Algarve 41 Club recently presented Riding for the Disabled Barlavento, Bensafrim, Lagos, with a cheque for €500. The presentation was made by the current Chairman Michael Brown.
Riding for the disabled was started 15 years ago by Frank Bulmer, a past Chairman of Algarve 41 Club, and is totally dependent on donations from many different sources.
The organisation holds three sessions per week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, and can accommodate multiple riders per session. Most riders require three helpers – horse leader and two side walkers. Volunteers are very welcome and will be given full training. Each session is conducted by a fully qualified instructor.
The therapy on horses utilises the rhythmic, three-dimensional movement of a walking horse. A client appropriately positioned on the horse experiences and responds to significant sensory input. This positions them ideally to develop postural control, equilibrium reactions, balance, co-ordination and spatial orientation. There are also psychological, speech, language and cognitive benefits.
Horse riding is particularly beneficial for pupils who have profound and multiple learning difficulties as it provides a multi-sensory experience, which is hard to replicate in any other environment.
41 Club members or Ex Round Tablers who are interested in finding out more about the club should email club secretary Mike Trice at [email protected]