Melanie GöbelMelanie Göbel
I am Melanie Göbel, 36 years old and student of the Master degree programme “Labour market oriented counselling” of the University of Applied Labour Studies in Germany. My master degree program is a part time program and runs in parallel to my current job at the Public Employment Services in Germany. Since 2008, I have been working as a mediator and consultant for rehabilitated and severely handicapped people in the job center.
During my studies, I have the possibility to do an internship abroad and now I make this at the Shiresmill Therapy Riding Centre since April 15th to May 24th 2019.
As adviser for unemployed handicapped people of different backgrounds and educations, I was very interested in new or other possibilities to work with them. When I heard about the equine therapy or rather the therapeutic riding, I was curious and eager to learn more about it, because I have never worked with horses before. So I decided that this would be the perfect working environment for my internship. And now I have been working here 6 days a week for three weeks and half my time is over.
I was very warmly welcomed by all the volunteers and I really enjoy my work. I help with the various tasks that are necessary for the smooth operation of the Centre. For example, I help the riders and take care of the ponies because each riding session requires several volunteers to prepare the ponies and support the riders. At first I was only allowed to watch therapy riding until I had more experience. But with constant guidance from the volunteers I quickly learned what to do and now I am already working as a side walker and participate in therapy riding and related activities for children and people of all ages with physical disabilities, health problems, learning difficulties and adolescents on the autistic spectrum. It is a great experience for me to see how children can improve their coordination, communication, balance, muscle control and posture through riding therapy, all of which contribute to more self-confidence, self-esteem and social skills and all because of the horse.
In addition to riding therapy, I also have other experiences to learn new skills and competences, make new friends, become part of the team and improve my English language skills. This way I can always enjoy talking to the children, parents or relatives and learn and understand more about them.
I look forward to another three weeks here and can only recommend the work at the Shiresmill Therapy Riding Centre to everyone.