Riding for the disabled, take 2

Regular readers will be aware that before I suffered a stroke 10 years ago  I rode thoroughbred horses belonging to friends every weekend.

Since stroke I have tried riding for the disabled at the Calvert trust, Exmoor.

My second go at this varied from the first in that this time I wore my left stroke affected arm in a sling because the first time I felt that my arm was in the way and was actually pulling me into a lop-sided position.

I was hoisted into the saddle of my piebald horse, the amazing Teddy. I felt more relaxed this time as I knew what to except.

We started as previously walking slowly around the indoor school to enable me to get the feel of my mount.


Kerri my instructor , said that this time she would like me to attempt to steer Teddy rather than the lady who was leading making him go in the desired direction. This was more of a challenge than it sounds as previously when I had the use of two hands I would shorten the left rein to go left and the right to move to the right, now though  I was riding one handed so had to master the art of reining like a cowboy. My poor recovering stroke brain struggled with this at first but with some encouragement from Kerri

I soon got the idea and even managed to weave in and out of some cones,

I also changed the rein  across the arena ( to non-horsey people this means to change direction). Next we mastered a 20 metre circle, of course, when I was able bodied I would do this at a canter rather than the slow walk we were doing now. One thing that  Kerri, my husband and sister, who were watching said had improved  since my last ride was my posture, I was sitting better and was not depending on the monkey strap that was attached to the saddle for me to hold on to.

At times I was leaning to one side

and where as at my first lesson  Kerri would literally  push me more central, this time  I was able to shuffle  myself into a better position.

After being hoisted  back into my wheelchair, my sister pushed me back to the stable block. Unfortunately one of the wheels got caught in a drainage gully and I was catapulted out of the chair onto the concrete floor which alarmed everyone especially me, immediately my ‘super Gordie’ of a husband  seeped me up and put me back into my chair . I was unhurt, just a little shaken , we all laughed afterwards by saying that I managed to sit on a large horse for an hour and then fell out of my wheelchair!

I would like to thank the staff at the Calvert trust, Exmoor

 for allowing me to have the experience of riding a horse again, I would recommend it to everyone.

As always comments/questions are welcome.







24 Comments on “Riding for the disabled, take 2

  1. Brilliant Blog Karen! You are doing so well, such an improvement from your first ride!
    Lovely to see you back on a horse

  2. That’s such a lovely blog Karen so pleased at how well you survive the fall and how much you improved since the last time Kim took you. You do look far more confident than last time . Well done glad you enjoyed it and thank you for sharing the experience with so many friends.

  3. It is a fantastic feeling to get back in the saddle and trot I tried it with RDA locally and a great write up a touch of normality for you.

  4. I’m glad you tried again and found ways to make it work for you. You did make me giggle with your account of falling out of the wheelchair! Beautiful inspiration. I hope you enjoy it again. #dreamteam

  5. What a wonderful thing, how animals help us in so many ways! I am so happy you have horseback riding. We have a friend whose son goes surfing, another does horseback riding. really amazing! #mondaystumble

  6. This must have been such a boost for you as the progression from your first attempt is surely a sign of how much you can progress with even one more ride! I love how animals really can help us all so much. I have always wanted to learn to ride properly!
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week.

  7. #thesatsesh I love how ‘horsey’ people take a complete language. I have two girls in my yr 9 class that live to ride and they love telling me technical terms. I’m thrilled that you had such a good time and am equally glad that you joined our linky as I’ve never read your work before, its fab.

  8. It’s brilliant that you have been able to do this Karen and revisit your passion for riding. What a lovely caring place this is and, as you said, you have already improved on your first ride. Fall sounds nasty – what’s the chances of that! Glad you were OK and able to see the funny side. Thanks for sharing with #tweensteensbeyond

  9. fantastic that you are able to enjoy some of the activities you did pre stroke, albiet at a slightly different speed, sorry but i found it funny you being catapulted out your wheelchair (glad you’re ok) after managing to sit astride a horse unaided, I will confess I’ve tipped my daughter out of her wheelchair on too many occasions #tweenteensbeyond thank you for your comment on my blog about doing things without the internet, it’s so bloody frustrating finding out how to get things done without it

  10. Karen it sounds like you are making wonderful progress and it must be fantastic to get the chance to pursue a passion from before your stroke. You really are an inspiration. I hope you continue to improve. Thanks for sharing this with us. #TweensTeensBeyond

  11. I have read about Riding for the Disabled centres, how amazing it must be to be back on a horse, well done. I have never been brave enough to get on a horse at all so I admire you. Hope you’re ok after your tumble from the wheelchair.

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