It was a cold, wet and windy June morning when Blind Foundation clients, staff and volunteers travelled to Heathcote Riding School in Christchurch.
The morning was about getting introduced to etiquette around horses and how to groom them. Once the horses and riders were ready then it was the fun part riding. Then a well earned coffee and lunch was held at Upshot Heathcote Roastery.
Blind Foundation Recreation and Community Advisor, Erin Eyles says she is pleased that everyone got on a horse.
“Some thought they’d just observe and assist with grooming. Some were horse folk from way back. We even had those that had never been on a horse before. It was fantastic; everyone had a go at riding. There was plenty of smiles, laughs, and lots of muddy boots.”
Lisa Watson was nervous to begin with but says she had good fun riding for the first time.
“The idea of riding was nerve wracking but in the end I am glad I went. Most of us were nervous, so I didn’t feel alone. We were encouraging of each other which made it a really good atmosphere. I highly recommend others give it a go as well.”
Before losing his sight, Peter Boock had been on a few horse treks and was surprised to find that it wasn’t what he expected.
“I thought it would be straight forward but when I hopped on I realised I couldn’t see what I used to. It was quite the challenge to adapt and I definitely enjoyed it. Doing the Blind Foundation Outward Bound course this year made me realise I wasn’t doing as much as I thought. It sure has given me the courage to be more adventurous; blindness is only a hurdle not a barrier.”
“It was wonderful to see what everyone got out of the day; seeing them all enjoy themselves.”
The Blind Foundation thanks Heathcote Riding School staff and volunteers who made this fabulous winter event happen.