SARAH Hoskins has been coming to Riding for the Diasabled (RDA) for three years and overcoming obstacles everyday.
The volunteer-powered organisation has given Sarah one invaluable gift. Confidence.
A client for three years and now a volunteer herself, Sarah has come on in leaps and bounds as a result.
“I’ve become a lot more confident talking to people,” she said.
“I find the riding to be very therapeutic.”
Despite the wet weather, nothing could dampen the spirits at the Tamworth RDA arena, with the opening of a new trail and obstacle course on Thursday.
Clients and volunteers opened the new trail with Francis de Groot-style ribbon cutting.
Volunteers have been busy putting the finishing touches on the obstacle course which was brought to life with $2000 community grant from Tamworth Regional Council.
The organisation has been running for many decades, but its simple work is still helping youngsters and adults alike with the obstacles they face.
Kate Butler has been bringing her two grandchildren, Nikita and John, to RDA over the last three years and “it’s truly the best thing”.
“When [Nikita] first started she couldn’t even pull herself on to the horse from the ramp,” Ms Butler said.
“Now she actually goes to gymkhanas and they let her take the horse, Ice Cream, from here and now she’s advanced to another horse.”
Ms Butler said it’s something about building connections with the animals that makes it so effective for children with disabilities.
“To start off with it’s the connection with the animal,” she said.
“All animals bring out something in children.”
That foundation is built on by the compassion of the volunteers, she says.
“The people here are so caring and tolerant, they do such good, hard work,” she said.
“We notice each little thing that each child has done from one week to the next.
“It’s confidence building [for the children].