Birtenshaw School – Pony Riding Days!
Birtenshaw School in Bolton, is a special school for children and young people aged 3 to 19 years old with special educational needs and disability. The School recently achieved Excellence in Pupil Development Award. The School has pupils riding with us weekday mornings, three times a week, every week in term time. 8 pupils attend each morning. It is a longstanding partnership between us and the School. This is Harry’s story .
Harry started pony riding at Margaret Haes Riding Centre in April 2021. At first it was a huge achievement just to walk up the hill to the stables and be around the horses, we had been told that he had always been scared of horses.
Each week Harry made small steps towards becoming closer to the horses, he started by stroking them then moved onto grooming and even started walking the horses between stables and out in the arena. In February 2022 Harry sat on a horse, it was only for a few seconds but it was something we thought wouldn’t happen for a long time, week by week after then Harry has made huge progress. Harry will now get on the horse independently and actually walk around the arena riding.
Kaylie Crompton, Head of School, said ” This has been an incredible accomplishment and Harry has grown in confidence. The relationship that he has built with the staff at Margaret Haes has been paramount in this success story. The staff are incredibly patient with him and they have played a big part in the progress he has made in such a short time.”
Harry’s Mum said “The weekly routine has become so important to him and it is now one of Harry’s favourite activities. He’s always so excited to go to school on ‘pony riding day’ and watching him gain so much confidence in himself has been incredible. A year later, with lots of hard work and dedication by the school and Margaret Haes Centre staff, I received the most special phone call- not only had Harry sat on the pony, but he’d actually ridden! “
And “It would be absolutely heartbreaking if this were to be lost. It means so much, not just to Harry and the other young people, but to the staff members and to us as families too.”
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