Horse Riding For Stroke Survivors 

There   are   many   methods   currently   being   used   to   improve   the   mobility   of   stroke   survivors.      Northern   Ireland   Chest   Heart and   Stroke   looks   for   innovative   ways   to   continue   the   recovery   process   and   to   keep   stroke   survivors   engaged.   One   of   the programmes   that   Northern   Ireland   Chest   Heart   and   Stroke   refer   stroke   survivors   to   is   the   RDA   (Riding   for   the   Disabled Association)   Stroke   Group.   The   programme   focuses   on   the   rehabilitation   and   recovery   of   people   who   are   living   with   a stroke condition in Northern Ireland. They do this through horse riding! The   group   runs   every   Wednesday.      I   went   along   to   learn   and   experience   what   the   RDA   Stroke   Group   involves,   to   meet   the people   that   attend   the   group   and   see   how   it   directly   supports   stroke   survivors.   I   was   blown   away   by   the   people   that   I   talked to. They   shared   their   stories   and   experiences   about   their   stroke   condition   and   were   really   positive   and   motivated   to   live   life to the fullest! This is something we could all learn to do!
“Following   my   stroke,   I   have   experienced   the benefits   of   the   RDA   Stroke   Group   personally and    I    have    watched    many    other    people benefit    from    it    too.    Riding    enables    me    to participate   in   physical   exercise   that   builds   my strength   and   stamina   when   I   am   unable   to participate   in   other   forms   of   exercise.   It   has helped     me     develop     better     concentration, motivation   and   confidence   by   learning   to   do something   I   couldn’t   do   before   my   stroke.   It has    also    allowed    me    to    be    challenged    by taking   part   in   horse   riding   competitions.   It   has allowed   me   to   get   out   into   the   countryside again,   which   was   something   I   really   missed after    my    mobility    became    limited    by    my stroke.   Best   of   all   it   has   given   me   a   love   of horses   and   an   understanding   that   these   large animals   are   so   sensitive   to   human   emotions and   can   really   help   anyone   recovering   with   a similar condition.” Evelyn
“The   RDA   Stroke   Group   has   opened   up   a whole   new   world   to   me   and   I   would   be   lost without   it.   My   stroke   left   me   unable   to   do   very much.    Northern    Ireland    Chest    Heart    and Stroke   rang   me   and   asked   if   I   would   like   to take   part   in   some   horse   riding.   This   didn’t seem   like   an   option   for   me   as   I   had   never been   horse   riding   before   but   I   agreed   to   go along. That was 9 years ago!” June
“I   attended   the   NICHS   Young   Stroke   Group, and   they   suggested   that   I   take   part   in   horse riding.   I   didn’t   think   I   could   do   it,   as   I   had only    been    horse    riding    once    on    holiday before   and   that   was   30   years   ago!   I   love coming   to   the   RDA   Stroke   Group,   it’s   a   new world   for   me   and   I   have   made   lots   of   friends and it’s absolutely beautiful.” Flo
From   my   point   of   view   the   group   is   made   up   of   several   heroes,   and   I   do   not   use   this   word   lightly.   The   first,   are   all   the   people that   attend   the   group   every   week.   (A   common   side   effect   after   having   a   stroke   is   depression.)   It   was   inspirational   to   see   these people   fighting   against   their   restrictions   and   taking   on   any   challenge   that   the   riding   instructors   threw   at   them!   This   brings   me   to the   second   group   of   people,   the   dedicated   instructors   and   volunteers   from   Minnowburn   RDA   who   make   this   programme possible every week.  Hugh (lead instructor) said “I think it’s the most beautiful, therapeutic programme you can take.”  Volunteer Teresa   said,    “I   joined   to   meet   more   people,   build   up   my   confidence   for   jobs,   improve   my   social   skills   and   to   work   with animals. This volunteering role is very therapeutic for me.” Greg   (NICHS   staff   member   and   member   of   the   RDA)      said,   “   I   have   been   a   member   of   the   RDA   for   10   years.   Horse   riding   and animals are a therapeutic way of regaining your confidence, mobility and life  skills.” The   last   group   of   heroes   I   need   to   mention   are   the   horses   and   the   people   who   volunteer   their   horses   for   the   group   to   use.   The horses are all very well trained and patient with each of the riders. They are a real credit to their owners.
Grainne- stroke survovor team - nichs Grainne- stroke survovor team - nichs
Written by Emma McClenaghan Digital Marketing Executive Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke
Judith horse riding for RDA Stroke Group
“I    have    just    joined    the    group    and    I    am    so happy   I   did.   I   had   an   aneurysm   last   March   and this   is   when   Northern   Ireland   Chest   Heart   and Stroke   gave   me   the   opportunity   to   go   horse riding.    Kizzy    (my    designated    horse)    is    very good   with   me   as   I   only   have   the   use   of   one hand.   She’s   gorgeous   -   she   may   be   a   fatty, grey and old, but she’s mine.” Judith
Evelyin horse riding for RDA Stroke Group
Evelyn
First Hand Accounts
Flo
June
June horse riding for RDA Stroke Group
Judith
For more information on the RDA Stroke Group contact NICHS on 028 9032 0184 or mail@nichs.org.uk  If you would like to volunteer for the group, please contact Greg Williamson on gwilliamson@nichs.org.uk

Horse Riding For

Stroke Survivors

First Hand Accounts “Following   my   stroke,   I   have   experienced   the benefits   of   the   RDA   Stroke   Group   personally and    I    have    watched    many    other    people benefit    from    it    too.    Riding    enables    me    to participate   in   physical   exercise   that   builds   my strength   and   stamina   when   I   am   unable   to participate   in   other   forms   of   exercise.   It   has helped    me    develop    better    concentration, motivation   and   confidence   by   learning   to   do something   I   couldn’t   do   before   my   stroke.   It has    also    allowed    me    to    be    challenged    by taking    part    in    horse    riding    competitions.    It has     allowed     me     to     get     out     into     the countryside    again,    which    was    something    I really     missed     after     my     mobility     became limited   by   my   stroke.   Best   of   all   it   has   given me   a   love   of   horses   and   an   understanding that   these   large   animals   are   so   sensitive   to human   emotions   and   can   really   help   anyone recovering with a similar condition.” Evelyn
Flo “I   attended   the   NICHS   Young   Stroke   Group, and   they   suggested   that   I   take   part   in   horse riding.   I   didn’t   think   I   could   do   it,   as   I   had   only been   horse   riding   once   on   holiday   before   and that   was   30   years   ago!   I   love   coming   to   the RDA   Stroke   Group,   it’s   a   new   world   for   me and    I    have    made    lots    of    friends    and    it’s absolutely beautiful.” Flo
June
“The    RDA    Stroke    Group    has    opened    up    a whole   new   world   to   me   and   I   would   be   lost without   it.   My   stroke   left   me   unable   to   do   very much.    Northern    Ireland    Chest    Heart    and Stroke   rang   me   and   asked   if   I   would   like   to take    part    in    some    horse    riding.    This    didn’t seem   like   an   option   for   me   as   I   had   never been   horse   riding   before   but   I   agreed   to   go along. That was 9 years ago!” June
Judith
“I    have    just    joined    the    group    and    I    am    so happy   I   did.   I   had   an   aneurysm   last   March and   this   is   when   Northern   Ireland   Chest   Heart and    Stroke    gave    me    the    opportunity    to    go horse   riding.   Kizzy   (my   designated   horse)   is very   good   with   me   as   I   only   have   the   use   of one   hand.   She’s   gorgeous   -   she   may   be   a fatty, grey and old, but she’s mine.” Judith
Evelyn
Written by Emma McClenaghan Digital Markting Executive Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke
There    are    many    methods    currently    being used    to    improve    the    mobility    of    stroke survivors.        Northern    Ireland    Chest    Heart and    Stroke    looks    for    innovative    ways    to continue   the   recovery   process   and   to   keep stroke     survivors     engaged.     One     of     the programmes    that    Northern    Ireland    Chest Heart   and   Stroke   refer   stroke   survivors   to   is the      RDA      (Riding      for      the      Disabled Association)   Stroke   Group.   The   programme focuses   on   the   rehabilitation   and   recovery of    people    who    are    living    with    a    stroke condition   in   Northern   Ireland.   They   do   this through horse riding! The   group   runs   every   Wednesday.      I   went along    to    learn    and    experience    what    the RDA    Stroke    Group    involves,    to    meet    the people   that   attend   the   group   and   see   how   it directly    supports    stroke    survivors.    I    was blown   away   by   the   people   that   I   talked   to. They   shared   their   stories   and   experiences about   their   stroke   condition   and   were   really positive    and    motivated    to    live    life    to    the fullest!   This   is   something   we   could   all   learn to do!
RDA stroke group Evelyin horse riding for RDA Stroke Group Grainne- stroke survovor team - nichs June horse riding for RDA Stroke Group Judith horse riding for RDA Stroke Group
From   my   point   of   view   the   group   is   made   up of   several   heroes,   and   I   do   not   use   this   word lightly.   The   first,   are   all   the   people   that   attend the   group   every   week.   (A   common   side   effect after   having   a   stroke   is   depression.)   It   was inspirational    to    see    these    people    fighting against    their    restrictions    and    taking    on    any challenge   that   the   riding   instructors   threw   at them!   This   brings   me   to   the   second   group   of people,      the      dedicated      instructors      and volunteers   from   Minnowburn   RDA   who   make this programme possible every week.    Hugh   (lead   instructor)   said   “I   think   it’s   the most    beautiful,    therapeutic    programme    you can take.”  Volunteer   Teresa   said,    “I   joined   to   meet   more people,    build    up    my    confidence    for    jobs, improve    my    social    skills    and    to    work    with animals.     This     volunteering     role     is     very therapeutic for me.” Greg   (NICHS   staff   member   and   member   of the   RDA)      said,   “   I   have   been   a   member   of   the RDA   for   10   years.   Horse   riding   and   animals are    a    therapeutic    way    of    regaining    your confidence, mobility and life  skills.” The   last   group   of   heroes   I   need   to   mention are   the   horses   and   the   people   who   volunteer their   horses   for   the   group   to   use.   The   horses are   all   very   well   trained   and   patient   with   each of   the   riders.   They   are   a   real   credit   to   their owners.
For    more    information    on    the    RDA    Stroke Group   contact   NICHS   on   028   9032   0184    or mail@nichs.org.uk   If   you   would   like   to   volunteer   for   the   group, please       contact       Greg       Williamson       on   gwilliamson@nichs.org.uk