BRISTOL ORBIT CLUB is pleased to support:

Heather and Peter from Bristol Orbit were pleased to sponsor a donkey called  Ashley at the Trust.

Riding therapy

The emotional and physical benefits of companion animals are now being established in psychiatric hospitals and elderly care units and there is well-researched evidence that the presence of animals can have a direct calming influence.

They are also a focus for the child's affection. Even the most disturbed, agitated or withdrawn child is more relaxed when stroking or talking to the donkeys. A confidence shared with a donkey has no chance of being revealed as it can be with a human.

Learning new skills in a safe and caring environment means riding therapy is also fun. Setting simple, achievable goals at each riding session increases the motivation of the child, raising their confidence and self esteem that is so often lacking in many of the children who first visit the centres. The act of riding also improves balance and dexterity for many children.

There are 14 attainment levels that the children work towards. From level one, which can include such activities as smiling and holding their head up, to level 14 where the children can steer the donkeys through obstacles, etc. Once a child has consistently completed the activities on their level, they get a certificate and go on to the next level.

Donkeys can also help the elderly in our community:-

Donkeys from The Elisabeth Svendsen Trust for Children and Donkeys (EST) are warmly greeted by residents whose faces light up when they see their four-legged friends walk into communal lounges, or even, in the case of less mobile residents, into their bedrooms as our special donkeys are uniquely trained to go up in lifts. Everybody enjoys these special visits, from the most able bodied to the frailest or most withdrawn resident.

Mary dressed up for an Outreach Visit (SIDMOUTH)

On Thursday 21st July 2011 Peter and Heather from the Orbit Club visit The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth to say hello to our sponsored adorable donkey Little Vijay.  We were made very welcome at the Sanctuary and all the donkeys looked beautifully kept and very happy.  They really enjoyed the apples and carrots we took for them. We have now adopted a new donkey called Ashley.

Below Little Vijay who is now retired from riding therapy.                         Below (right) Club Sec Heather and Peter saying hello to a friendly sanctuary

                                               donkey in the Greeting Yard.

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