school. Always enjoys his time and always smiling (Callum’s Dad).
Thank you, we would love to keep our space and continue to attend riding. Calum loves his sessions
both in terms of riding the horse and interacting with the adults and peers around him, he has great
fun. It also helps keep Calum active and exercising his muscles to keep him strong and allows
practicing coordinated movement. He gets a real sense of achievement each week in taking part and
is proud of what he does here which only helps raise his confidence.
Many thanks for all you do!!
Connie loves Shiremill, being around the ponies ( especially Billy) is the highlight of her week. She has and will continue to gain confidence in interacting with the animals and also the volunteers. Whilst she is around the animals she is learning to manage herself and her impulsivity and listening ( hopefully also learning) from repetition and instruction.
The school are very supportive of Daniel’s riding, he took in his very first rosette and talked
knowledgeabley and confidently about his experience in front of class, even answering questions
about the ponies, describing them all, explaining how to approach a horse, not to go behind them etc.
He even went as far as explaining which buttons to press on the mechanical horse in warm room.
Riding gives him self-esteem, a focus as well as some much needed sensory input during the day.
His confidence has been further boosted by riding with another boy and their wee friendship is such a
lovely thing to see. He says he’s never had friends but chats away to Thomas. As a mum of a boy
with ASD, ADHD and who has always struggled with peer relationships-it is absolutely wonderful to
watch them and learn from them. Without the ponies, I am sure they wouldn’t even make eye contact
let alone have a back and forth conversation! So well done and thank you shiresmill RDA X
I like riding the horses and going out in the Sensory Park. Horse riding helps strengthen my weak side and has also helped a lot with my balance (Erin).
Riding at Shiresmill has been fantastic for my daughter. Her confidence has improved greatly and her posture is so much better (Lynne, Erin’s mum).
As well as being on the horses and gaining confidence, balance, and loving the experience it’s a
place where she can be with her friends. There isn’t a lot of places where Florence can mix with her
peers and she loves seeing other participants. It’s a big part of her social and emotional needs as
well as physical, that are met when she’s at shiresmill.
I love horses because they are my favourite animals. It’s good how you get to hang out with horses and learn how to look after them. I’ve gotten use to how you hold the horse. How you make it go and stuff.
I like coming to the horse riding because I love horses and it makes me feel happy when I ride. My horse that I ride is Harry. It helps me with my coordination and balance. I was like a banana when I first started.
He’s still really enjoying his sessions and gets so much out of them.
Particular highlights are:
- increasing ability in the saddle
- increasing confidence with the ponies and their care
- social interaction with the volunteers and other riders
- development in his communication skills a through the various activities.
Riding makes me feel relaxed. It’s the only out of school activity I feel included. The staff are very friendly and always happy to help.
Horse riding makes me happy and relaxed.
My son looks forward to riding his horse Harry all week. He enjoys the activities and giving the horses instruction. Staff are always helpful and friendly.
My daughter loves coming riding. Its helped with her core strength, confidence and is a highlight of her week.
Ruairidh benefits in multiple ways from participation at Shiresmill, including socially, physically, and mentally. It gives him an interest and regular activity, and the positive, supportive relationships he has with all the staff and the horses is very important to him. We would be delighted and very grateful for the opportunity for him to continue to participate in the sessions offered.
I love riding and grooming Murphy. Riding keeps my back straight and legs strong. I enjoy going outside and talking to the volunteers. I always feel better after being with the horses, and I like getting to know all the other riders.
Theo has never had much of an interest in any of the activities we have tried with him , this appears to have given him the opportunity to do something he actually enjoys. He has taken a great interest in Harry and everyone who works here. The improvement in his core strength and balance is unbelievable and he no longer needs his seat in the car as he can actually sit up and support himself better than ever.
I just wanted to personally thank you for giving him a space where he feels confident and at
We feel he benefits greatly from coming to Shiresmill and there are so many positive things he gains from the experience. He is calm and happy before going and afterwards (not an experience he has many places we go). He is learning new skills in a completely stress free environment. I feel this boosts his confidence in other areas of his life. He really enjoys talking to other participants and the volunteers.
We really value the opportunity to come riding and love how much Thomas enjoys it, so thank you!