Larkrise Community Farm appeals to local businesses to support Riding for the Disabled

By Anita Jaynes on July 07, 2015

Larkrise Community Farm is a local charity based in Trowbridge. The working farm was originally established by the town’s Larkrise Special School in 1987. Larkrise has purpose-built premises and provides living space for small and domestic animals and room for the tuition of students. The farm is set in 6 acres of land, which are divided into paddocks where the farms horses are kept.

In 2014 Larkrise farm manager Wendy Self set up a Riding for the Disabled group and since then they have grown to 36 members. There are currently 23 riders and 13 carriage drivers.  Larkrise has become a lifeline for the children and adults that attend Riding for the Disabled sessions, but investment is needed to keep the group going and to support the riders with their needs.

As many of the disabled riders have low muscle tone and are unable to sit unaided, there is a real need for specialist seating to ensure a comfortable and safe riding experience.

The farm would love to purchase a special ‘basket seat’ for riders that need supportive seating. At present, riders have to be held in place on the horse by two volunteers throughout their riding experience. These seats typically costs £500 for a new seat or approximately £300 for a second hand seat.

Larkrise group leader Wendy said: “To see the children riding is wonderful, no matter how many children and adults we have, each one has their own individuality and this really comes into play when they are in contact with horses”.

Horses have an innate ability to build confidence in people with special needs and those with physical limitations. Horse based activities offer core muscle strengthening and physiotherapy through fun, and for wheelchair users, it offers a sense of freedom seldom experienced.

Any help or donations to enable the farm to purchase a seat would be greatly appreciated. If you can help with the Larkrise Community Farm appeal please contact: Wendy Self, Larkrise Group Leader/Instructor on: 07828414037 or email: manager@larkrisefarm.co.uk