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Introducing Charlotte

She always looks forward to seeing Lenny, the horse she usually rides, and she has built a strong bond with the volunteers who work with her. Charlotte cannot sit independently so the support she has from the volunteers and her trust in them is invaluable - it has been wonderful to see that independence flourish!

Thankfully this gives me a break as she is happy to stay with them on the ride through the gardens and in the new covered arena.

From a physical therapy point of view the rhythmic walk of the horse is a great way for her to work on trunk control, balance, and posture without even thinking about it as she is so happily stimulated and also calmed by the horse and the games played throughout the lovely grounds.

For a child like Charlotte who spends most of her time in a wheelchair, she loves the feeling of being up high and "walking".  Over time she has also worked on her speech, breathing and volume and is now able to get Lenny to "walk on" using her voice.

At the end of her session Charlotte loves to hug and pat Lenny, so she always finishes with a real sense of calm even though she has actually worked very hard physically. We are extremely grateful to have such a fantastic therapy available to us, so thank you to the volunteers, donors and dedicated staff at NZRDA and North Shore in particular. 

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