New arena taking shape at Moray's Touchdown Memorial Home for Horses
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A LOCAL horse rescue charity will be able to run more therapy sessions for disadvantaged people later this year when it opens its new indoor arena.
Touchdown Memorial Home for Horses, in Mulben, rehabilitates horses and ponies and offers a life-long sanctuary for them if suitable homes cannot be found.
The centre provides equine facilitated therapy for people of all ages living with a range of disadvantages, including the care experienced, PTSD sufferers, victims of domestic abuse, addicts, ex-offenders and people with cognitive or mobility problems.
Touchdown was set up in Shropshire in 1998 and moved to Moray 15 years ago.
Chairperson Frances Davies said: "We take in horses for whatever reason and put them through rehabilitation in conjunction with the vet and farrier. Not all of them can be ridden or driven.
"If we cannot find homes for them they can stay here with us for life.
"Our new arena is coming on really well and, as well as being safer, means we can operate more sessions in colder weather."
Participants in therapy sessions learn to guide pony agility on the ground, and to groom, handle and care for the horses and ponies.
The centre runs a Countrymen Club for local older men, which is specifically aimed at those who had a country upbringing or worked in rural jobs. As well as animal care, men, including those in care homes, can get involved in horticulture or working with farm machinery. The club is now gearing up again after being forced into abeyance by the pandemic.
The public are being invited along to mark the opening of its new indoor school on Saturday, October 2, from 10am-5pm.
The open day will feature pony rides, stable tours and a parade by some of its residents, including Lauder the Clydesdale, a former police horse.
A fun dog show will run in the afternoon, including classes for waggiest tail, best rescue, the dog the judge would most like to take home, and the dog most like its owner. A special rosette will go to top child handler.
As well as a raffle with prizes both horsey and non-horsey, there will be demonstrations of barefoot hoof trimming, "Think Like A Pony", horse physiotherapy, circus skills and crafts.
Therapy chickens Lidwina and Ceitidh and part wildcat Aoife will also be there on the day, and hot food, drinks and home bakes will be available.
Further details can be found at www.touchdownmhh.org or on Facebook, where dog show entry forms can be downloaded.