Bedford & District Riding for the Disabled
BDHRA are a registered charity who, with
the help of many volunteers, provide riding activities as therapy
at their centre in Willington each week for up to
100 mentally and physically handicapped children and adults to
help improve the quality of their lives and allow them to
enjoy learning equine skills.
The BDHRA are entirely dependent on charitable
donations and upon generous volunteers who give up their time to
make what they do possible.
Riding as Therapy
The ponies are used not only to get the
children and adults riding because it is a fun activity in itself
but because the shape and gait of the horse stimulate muscle tone,
relax stiff joints and improve balance, posture and walking
ability. As a result riders are better able to cope with the
tasks of daily living – whether it is sitting upright to do
homework, joining in a family meal or walking home from school.
On a horse a child receives physiotherapy in a
subtle way. The child is required to balance on a three
dimensional object. It’s a massive workout of the hips,
pelvic area and leg muscles which helps develop motor and balance
skills. The horses’ temperature – one degree warmer than
humans -helps relax muscles.
It is hoped that depending on the young people invovled that
some may also assist at various stages of these sessions.
Tasks may include:
Gardening projects around approx 14 acres of paddocks
Painting fences & sheds
Mucking out paddocks/stables