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Welcome to Rosie's Blog about Equine therapy for a novice.

Thank you for taking time to look at my blog about my time learning how to approach horses and how to ride. 

I have been part of the Flutterby Fund since early 2015 and we had some exciting changes over the years but nothing could be quite as exciting as our big move in April 2023 where we could then offer Equine Therapy to children whom we support. 

Personally I have never been comfortable around horses although I know what a huge benefit that can be. This is why I have taken on the challenge to learn and take part in our Equine therapy. 

I will be working with our fantastic Equine Coach Aleks and she will be teaching me as if I am one of the clients. We will be starting from basics and the plan is for me to learn as the children learn, work towards goals and a big goal for me will be to build my confidence around how to approach horses.

I will be attending a session twice a week and I will be documenting it all on here. 

I look forward to beginning this journey and I hope you look forward to coming on this adventure with me. 

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Session 1

So it is official, Day 1 has come. 

Upon arriving at the Yard I was met by Aleks, the Equine therapist who asked me to complete a disclaimer before getting fitted for a riding hat. Getting fitted with a riding hat took a few tries in order to find the perfect one, one that fitted snugly but was not tight.

Next Alex took me to meet the horse that I would be beginning this experience on. Melody was the horse of choice, she is very gentle and perfect for beginners. Melody is a Cob who is around 14h and is very sweet and calm.

I was then taught about brushing Melody, this happens before any of her tack can be put in place. Alex taught me the importance of brushing and why this has too be done. Brushing is very important, removing any mud that could rub and cause sores and her hooves need to be cleaned underneath so that they are comfortable at all times.  If you look in the pictures to the left, one photo includes the 3 items used to clean Melody prior to tacking her up. 

Alex was very patient, showing how to put tack on Melody. One important rule I was taught is that you always work on the left hand side of the horse, from putting on tack to walking with them. You never walk around the back of the horse, making sure there is space between you and the horse and if doing this, you must always speak to the horse so that they know where you are and do not spook. 

Once Melody was all tacked up it was time to attempt getting onto the horse... and this was definitely the most nerve wracking part but I did it. Alex led Melody on a slow walk so that I could get used to the feel of how she moves. Going at a slow pace Alex then taught me how to turn Melody left and right and how to stop. Then came the walking around the school which I tried in both directions with Alex patiently teaching and checking my positioning on Melody. Just towards the end of the session Alex wanted for me to experience how a trot would feel, she led Melody and this was fun but also nerve wracking as it is very bouncy. This was a very exciting start to learning all about Equine therapy and how our therapist approach sessions with children and I'm already looking forward to session 2 and all the things I will learn. 

Session 2

Today took me out of my normal comfort zone and has helped me to feel even more comfortable around the horses. The aim of today was to wash and groom twinkle, brush king and manoeuvre around the horses.

Hannah taught me how to wash Twinkle. She demonstrated on Twinkles back legs and I then washed Twinkles front legs under her supervision. She corrected me when I crouched next to Twinkle, reminding me that you never crouch by horses as you have to always be ready to move quickly, you must bend down instead. This made a lot of sense and I remembered this as we continued to wash Twinkle, removing all soap suds. 

I was then taught how to wash and brush Twinkles tail and I must say she looked sparkling when she was all cleaned and groomed. 

I was taught how to brush the horses using King as the next horse for grooming. He is so patient and loves being groomed. 

It is so important to learn how to move around the horses and how to read their emotions. 

The yard staff were amazing at directing me and ensuring that I felt comfortable throughout this session. 

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Session 3

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Session 4

Coming Soon

Coming Soon

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