Sebastian,who has Dystonic cerebral palsy, & his sisters started at ESR in April 2019.
“As well as knowing how good riding is for his core strength, I was looking for an activity that my children could all do together. ESR has benefitted all of my children much more than I ever imagined” said his mum Stephanie
Dani has listened carefully to Sebastians strengths and weaknesses, whilst teaching him like an ordinary child. He now rides independently and is currently getting to grasps with rising trot… something I never thought would be possible. Sebastian is so strong (his riding being a big contributing factor) that he can climb down the stairs at home himself and get himself up from the floor independently. His core strength, posture, his weight shift/reciprocal movements and length of stride has all improved dramatically since riding.
Dani doesn’t just teach him to ride, she includes Sebastian in feeding, grooming and turning out of the horses with all the other children which he enjoys tremendously.
It’s been a fabulous social point for Sebastian where he has felt fully included, this also has brought on his confidence with speech. His sisters have found a second home at ESR, they now loan ponies and have become much more confident young ladies, this confidence has carried over to other sports at school and they have now made it onto the netball and hockey teams. The girls find the stables a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors, away from the pressures of school and social media that young people have to deal with today. They are both happier and healthier children from being around the ponies and all the other girls their age.
Fyona joined ESR in November 2017, at just 12 years old and in first year at Dunbar Grammar. Fyona had began riding on a friends horse at the age of 8, after a year she attended lessons for a few years. Fyona’s riding began to stagnate, she wasn’t moving forward as the riding school didn’t jump which is where she wanted to focus
This was when we met Dani
Dani took Fyona on as a volunteer at ESR. Dani started at the beginning with Fyona, teaching her properly for the first time, yes she was a capable rider but her previous 8 months had resulted in a loss of confidence. By January/February 2018 Fyona went on her first jumping outing with a small group and this where she met Hamish and helped him settle in and begin his riding journey. As part of her development Fyona showcased her talents through a range of events throughout Scotland including cross-country, endurance and dressage .
Fyona has experienced first hand loss, grief and the absolute joy that horses and ponies can give and bring to us humans. She has excelled in her learning with Dani, with a work ethic that would put a lot of adults to shame. She has plans for the future, aiming for a career as an equine vet. Danis work has made it possible for Fyona to assist and be with several different professionals who attend the yard, such as farriers, dentists, physios, saddle fitters and also was able to attend a horse being gelded with the vet.
“I am so glad that we met Dani, as she does not shy away from helping others. She wants to see people excel in all that they do. She has developed Fyona into an amazing rider and grafter who doesn’t shy away from hard work. Dani’s vision is all about experiences and getting the children out there to experience all aspects of the horsey world and not to be confined to one horse or one place. We can’t wait to see where else fyona’s journey will take her with lots already planned for this year including her ride safe test next month and beginning her BHS level one programme during the summer 2020” said mum Gayle.
Anonymous story – Anna (not her real name)
Long term unemployed, Living in an area of Deprivation and overcrowding in home environment, Dyslexia, Non attainment at school , no positive destination
Anna came to ESR summer 2018 with a willingness to learn and take instruction and a clear idea of go and what she wanted to achieve. Anna acknowledged she needed support and training and offered to work ad hoc and volunteer for a few hours a week on top of her shifts in return for riding tuition. It was agreed that her riding wasn’t at a level where she could be left unsupervised and that she needed additional coaching . Anna was willing to put in the extra hours to improve in this area. Anna has since progressed so far and has achieved and is still achieving many new things every day. Anna is now trusted to open and lock up the yard, escort riders on hacks and teach children’s lessons.
Achievements to date: Enrolled and began an SVQ Level 2 in horse care and management, Living in her own home, Qualified for the Scottish Festival of Championships at a recent show with one two of ESRs horses, Stage 2 in complete Stable Management and Riding with the BHS is booked for May 20