After more than a year of having activities severely curtailed as a result of lockdown, we were able to welcome our first riders back on April 12.
Numbers will be increased gradually, according to the level of assistance that each participant needs, and carriage driving is scheduled to resume on April 26.
Our Chairman, Colin Perriss said: ‘I feel that the return to riding and carriage driving will mean that our riders and carriage drivers will once again be able to experience the significant and therapeutic benefits of interacting with horses. The Magpie team is looking forward to seeing the joy on the faces of the participants and their families and returning to what we do best, making sure that “it’s what you CAN do that counts.”‘
The start of Equine Assisted Learning Therapy (EALT) sessions, expected to begin in March, was delayed, but the first one is now planned for April 21. Each of these courses, run in association with mental health charity MIND, runs for three sessions, and the second course should start in June.
Meanwhile, the sensory garden, designed primarily to benefit people living with dementia, is becoming well established, and we are very grateful to everyone who has donated such a huge variety of plants.
The gazebo is now up and painted and as soon as restrictions are lifted fully, Magpie Centre volunteers will contact care homes to promote the Tea With a Pony programme, in which care home residents, and others, plus their carers, can visit to enjoy tea and cakes, spend time with some of the ponies and enjoy the variety of experiences provided by the wheelchair-friendly garden.