Join me for a unique opportunity in Singapore to support therapeutic horsemanship and riding for children with Autism.
The inspiration: Faisal - He is working to overcome the symptoms known as Autism
This therapeutic horsemanship programme is something I wanted to start because of the success I had with our son Faisal. Now, I want to help families that can't afford to do what we did for him.
- Faisal has been working with horses during weekends and school holidays for more than a year. Learning to handle horses, riding, grooming, tacking, showering, and feeding these animals has helped transform his life.
- Only a year ago Faisal was too shy to talk to people other than family. Today, he works confidently with the team in the stables, can independently groom & tack his horse, and he has learned to ride. Outside of the stables, he is more vocal, confident and independent.
- Faisal’s teachers noticed the difference, and asked Faisal's Mother and me what we had done, as peers with similar challenges had not developed to the same level. What we had done was to give him a chance to become immersed in horse care & riding, in a safe way.
- As parents we chose to encourage these experiences instead of participating in existing programmes we believed could not give much individual attention to high-functioning students such as Faisal or are completely focused on riding, Faisal's Mother and I knew these programmes weren’t for him. We wanted horse interaction that went beyond riding, to help him build relationships with the animals; learning to give care and gain a connection with the horse.
Caring for and riding horses is good for children. And for those who have social & emotional challenges, such as difficulties related to Autism, interactions with horses can be powerfully beneficial. With this in mind, we have teamed up with a Singaporean not-for-profit school for children with developmental needs, and will start a customized therapeutic horsemanship programme for 4 selected children, starting 25th March.
To date, through our own network of generous friends and family, we have raised nearly SGD$10,000. But we still need your help to fully fund this round, and for the next group of children.
How your donation can help:
- Make a difference for four children: sponsor the next 12 weeks of therapeutic horsemanship lessons with a donation of $11,000; or any multiple.
- Sponsor the care of a pony for 12 months with a donation of $7,800.
- Support one child’s participation for 12 weeks with a $2,800 donation.
- Support one child's participation for 1 or more sessions: $225 per child per session
Please read on to understand more about what we do ...
Way of the Horse (WOH) creates opportunities for physical, cognitive and emotional development through professionally guided experiences of learning to care for and ride horses. Because of their social and physical characteristics, horses are an ideal partner to support growth in social & emotional skills, such as awareness, self-confidence, persistence, communication, as well as balance and coordination.
For children who experience the symptoms known as Autism, these improvements can change their lives.
How Way of the Horse Programme is different from other therapeutic riding programmes:
- WOH offers a holistic approach – addressing social & emotional learning in addition to physical therapeutic experiences.
- Children learn about horse behavior & care, and they also learn riding.
- Tailored lesson plans are implemented to guide toward specific outcomes agreed with educators & parents.
Aim of the WOH programme for:
- To enhance the quality of life for the selected children and to provide financial support to fully fund the program.
What's the experience:
- Selected children between the ages of 10-13 participate in a once-per-week session of 1.5 hours. The classes are tailored to their development needs with a progressive 12-week curriculum with defined goals each week. Included in the learning are skills such as being observant to horse behavior, grooming and saddling the horses to foster empathy, respect and caring for others, leading the horses to understand leadership and boundaries, as well as riding at the walk & trot.
- Feedback and interaction with parents occurs weekly, with some onsite during the sessions.
- Short term - Confidence, communication, empathy, core strength & balance improvements
- Longer term - Potential to be (volunteers/grooms/stable hands)
Quality Standards, Safety & Measures
- The programmes operated by WOH are managed in alignment with the standards of the Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship Int’l, the global authority for equine-assisted activities and therapies and the equines in this work. http://www.pathintl.org/
Our team of horses
Our horses are Argentinian Criollo horses originally brought to Singapore to play polo; they are now ‘semi-retired’ from polo and have undergone training for their new role with children. The horses are characterized by a calm yet sensitive nature, and are kind, gentle and willing.
Please consider making a donation toward the WOH programme for children working to overcome the symptoms known as Autism. You can help change lives.
Feel free to contact us for more information.
Every amount helps, so please feel free to donate whatever you can and thank you for your help!