The first ever Healing with Horses Display Show was a sunny morning of applause, laughter and cake! Excitement ran high but we remained reasonably organized, with horses waiting calmly in the shade for events to start.
Our MC, Ike Kehayias, kicked off the morning with a short introduction about the centre and a brief description of the benefits of the therapeutic riding program such as reduced stress levels, the creation of a positive self-image, improved responses to stimuli and better coordination and concentration.
“Horses are incredible animals,” he said. “When we interact with them they teach us more about ourselves and what we are capable of.”
The program featured four sets of children from KGVI who demonstrated the warm-up session, various exercises that form part of their program such as ball throwing, ‘swimming’, and ending with a few kids demonstrating their ability to trot!
Then the kids from Sandra Jones entered the ring with the little ones first who showed the incredible progress they’ve made in a month, with many of them trotting already!! And then it was the turn for the older girls to show their routine that included various coordinated movements with each other and ended with a trot.
In between the different sessions, while there was rapid matching of horses to riders and helmets to heads, Debbie Brennocks spoke about improvement she has seen in the girls from the Sandra Jones Centre.
“I was skeptical at first,” she said. “But I am so impressed with the results. These girls have learned to be confident and responsible despite their hard circumstances. Their grades have improved. There is a real sense of excitement on Saturdays when they come riding. This program works.”
Jenny Hensman, of Mind the Gap, told the story of Primrose. After being in hit by a truck, Primrose spent a year lying in bed at a hospital. The doctors had said that she wouldn’t walk again. Jenny then got American doctors involved and they confirmed the diagnosis. Her spine was crushed and she would never be able to move the muscles in her legs again.
But when Primrose sits on a horse she is able to move. “You can feel the muscles in her legs moving. It’s incredible,” Jenny said. “Something profound is happening in all these children.”
- Sandy Paul
- Karen Vincent
- Kim La Grange
- Debbie Paul
- Markel Wood
- Ginelle Wood
- Anthony Paul
- Joelene Sissing
- Mandy Kehayias
- Lindsey Burgess
- Kelly Austin
- Tracy May
- Amina Homann
- Cynthia Coetzee-Louw, also for tables and table cloths
- Arenel for T-shirts and biscuits
- Everyone who supported the event with cakes, chips, sandwiches, drinks and lollipops!!!