Participant Stories

Holroyd School – Highlight of our Week


By Amy Parks, Teacher Holroyd School

Wow- what fun! Throughout Semester 2, a group of students from Holroyd School have had the privilege of attending Riding for the Disabled (RDA) at ‘Tall Timbers’ in Box Hill. Every Wednesday the students in J9 light up with excitement when arriving at horse riding. It is definitely the highlight of our week!

The RDA staff and volunteers were so welcoming and interacted with the students with such confidence and enthusiasm; the students were immediately at ease. The staff helped to make the students feel comfortable when interacting and mounting the horses for the first time. Many of the students were natural riders from the start!

The students quickly learnt the routine, listening to and following the instructions of the RDA staff. As the term progressed we started to see some great changes in the students.  We observed their confidence growing and saw wonderful friendships develop with both their horses and the staff at Tall Timbers. As the students were guided through a variety of fun activities while on horseback, we witnessed an improvement with their communication skills. Students were encouraged to talk to or sign to their horses, telling them to “walk on” or “Woah!” It was particularly exciting to see one student who does not usually speak, verbally repeat and follow the instructions to the game ‘Simon Says’. What a break through! It was a pleasure to observe the students have fun completing the activities in both the indoor and outdoor arena.

As our time at Tall Timbers comes to an end I would like to take to opportunity to thank our new friends. The students from J9 will miss Chocolate, Kahlua, Ozzy, Ishmar, Indi and Cheyanne. These horses have been very gentle and patient with the students from Holroyd School. I would also like to thank the wonderful volunteers and staff who have supported us each week to give us the best riding experience possible. Your time and dedication is truly appreciated!

RDA has been a wonderful learning opportunity for the students from Holroyd School. It is truly fantastic that our students are able to access such a terrific program!