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Valley saddles up for disabled riding

Lockyer Valley Riding for the Disabled volunteer Libby Cooper and president Jackie McAnally hope to bring Riding for the Disabled services to the Lockyer Valley next year.
Lockyer Valley Riding for the Disabled volunteer Libby Cooper and president Jackie McAnally hope to bring Riding for the Disabled services to the Lockyer Valley next year. Tom Threadingham

THE wheels have been set in motion for disabled services throughout the region to soon receive a major boost, with the formation of the Lockyer Valley's Riding for the Disabled service.

President Jacqueline McAnally said the group's inaugural meeting was held in July and volunteers were working hard to bring the unique service to the Lockyer Valley by early next year.

Mrs McAnally said Riding for the Disabled was a voluntary organisation that provided the unique opportunity for people with a disability to embrace the joys of horse riding.

She said she hoped to bring the service to the region by March, with preparations already under way.

"There's definitely a need and wish for it in the Lockyer Valley," she said.

Having enjoyed firsthand the benefits of being involved with the RDA in Samford, Mrs McAnally said she hoped many people would take advantage of the service when it became available in the Lockyer Valley.

"It all helps with the mind and co-ordination and works muscles not normally used," she said.

"It also improves eye to hand contact."

With most users normally restricted to wheelchairs, Mrs McAnally said it was often an overwhelming experience to ride a horse.

"They are up high above everyone and it makes such a difference," she said.

"They love the feel of the horse and doing things they wouldn't normally do.

"It's not only for the children but for the adults as well."

Mrs McAnally said the group was still in need of equipment and encouraged anyone interested to join.

"We need skull caps (helmets), a mounting ramp and block," she said. "We need good saddles and bridles and any riding gear, including boots for the kids.

"We also need volunteers to be coaches and general volunteers to help with maintenance and care for the horses."

For more information, phone Jackie on 54664317.

Topics:  disabled, lockyer valley, riding for the disabled


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