Barguse is proud to say that we hold our accessibility mark and are an accredited centre. Accessibility Mark is an initiative to encourage more people with disabilities into the world of horse riding and its therapeutic benefits. Each accredited centre has been through an assessment and training day with specialists from RDA to ensure they are a suitable and safe venue.

The centre is continually supported by RDA to ensure each rider progresses through the rider pathway to achieve their maximum potential.

We have staff who have backgrounds in care, and working with clients of all abilities, and that have undertaken specific training to better understand certain disabilities, such as autism.

We also have staff who can sign , using Makaton.

Barguse has long provided sessions for both private and group riders who may have a variety of disabilities whether physical or mental. Regardless of age, we have found that the benefits derived from riding and interacting with horses helps enormously with both improving balance and core strength, helping to gain confidence and achieving individual goals. The RDA’s ethos is “that the simple pleasure of working with horses is the starting point from which everything else flows”

Medical professionals recognise that there are significant therapeutic benefits for the rider. The warmth and three dimensional movement of the horse is transmitted through the rider’s body, gradually making it more relaxed and supple, strengthening core stability, reducing spasms and improving balance, posture and co-ordination.

Riding offers an element of risk, often denied to many people, especially those who have been affected by an accident or serious illness and offers them the chance to regain mobility and a sense of achievement. People with congenital disabilities discover a new freedom in movement. Those with progressive diseases can retain mobility and remain active for longer.

Accessibilty Mark

Riding has also been shown to help in behaviour management, autistic spectrum disorder, communication difficulties and coping with anxiety. Barguse will work alongside any specialists or physiotherapists to help tailor the programme and exercises to benefit each rider. We can structure sessions for either an individual or for a group and have several groups that already attend each week.

We have specialized equipment to help in the sessions and will utilize other aids to help progress the riders. Prices start from £10 depending on the session.

For more information and to discuss further please give the office a call.

Here is a testimonial from one of our Accessibility Mark participants mother:

Rory was born on a sunny Friday afternoon in April, he happened to have down’s syndrome. As time went on many, very difficult challenges were put in his way. These challenges resulted in a young man who had lost trust in people around him and understandably Rory did not want to give up control to others. Rory has always loved horses, so we decided to use horses as therapy for him. It worked and Rory grew in his passion for horses and his riding ability improved but his distrust of people remained. We could not find a person who understood that it was fear and anxiety talking. We needed to find a horse and a person who could speak to Rory’s fear and not to his anger, someone who had all the time in the world, knowledge, patience and above all respect for Rory as a human being. We needed to find that person who didn’t argue back, allowed him space to breathe and process, someone who wouldn’t give up on this young man. That’s when I found myself telephoning Barguse Riding Centre.

It was another sunny day when I made the call and Vicky Rowe answered with such a beautiful clear voice on the other end. Such a positive immediate kindness in that phone call. Within the week Rory had had his first lesson, he had stayed without us at an own a pony day for the first time ever and he was in love with a beautiful horse called Goose. That was over two years ago and now Rory and Goose have a spiritual bond. Rory is a changed young man and his riding has developed beyond what we thought possible.

This wasn’t luck. This didn’t happen overnight. This was because Vicky and Lisa Todd, the proprietor took a deep breath and did a detailed assessment of Rory’s needs. They looked at him as an absolute individual and didn’t try to make him fit into somewhere other than the place that he was in, they slowly and carefully allowed him to develop. Rory made mistakes, didn’t listen at times and it was frustrating for all, but it became clear that they were not going to give up on him. In every lesson when Rory tried to get Vicky to argue, she didn’t. Vicky used every distraction, positive praise, subtle correction and very slowly over all these many, many months Rory learnt to trust Vicky and her instruction. Instead of giving up, he goes at it again and again until he gets it right. He isn’t afraid of failing and understands the process of learning now. At home we can apply this to literacy, numeracy and every situation that is challenging. ‘What does Vicky say?’ We chime, ‘Keep Calm and Carry On Riding!’ and we can laugh and move on. Just in case we forget Vicky bought Rory a mug with it written on. He uses it every day and it is his special mug.

Sometimes when Rory feels overwhelmed with life he will stop in a lesson and cry, Vicky lets him have all the space in the lesson, all the time to work through those emotions that sometimes arise. The sensitivity and respect that comes from this wonderful woman has changed Rory’s life and all the skills that Rory has learnt he can now apply to his own life.

Goose is an amazing horse; he knows what his job is. They both have such an affinity towards each other. It is so beautiful to see. We celebrated Gooses birthday in February and Vicky gave Rory a recipe to make a cake for Goose!

All the young riders have been educated to engage with Rory, he is included and welcomed with chimes of ‘Hello Rory’, ‘Well done Rory!’ The past two years have been a masterclass in inclusion and patience. It is wonderful.

Rory finds himself on this sunny afternoon in April, almost 22 years since he was born, blessed with new friends, a place to belong, a new view of the world that without Goose and Vicky- well, he just wouldn’t have got there.

Resource: RDA