Lizzie is an NHS physiotherapist specialising in paediatrics and currently working in the Community. After shadowing Heather at a number of hippotherapy sessions and witnessing the fantastic results they produced, Lizzie was keen to join the team. She has intermittently been working as a Trainee hippotherapist within the Tuesday sessions since 2014 and is now looking forward to completing her full hippotherapy qualification later this year.
Lizzie tells us what Therapeutic Riding means to her, and her Riders
The children who are referred to our Service present with a huge array of challenges, including issues with mobility, balance, muscle tone, strength, coordination, body awareness and symmetry. Hippotherapy has provided a means to address all of these issues (and more!) in sessions that the children truly enjoy.
At no other time would a child agree to a constant 45 minutes of hard physiotherapy – the ponies and team make all of the difference!
The ponies are loved and well cared for, and this is especially evident in the way they ‘perform’ when working with our children. The MRT team are so enthusiastic and are instrumental in the children’s progress. From a personal perspective, MRT have supported me during my training in every way. I genuinely learn something new from the team on a weekly basis – they are incredibly experienced with both the horses and the riders.
More of Lizzie’s favourite MRT highlights
My main highlight is seeing the children succeed. The horses allow a certain freedom of movement that some of our children have not experienced before. Their genuine enjoyment during what I consider to be a ‘hard workout’ is astonishing.
Also, discovering the parent’s observations following a block of therapy with their child. Sometimes the children are finding skills easier (like standing on one leg to put their trousers on), other times they are trying entirely new skills (like walking unaided!). Sometimes, the main difference is that the child has increased their confidence in working in a group and this is being transferred to nursery or school. The knock-on effects after a short block of hippotherapy, therapeutic riding, can be surprising!