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Heathrow Special Needs Centre – Saturday Superstars

Congratulations to all the riders from the Ashford Wide Team


Saturday Superstars


“It’s what you can do that counts”

Riding at Heathrow Special Needs Centre is all about improving posture and balance. It gives confidence, raises self-esteem and helps with gross and fine motor skills. All this whilst enjoying a relationship with the riding team, the horse and, very importantly, having fun.

How does this happen?  Horse riding is a non-weight bearing activity. As such it benefits riders with cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders. The three-dimensional movement of the horses goes through the rider’s body, gradually making them more relaxed and supple, strengthening core stability, reducing spasms and improving balance, posture and coordination.

A varied riding session content, where appropriate, such as stretches, exercises and/or games, challenges, as well as riding school movements, such as straight lines, figures of eight, circles, halts and changes of pace add to the riding experience.

The gentle rythmn of the horse and repetition of challeges helps with autism spectrum disorder, developmental delay, Down’s syndrome and learning or language disabilities. In fact, there are very few conditions that we cannot accommodate. As well as recreational benefits, there are psychological benefits. Riders are encouraged to take control of the horse and make decisions, which in turn improves communication skills.

An often overlooked benefit is that riders are offered an element of risk, which is often denied them elsewhere. This gives a sense of achievement.  Furthermore, riders with congenital disabilities discover a new freedom in movement and those with progressive diseases can retain mobility and remain active for longer.

These superstars have taken and passed their Grade 1 Riding and are now working on the next level. They all demonstrated that they could sit happily and keep a balanced position at halt, in walk and during changes of rein, holding the reins and showing a simple exercise that was pre-learned.

Congratulation to our thirteen SUPERSTARS

Charlie Chloe Dev Freya Joseph Joshua Luna Noah Oscar Sally Susi Thomas Wania

These riders have disabilities ranging from neurological disorders, chromosome disorders, visual impairments, hearing impairments, ASD and ADHD and sometimes a combination of several.

Well done, we are so proud of you.

We hope you will wear your badges with pride.







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