These amazing disabled children perform stunning gymnastics — on a moving HORSE.
Daredevil trio Merryn Binnie, Skye Davidson, both nine, and Keira Macgrain, 10, do handstands, cartwheels and even backflips on the back of a horse.
They perform incredible vaulting – most often described as gymnastics and dance – on the back of very patient 12-year-old horse Laddie.
The children take part in the equestrian classes provided by charity Equi-Power Central Scotland – which started in 2015 and provided sessions to 50 participants last year.
The charity was set up after the Riding for the Disabled Centre in Bannockburn, Stirling, was bought out by developers in 2014, leaving hundreds of additional needs riders without facilities.
Now Equi-Power Central, which is currently running in Plean, Stirling, is fundraising for a permanent new home.
Skye and Merryn, who both have dwarfism, said the vaulting can be “pretty hard” as they perform such “dangerous moves” like shoulders stands and flips.
Julie-Anne Griffith, project manager at the charity, said the classes provide vital physiotherapy benefits for the children – who are fearless on the back of the horses.
The 53-year-old said: “There are real therapeutic and learning benefits for the children who take part in the classes.
“These are children who may not normally be confident but are immediately around the horses because they automatically connect with them.
“They know they have to listen and pay attention and work as a team because the horses are so much bigger than them.
“The kids might do a plank for example – but instead of doing it on the ground they do it on a moving horse.”
Julie-Anne said children as young as five take part in the vaulting and the charity also help lots of teenagers.
Resident horse Jaffa has fans “all over the UK”, but Julie-Anne hopes to let him retire soon after ten hard years of work.
The charity recently bought new horse Laddie, who Julie-Anne says has “taken to the vaulting like a duck to water”.
The group has been working with Stirling Council to try and establish a permanent home for the centre and is hoping to initially raise £30,000.
Julie-Anne, who described her work with the charity as her passion, said the new site would enable them to adapt riding arenas and stables to cater for more people.
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