What has TROTT (Therapeutic Riding Association of Ottawa-Carleton) meant to Ryder?
Ryder is my 6 year old son who has ASD. He started with TROTT in September 2012 and it has given him so much. We didn’t notice it after the 1st lesson, but definitely after the 3rd and 4th. His confidence blossomed. He was initiating conversation with his EA at school. He was proud! Seeing a change like this in a normal child might be taken for granted, however seeing this in my son was amazing. You see Ryder doesn’t usually initiate conversation with anyone. He is not the type of kid that will tell you about his day at school, you have to poke at him to respond. Usually his response is very minimal. However this all changed when Ryder started with TROTT. If you ask Ryder about his horse Monty, his face and spirit lighten up the room. The expression on his face is enough to put a smile on your face.
When you hear Ryder speak about his horse Monty, his whole demeanor changes. He becomes more confident in his speech and he speaks more freely. He usually ends the conversation with, “Is it Thursday night yet?”
Here is some info on TROTT:
TROtt (Therapeutic Riding Association of Ottawa-Carleton) is a registered charity that has been serving children, youth and adults in the Ottawa area with primarily physical, developmental and learning disabilities for over 35 years.
In 1975, a group of riders at an Ottawa stable became interested in forming a riding group for People with Disabilities. Lelia Sponsel, having made enquiries from the Toronto-area group, CARD, began to develop ideas regarding procedure, forms, volunteers, training of horses, equipment and the need to involve the medical profession. The main support came from Dr. McIntyre, orthopedic surgeon at CHEO, who encouraged the Children’s Treatment Centre to help with the development of the necessary admission forms and selection of prospective riders. A mounting block was built by staff and students of Borden High School. Funds were raised to rent four horses for one hour a week for one year. Volunteers were trained. A Physical Therapist was ready to help guide exercises. Four applicants were accepted, having been granted permission by their physicians and parents. After purchasing riding helmets and pommel straps, the group was ready to start at 9 a.m. on July 4, 1975.
Therapeutic Horse Riding is a global term which embraces all horse-related activities for people with disabilities.
Historically, the therapeutic benefits of the horse were recognized as early as 460 BC and have been recognized as physically, psychologically, socially and educationally beneficial.
Some of the benefits of Therapeutic Horse Riding are an improvement in physical health, relaxation of tight muscles, an increase in balance, building of muscle strength, mobilization of trunk and pelvis, sharpening of hand/eye coordination, improvement in social skills, and a gain of sense of control and self-confidence as the rider experiences a freedom which has often never been felt before.
Here is the link: http://trott.ncf.ca/index.html