Thanks to a £4,000 injection of funds, Happy Hooves Accessibility Mark Centre based in Penrith, has been able to increase the number of people that can benefit from its equine therapy course.
The money allows the centre to provide access to horse riding to those in the community that wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to experience the many benefits that spending time with horses can bring to people’s lives.
After completing the application process, Happy Hooves owner, Alison Noble, was awarded £2,000 from the Holehird Trust, through the Cumbria Community Foundation and a further £2,000 from the Tesco ‘Bags for Help’ scheme.
The Holehird Trust is a community organisation supporting activities for the elderly, disabled, and children and young people under the age of 18.
Grants from the Tesco ‘Bags for Help’ scheme are funded through the carrier bag charge to customers and the allocation of funds to Happy Hooves demonstrates how the 10p charge really does go to help those within the local community.
The funding allows clients, many of whom have learning difficulties, to ride at the centre for free and take advantage of Mr Williams, Happy Hooves very own mechanical horse.
Said Alison: “Equine therapy is now well-known for its therapeutic benefits for both mental and physical health. Not everyone that attends actually rides – it can involve just spending time with the horses on the ground.
“From the riders that have already benefited from the funding, we have seen an increase in confidence. Having initially suffered from severe anxiety, it was a fantastic experience for them, with many having never ridden before.
“The training providing through Accessibility Mark meant the staff were able to immediately calm any fear and hold a productive, interactive session.
“Without the grants we would be unable to offer smaller charities the opportunity to bring along members to try out equine therapy free of charge, so I can’t thank the Holehird Trust and Tesco enough.”
With future funding, Alison is hoping to launch a Vaulting Club at the centre which will further expand the range of therapeutic services that Happy Hooves offers.
Vaulting helps improve balance, co-ordination and confidence as well as promoting co-operation and team spirit.
Happy Hooves is a Community Interest Company which means that it exists to benefit the community, this increases their eligibility for local funding and grant opportunities like these.
Accessibility Mark status is awarded to a riding centre that has been approved by RDA following training and assessment. The close link with the RDA means that they offer continuous support to the establishment to ensure they provide a first class experience that aims to be hugely beneficial.
To find your nearest RDA Group or Accessibility Mark centre visit www.rda.org.uk