Tauranga Riding for the Disabled
19 January 2015
Legacy Grant Benefits Equine Worker
Topaz is one of 15 special workers at the Riding For the Disabled facility in Welcome Bay. The 13-year-old chestnut mare is sponsored by Legacy Trust and is a favourite with her clients and other volunteers for her easy temperament and reliable nature, according to Elisha Olds manager at Tauranga’s Riding For the Disabled.
“Before any riding work starts with our clients we work with referring medical and educational professionals to understand the goals the riders want to achieve,” says Elisha. “We then seek to match the most appropriate horse with the client taking into account the personalities and temperament of both parties as well as the physical and psychological needs of the client,” she said.
“Many of our working horses have an instinct about the ability and the responses of the rider and will respond accordingly,” she said. “Topaz is popular with volunteers and clients alike.”
Legacy Trust became involved with Riding For the Disabled some years ago with a grant for the purchase of a hoist to assist riders with mobility difficulties to mount the horses.
When the new arena opened in 2012, Legacy Trust extended its support to the sponsorship of a horse.
“It’s humbling to see the fantastic work that RDA does in our community to help people of all ages challenged physically and mentally with disabilities,” said Mike Savage from Legacy Trust. “It’s enormously rewarding to see clients and volunteers beaming from ear to ear because they love what they are experiencing. That joy is a lasting gift that we all share and one we feel honoured to be a part of,” he said.
The sponsorship grant from Legacy Trust helps Riding For the Disabled to pay for feed costs and veterinary expenses for Topaz.
Photo caption: Topaz and Mike Savage enjoy a special bond.