For many children, with many different abilities their time out at the Jess Horder centre with Riding for the Disabled has become an activity they both enjoy and rely on, now organisers are staging an auction to help raise vital funds.
As an association relying on the generosity of volunteers and donations, representatives of the service quickly sprung into action when they realised they needed more equipment and horses to continue and expand their work.
Now what started out as a simple saddle auction has “exploded” into an event including markets and a car boot sale, with organisers preparing for up to 26 stalls on the day.
Having seen firsthand the good the program has accomplished for so many, there is no question in the groups minds that Saturday’s auction will be a cause worth supporting.
“You really see the difference in the kids who come,” Julie Groat said.
“There was one child who came here because they had no confidence, well now they are one of our team leaders.”
While it is sometimes difficult to explain why, there is no doubt in Mrs Groat’s mind that the bond between the animals and the children in the program is therapeutic for all involved and making a big difference in the lives of many.
“We had a child with epilepsy and one day they had a turn, well the horse we had paired them with she just stopped,” she said.
“They had a really special bond.”
As a service available to children with all different abilities, from low-self esteem to ADHD to down syndrome those bonds developed between the animals and children at RDA have become something both rely on.
“It is just that animal therapy that really seems to work for some kids,” Karen Patten said.
“Especially for children who have learning difficulties, sometimes they just get on better with animals.
“This weekend will be a cause really worth supporting.”
The Griffith and Leeton Riding for the Disabled auction will be held on Saturday, March 25 from 8.30am, with the auction kicking off at 10am.