RIDING FOR the Disabled held its annual gymkhana at Pinetrees Riding Centre in Ancão (Almancil) to celebrate the end of riding sessions for the school year. As well as the riders and voluntary helpers, the riders’ parents and friends of the association, who have helped so much during the past year, attended the event.
This year there was a special programme of riding to music. First, musical statues for the less able riders, then a display of formation riding with a football theme and, finally, a stunning display of formation riding by more advanced riders, who were able to ride without leaders. In-between the main events and gymkhana games, small children gave a display of Hippotherapy, special exercises on horseback under the supervision of a physiotherapist. All riders received rosettes and prizes.
Five of the riders were chosen to receive a special medal to commend them for exceptional progress during the last year, a very difficult choice for their instructors as improvements for disabled children can be tiny steps for some, but huge milestones for others.
Mark Stephens, on behalf of the Almancil Business Association, presented a cup to the overall winner, Rui Atabão, who was chosen because not only has his riding improved, but his teachers and therapist report that his communication abilities and confidence have increased through riding therapy.
Riding for the Disabled will resume sessions in September. If you would like to help, please telephone Sally on 289 397 531. A fund-raising Car Boot Sale is being planned and anyone able to contribute bric-a-brac, books, good as new clothing, and so on, is asked to telephone Sylvia on 289 413 854.