Gosnells Men’s Shed drumming up support for Riding for the Disabled Orange Grove


Gosnells Men’s Shed’s Bill Hughes and Chris Peerless with RDA Orange Grove secretary Julie Di Florio. Picture: Jon Hewson                          d457678
Gosnells Men’s Shed’s Bill Hughes and Chris Peerless with RDA Orange Grove secretary Julie Di Florio. Picture: Jon Hewson d457678

MEMBERS of the Gosnells Men’s Shed have made horses out of oil drums to help riders with disabilities learn to ride the real thing.

The Men’s Shed made and delivered two horses to the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) in Orange Grove as part of the RDA Awareness Week.

The stationary horses will enable children and younger siblings of riders to learn stretching exercises and mobility around the horse and give them the confidence before they go on a real horse.

Riding horses can help build muscle tone to develop stronger neck control, as well as increase the core strength of children.

Gosnells Men’s Shed’s Bill Hughes said they made the horses out of 200-litre drums, along with parts of a ducting system and car reflectors.

RDA Orange Grove secretary Julie Di Florio said the horses made by the Men’s Shed would be great for those to learn the sensation of riding a real horse.

“Younger brothers and sisters can feel like they are included because they have got a horse to sit on and also some of the parents who may be scared of horses,” she said.

“For the kids, just the joy on their faces is amazing.”

RDA Orange Grove coach and committee member Rekha Shaw said it gave people with a disability a whole different dimension.

“A lot of disabled people are quite protected because of their disability,” she said.

“Riding is risky; it brings that risk factor into their lives.

“It challenges all the muscles and nerves.”

The awareness week is run across the country and this year’s campaign was more than just a pony ride, with many people who do not realise the benefits participants can gain from going on a ride with RDA WA.

To get involved, contact Kelly Mansfield on 0499 606 238 or at community@rdawa.org.au.