Disabled Benefit From Riding Lessons

The CBC Media Club aims to go beyond reporting on school events to cover issues within the community as a whole. A perfect example is this report by Form One club member, Stavros Kehayias, who attended a session of disabled riding at the Healing with Horses Therapeutic Centre last Thursday and filed this report. Story and photographs by Stavros.

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Every Wednesday morning and Thursday afternoon a group of volunteers go out to the Healing with Horses Therapeutic Centre to help with something called Therapeutic Riding. Therapeutic Riding offers horse riding lessons to disabled children and it helps them a lot with little things like sitting up straight and muscle development because some of them have no muscle tone in their backs , legs and arms. These children need help with basic things like drinking water and eating food.

When the children go there they take a ride around the arena doing exercises on a horse; this particularly helps the ones who can’t walk properly because the horse’s movement imitates a human’s movement and helps some of them to walk.

I went out to help last Thursday. The group I was with were from King George VI and they were all boarders. There were 10 of them.

I interviewed three of the teachers at King George IV as well as some of the students.

Stavros: Hello my name is Stavros Kehayias from the CBC Media Club and I would like to ask you a few questions
Emanuel (teacher): Hello
Stavros: So how long have the students been riding?
Emanuel: Roughly 10 months
Stavros: Has it helped them in general?
Emanuel: Yes it has been good and they are improving in certain skills
Stavros: How long have you worked with them at KGVI?
Emanuel: Since September 2011.
Stavros: Thank you for your time.

Afterwards I interviewed “Gogo” and Mrs. Ncube.

Stavros: So Gogo how long have you been working at KGVI?
Gogo: Since 1989
Stavros: Wow, that’s amazing! And you Mrs. Ncube ?
Mrs. Ncube: Since 1980
Stavros: Do you guys like working at KGVI?
Both: Yes we both love working with kids
Stavros: Have you two gone horse riding?
Both: No, never …and we don’t wish to

Then I interviewed some of the students.

Stavros: Do you like school?
Laura: Yes I do because it helps me prepare for a better future
Stavros: How many years have you been at KGVI?
Laura: Six
Stavros: What’s your favourite subject?
Laura: Maths
Stavros: Are you going to write ZIMSEC exams?
Laura: Yes

(Arthur can’t speak but at KGVI everyone learns sign language)
Stavros: What grade are you in?
Arthur: Grade 1 (they do two years a grade)
Stavros: Do you like school and horse riding?
Arthur: Yes I do

(Last year something tragic happened to this boy: he was shocked by an electricity line and his arms and legs had to be amputated. He only has a little bit of his forearm and shins and he uses those to do things with the aid of people. He uses no prosthetics because they are too expensive.)

Stavros: When did you come to KGVI?
Mike: 2013
Stavros: Do you like horse riding?
Mike: Yes
Stavros: How was your ride today?
Mike: It was great
Stavros: How do you cope with no arms or legs?
Mike: Just fine with the help of other people

A bit about KG6
• They go up to form 4
• It’s situated in Khumalo
Then I interviewed one of the women in charge of Therapeutic Riding at the centre.

Stavros: How did you start this?
Jill: We’ve always been interested in helping the disabled
Stavros: Now that you’ve gotten it off the ground, do you have any more wishes for the programme?
Jill: Yes, funds and volunteers
Stavros: Is there anything we can do to help?
Jill: Well we’re short on funds because keeping a horse is expensive
Stavros: I’ve heard you’ve got new horses coming, how do you feel?
Jill: I am very excited.


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