Stirling Equi-Power riding charity is ‘changing the lives’ of people with disabilities

It has been almost eight years since the much-loved Bannockburn constituency for the Disability Center closed its doors.

Since then, the charity Equi-Power has been filling the void by offering people with additional support needs riding activities as a form of therapy.

But with no permanent facility to keep the service going, staff and volunteers are doing all they can to keep it afloat.

“It’s been a huge challenge,” said Amanda Namey, group organizer at Equi-Power.

“We have moved several times to accommodate our growing number of horses and our clientele.”

Amanda, who climbed Dumyat Hill 100 times over Easter to raise money for the charity, said: ‘Riding for the Disabled is not nice to have facilities, they are life changing.

“We have young people who have avoided surgery because of the strength and flexibility they are gaining here, we have young people whose mental health we support on a day-to-day basis.

“It really makes a huge difference for those who come.”

She said if the charity was able to raise funds it would apply to Stirling Council for planning permission for a permanent facility.

For teenage girls Merryn Binnie and Skye Davidson, both of whom have dwarfism, jumping on horses is more than a hobby.

Merryn’s father, Kevan, said a permanent home for the charity would be life changing.

He said: “Merryn has learned so much from the whole team here. The enthusiasm is unparalleled. »

He added: “His confidence has grown so much. The horses bring out the kids so much.

National Para jumping champion Lizzie Bennett, who has been in a wheelchair most of her life, said she wouldn’t be the person she is today without horse jumping.

She said: “It gives you an identity. With a niche sport like jumping, you have this really cool stuff that people find interesting.

She added, “It helps you have a purpose and not feel like people are constantly saying, oh, she can’t do that, she can’t do that.”

Clyde P. Johnson