Taught Me How To Walk

Social inclusion in the therapeutic riding context

Thursday March 14th:

At 10 o'clock we all met at the riding school and after a first coffee we visited the premises. Anche Noi a Cavallo was founded 26 years ago and in 1990 it officially opened the riding premises in Porcia.

These premises include a riding hall (with heating which enables us to work even in very low temperatures!), boxes for 6 horses, paddocks, an outdoor ring and the main building with its office and various facilities (including hosting facilities for EVS volunteers). 

The Riding HallWe met our 7 horses who regularly work with the disabled riders and children. There ar two Hafflingers, one Freiberger, one Camargue, one huge Noringer, one very sweet two-coloured horse and an "Italian" breed. The oldest, the Hafflinger Gigetta, has been working with us for twenty years now!!!

Afterwards we had a close look at the equipment used during the riding sessions. Every horse has its colour so for example Gigetta has all her belongings in green (pad, halter, rope, beauty set etc.). Moreover, we make use of the Linda Tellington lead shank and gave a demonstration of using this simple but very efficient instrument. After lunch we had a long discussion on the admission procedure for our disabled riders. All partners illustrated their admission forms and working forms and we agreed that on the whole we required the same information and used the same tools to check on the progress of the riders in their therpautical programme. The last activity of the day was a vaulting lesson. Since 1994 we have been using equestrian vaulting in many ways, from a therapeutical approach especially for autistic children to a pedagogical approach for all children with the inclusion of challenged children. Vaulting offers various advantages: it is done in a team so that the children have to collaborate with each other improving socialization, it includes a variety of physical excercises and games on horseback and on the ground improving the psychomotory abilities. The long day ended with a typical dinner Friuli style at the premises.

The group at work

Friday March 15th:

The morning was dedicated to social inclusion. Since 1990 social inclusion has always been an important part of our activities since we believe this kind of organisation can offer many opportunities to disadvantaged people. In fact, at the present we have two helpers cleaning the office building and three helpers working outdoors keeping the premises (gardening) and helping out with the horses and other animals: cleaning boxes and paddocks, grooming the horses, saddling and leading the horses during the riding sessions. All these activities are possible for almost all workers and after a period of training and working side by side with staff members most of them become quite independent. We started off with a short interview with two of our older workers who explained their duties and also told us about their life at home. It was interesting to see how there working status reflected their everyday life style and perception. Matilde and Rosa have been working with us for over 5 years and they will probably stay on with us for the near future.











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