Amy’s journey has been very difficult. She was born prematurely at 24 weeks weighing just 1lb 11oz. Her mum was told that her chance of survival was very slim. Amy was put on a ventilator, her weight dropped to 1lb 6oz, but she never stopped fighting. At 6 weeks the doctors diagnosed a problem with her heart and Amy had heart surgery and at 10 weeks an ophthalmologist found that Amy had a serious problem with her eyes but she was too ill to have surgery. She fought for her life for the next two weeks, surgery followed but Amy’s eyes could not be saved.
Amy is totally blind with no light perception and has balance problems and holds her head down all the time.
Amy’s mum contacted RDA Winton Group in 2014 to see if Amy could join riding sessions. After a trial run, a new class for Visually Impaired children was introduced. RDA West and Central Scotland helped by arranging a training day for coaches and volunteers working with Visually Impaired riders.
Amy was nervous when she started riding. She could not see the horse, and had no idea what it looked like or what it would do but she was brave and stayed calm. Amy had plenty of assistance initially, but can now mount properly from a mounting block with a little help from RDA friends.
Amy loves learning about the ponies and really cares that the ponies are happy when she is riding. She has passed the RDA Proficiency Tests 1 and 2 with a high score. She also attended the West and Central Scotland Regional Competition for the first time, doing well in Dressage and the Countryside Challenge.
In Amy's mum's words
"Riding has encouraged Amy to sit up straight and lift her head which is really good for her posture and wellbeing. RDA has been amazing for her, she has no fear now and loves going to her sessions."
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