IT'S easy to see the power of a horse as it's galloping down a track, but they've also got the power to heal.

Clients of Caringa's MyLife Program have spent the past three days out at Bush Menagerie Riding School, experiencing up close and personal some of what farm life has to offer.

Bush Menagerie Riding School's Emma Donaghey knows first hand what a positive difference a horse can make to someone's life.

"I've been through some tough times in my life, and the only thing that kept me going were my horses," she said.

"That got me thinking, that I could do something and share that experience with other people."

 

Caringa client Sinead Johnson gives one of the miniature ponies the Bush Menagerie Riding School a kiss and cuddle as part of a field trip.
Caringa client Sinead Johnson gives one of the miniature ponies the Bush Menagerie Riding School a kiss and cuddle as part of a field trip. Adam Hourigan

Ms Donaghey, who has been riding since she was 13, said she has always wanted to work with people with a disability, and give them an experience with horses they might not otherwise get.

"I just want to make a difference," she said.

"I want to make them have one less thing to worry about, so these guys can come out for the day and have some fun with the animals."

The past three days have been a trial run of a program that Ms Donaghey hopes will become a regular event for the clients of Caringa.

 

Caringa client Sarah Hure leads a horse at the Bush Menagerie Riding School.
Caringa client Sarah Hure leads a horse at the Bush Menagerie Riding School. Adam Hourigan

"I know the power and the difference horses can make," she said.

"Horses can make the biggest change, they really can, and I think that's why everyone had such a good time.

"It just melts me seeing those guys having fun and getting out there.

"I just want to make a change, and give these guys the chance to come out and spend the day on the farm and have some fun, so for me to be able to do that and see those smiles, I was pretty chuffed."

MyLife programs manager Deidre Jones said the trip was a chance for the clients to try something new.

"Just getting that animal interaction and feeling the value in grooming the horses and leading them around the ground, it was amazing," she said.

"Everyone got something out of it, and it's amazing the impact just being around the horses had.

"Having that opportunity was wonderful, the whole experience was wonderful, everyone came back to the program to go home and they were overjoyed, the mood was amazing."

 

Bush Menagerie Riding School owner Emma Donaghey helps Caringa client Abraham Lockyer.
Bush Menagerie Riding School owner Emma Donaghey helps Caringa client Abraham Lockyer. Adam Hourigan

Ms Jones said it was hard to find activities for the clients without too much travel.

"I think that's why this has been such a great opportunity, because it's close and can give our clients a chance to interact with animals," she said.

"Our participants have felt quite inspired in pursuing further interaction with animals and farm work.

"It's certainly a wonderful experience that has inspired our participants and is something that they want to do again in the not too distant future.

"It was just wonderful for them to go out there and spend the day on the farm."

The field trip was supported by Col Green and the South Grafton Ex-Servicemens Club and Page MP Kevin Hogan.



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