**Happy proud mummy post**
Holly has had an interest in horses for a few years now. A friend once brought her horses round to our house to show Holly and she loved it!
She wasn’t scared or phased and liked to stroke the horse. We are lucky to live in a beautiful village where there are lots of places to walk – through countryside, along the canal and up the old pit top. On one route we pass a horse. Holly loves to go and see Millie the horse and give her a carrot.
We do this a lot. So much that Holly got a Christmas card one year from Millie the horse. Which made me cry! Such a thoughtful lovely thing to do. I was overwhelmed that someone had taken the time and effort to make a special card just for Holly.
Now, with this keen interest in horses, we were given an opportunity to go to some special horse riding sessions with a special sports group we attended (Holly already went to the swimming sessions – more on that another time!) On the first session the children could groom some of the ponies. Holly stroked, hugged, leaned on and even tried to lick the pony. We were stunned how interested she was and how long she did this (concentration span usually about 10 seconds!) THEN came Hollys turn to ride! I remember turning to one of the adults and saying… “she might not do this part!” “Oh we’ll see. You’ll be surprised!” was the reply. And oh my… we were!
Holly not only got on (with help) but stayed on for the whole 30 minute trek. And she obviously enjoyed it as you can see from this short clip. She waved to everyone and all the other horses in the field.
Since that first pony ride, over 18months ago, Holly has continued to go riding most weeks and sometimes twice a week. She has her favourite horse, Flynn, but she has riden others too, all of them so calm and placid. They are amazing. The staff are brilliant too. Hollys challenging behaviour can cause issues and be difficult but they always make us feel welcome and are very understanding. We feel very lucky to have found such a warm welcoming center and something Holly can take part in.
I have read several times that horses can be therapeutic. I honestly believe that now. Holly changes when she’s riding. She’s calmer and it is probably the only time Holly sits still for half an hour! She has made small steps but to us it is massive progress. She now doesn’t need someone to hold her legs. She can get on the horse almost herself – just needs help putting first foot in the stirrup. She still doesn’t hold on most of the time but her balance is fantastic. Most of all, she is calm and happy – most of the time!
It is one of the highlights of our week, 30minutes watching Holly actually doing something she enjoys. But it’s not absolutely stress- free as there is always that possibility that Holly may just decide to get off mid-ride! Which she has done a couple of times!!! Ha ha ha. We did manage to get her back on a few times but one time she just skipped back to the stables alongside the horse – she was happy!
Thank you to my friend Tracey for taking the time to bring her horses to our house and introducing us to the idea of horse riding. Thank you to the SANDS group that we attended for giving us our first try at horse riding. And Thank you to Sharon, Gail and the team at the Coloured Cob Equestrian Center for everything. And most of all the lovely horses & ponies who are the stars! They are all so lovely.
If you are interested in horse riding in this area we highly recommend https://www.colouredcob.co.uk/