“A lot of the skills you need for horse riding can be transferred to everyday. For example for some of our members the muscles needed for swinging a leg up and over a horse can be the same ones needed to lift your leg up and into a bath at home, and holding the reigns can help with fine motor skills like tying a shoelace.”
Ashley says the horses also help children with communication problems.
“A lot of autistic kids will only communicate through their lap tops or speech boards at school. For these kids, forming a bond with the horse is sometimes their first real friendship.”
Fonterra’s Global Sponsorship Manager Kane Silcock says the Grass Roots Fund supports initiatives that enrich people’s lives and benefit their community.
“It’s our way of supporting projects and ideas that bring our communities together and make them better, safer and more vibrant places to be. It’s a way to say thanks to the people of New Zealand.”
The Eastern Bay of Plenty club expects the saddles to arrive in two weeks.