The district of Cherniahovsk, where our club is situated is one the largest
in Kaliningrad region. It has got almost 60,000 inhabitants. It happens that
in our district live more than 300 handicapped children with problems in
physical or mental development. Unfortunately, the government provides too
little help for these kids and their families and all of them without
exception need regular support and regular rehabilitation program.
Riding therapy is a wonderful, not-harming mean to improve physical, emotional and mental being of handicapped children, to help them integrate themselves into big society. Horse back riding club INSTERBURG is the only organisation in the region who is seriously involved into riding therapy. These days we provide regular riding lessons to 17 disabled kids from the city of Cherniahovsk. The lessons are absolutely FREE for the children and their families. Our lessons help handicapped children improve their physical, emotional and mental being, to realise their potentials, to see themselves as treasured members of the society. The lessons are hold every other Saturday at the territory of the club INSTERBURG. During the lessons kids are in loving and strong hands of our experienced trainers and instructors under supervision of a nurse.
We have been providing riding therapy to some handicapped kids for 5 years. Only to "some", because we did not have our own territory where we could invite more of special students. In August 1999 we moved to our own territory - a former military base - and started fixing it according to the needs of the club. As soon as we could provide the necessary safe environment for riding therapy lessons, we started them again. It was April of 2000. Today we work with 17 disabled kids from 5 to 18 years old with different forms of disabilities: Dawn syndrome, autism, spine problems after accidents etc. Kids just love our lessons. They actively communicate with horses, together with their 4 legs friends they get involved into the process of rehabilitation. Kids and young people develop great interest to the lessons and it forms a powerful driving force for rehabilitation process, for achieving positive results. After a year of lessons, provided by INSTERBURG, parents and teachers noticed significant improvements made by our disabled students. Kids have got stronger nervous system, became more kind and patient; improved co-ordination of movements, the number of chaotic movement has decreased. All the kids now have much higher level of self-esteem, better understanding of themselves. All the kids wait for the next regular lesson and meeting with their friends - horses (of which they were afraid at the beginning) as they wait for a holiday. Indeed, horses improve the health of these children and children pay them back with their love. They now draw horses, talk about horses and horses have become a great part of their life. Club Insterburg is proud about visible success of our special students. Keep it on, dear kids!
Somebody of special Olympics participants said: "I look at other people from below to up when I seat in a wheelchair; they look at me from below to up when I seat on my horse!"