One little boy, Peter, came with the school he attended. He was CP. Profoundly deaf and away with the fairies. He enjoyed the riding but was impossible to do much with other than just lead him around
He was about eight and not walking, his legs would not straighten and his knees would go up.
After a year or so we, as a committee decided to stop him riding and to take another child that riding would help more.
During the summer holidays I was in town and saw Peter in his buggy. The woman with him was talking to another.
I stopped amd crouched down to speak to Peter, he recognised me, his little hands waved, he arched his back, smiled, which broughtt about a dribble which I wiped from him, and the noises he made when happy.
The woman looked down and her friend moved on. I introduced myself and the woman who was his mother, told me that he missed the roding in the holidays and how on a Sunday he wouldn't go to sleep unless his roding hat was by the side of his bed and on a Thursday, his swimming things.
I walked away and knew that if this child had only two things to look forward to, no matter how 'useless' he was we had no right to deprive him of one.
When the new term started the new physiotherapist was interested in seeing these children ride, the only one that had.
She knew nothing about horses at all and, at that time riding for the disabled had only just started.
What a difference speaking to her about each child and what to aim for. With Peter she wanted to get his legs more relaxed. He came off the saddle and stuck on a rotund pony bareback.
In a matter of a few circuits you could see how the pony's movement was causing his legs to drop. No longer was he looking like a jockey with his knees up by the withers but they were dropping right down.
Peter kept roding and his parent would often bring him down after school for a twenty minute ride.
We worked hard with him, he worked hard and on his own his concentration was much improved.
Within two years, with caliipers he was actually walking.
There had been many times at the end of the day when I thought "Oh no, Peter's coming." But the day when his Mother said look at this, and Peter walked a few wobbly steps with his calipers and crutches made it all worth while.
Several times I have been asked what were the best or greatest moments in achievements with riding and several of mine would have to be achievements made with these children.