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Rider Stories

Naomi’s Story

“Naomi first began riding when she was 5 years old. However, having ‘Spina bifida’ and not even being able to weight bear; she soon became too heavy for us to put her on the ponies. Then we heard about RDA.”

Naomi has now been attending the Swan Valley RDA for the past two and a half years. She originally had two side walkers and a leader. Now she is able to ride on her own, an achievement of which she is very proud. At nine and a half she competed in the trials for the WA State Dressage competition, at Brigadoon, in the under 16 age group. She did very well, attaining a 2nd and 3rd place.

“For someone who is unable to stand or walk, the freedom of being able to be placed on the back of a horse and then go where everyone else can, is very precious.”

“The bond between horse, rider and her team is something that Naomi treasures. Her balance and back strength have been enhanced by the time she has spent on her various mounts, all of whom have been wonderful with her.”

“Horse riding has been more than just physiotherapy for Naomi; it is both enjoyable as an activity and rewarding as a developing skill. Thank you to all at RDA who make this event possible.”

Susan – Naomi’s Mum.

Martin's Story

Martin has Cerebral Palsy and has come along faithfully week after week to ride his horse to help stretch and develop his muscles. Some weeks this is quite painful for Martin but he has a determination to persist.

What would be a simple stretching exercise for the team assisting him is hard concentrated work for Martin. Communication is also difficult for Martin however through his determination and delightful personality, lots of laughs, lots of listening and guessing along the way we have discovered the depth of his character and to understand the things that are important to him.

Martin and friends

Martin and volunteer Mark Lloyd

The team at Carine love hanging around Martin because we get to watch the joy on his face when he succeeds at accomplishing a task, to listen to his laughter when he doesn’t quite make it, to listen to his hopes and dreams, to hear his thanks and appreciation of those who help him, to hear him laugh at volunteer, Mark’s, jokes, his respect and trust in Liz, his coach, to be able to share in the highs and lows he faces daily with his disability. Martin has been attending the Carine Riding for Disabled Centre WA for about 8 years.

Although Martin is physically disabled his outlook on life is inspiring. Martin has brought a lot of joy to the lives of those who help him at the riding centre. The difficulties that we may have to face seem to pale into insignificance at Martin’s smile, his love and interest for others and his simple trust that God loves him lights up our lives week by week.

Martin may be disabled in his body, but in the things that really matter to make our world a brighter place Martin excels.

More stories coming soon...