Special needs riders show off skills in dressage competition

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Many disabled people benefit from riding, some from the therapy it gives, others by actually learning to ride. The benefits can be enormous and wide-ranging. They include improvements to balance, co-ordination, muscle tone, concentration, co-operation and behavior. The riders may benefit from the necessary discipline, respond to requests, overcome fears, learn trust and interact socially with their helpers and their peers, developing an increase in confidence and self-esteem.

Dressage tests consist of a series of circles, turns and transitions. For a person with limited physical ability, who has mastered the basic skills of halt, walk and steering, dressage provides a continuing challenge and the opportunity to compete against others.

Sergey won the short lead rope test.Sergey won the short lead rope test.

Riding for the disabled standards range from Walk Tests where the rider maybe led, and have a side walker. As they progress they remove the side walker and can ride independently in a Walk/Trot Test. As riders progress to riding independently off the lead rope they can have a caller telling them which letter in the arena to go to and what shape to perform. Later the rider will develop skills to remember the test, and complete it on their own. It takes many hours, months and sometimes years to train some special needs riders to compete at a given level.

Kobe Dhanji earned best marks for off the lead rope independent.Kobe Dhanji earned best marks for off the lead rope independent.

On Sunday 27th July 2014 we held three classes at Horseshoe Point Pattaya: off the lead rope which is independent riding, long lead rope which has a leader and for the Cerebral Palsy riders leader and side walkers. The Walk Test lasts for 8 minutes consisting of some 10 metre circles which must be ridden correctly in shape and size. The Walk/Trot Test moves the rider up to another level where some sitting or rising trot will be performed from certain dressage letters. Marks are out of 10 per movement within the dressage test. These tests encourage memory, following instructions, co-ordination, basic riding skills and a huge feeling of achievement. Each of our 18 riders is awarded a rosette for competing and the rider with the most marks in each category a medal is awarded.

Ton Gan wins the long lead rope.Ton Gan wins the long lead rope.

We would like to thank our sponsors EA Aviation Co., Ltd., Horseshoe Point and our volunteer Vanita for the wonderful cupcakes for our lunch party.  Thanks also go to all our volunteers who give up their time for this Foundation.

We are always looking for new reliable volunteers. If you would like to find out more about volunteering either on a Tuesday or Thursday morning 10.00am – 12.00 please contact Sandra on 0868483684.