Accessible Horse Riding

We are proud to partner with the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) and already work with local individuals and schools, providing accessible horse riding and equine assisted therapy sessions on the Isle of Wight.

Disabled Horse Riding
Ethan and Sister

We are passionate about making horse riding accessible to all and we are continually aiming for our stables, facilities and accommodation to be fully accessible for wheelchair users.

We have equipment to enable everyone to take in part in the riding we have on offer, our accessible equipment includes:

  • A standard access ramp to aid the mounting of a horse
  • A Martello mounting block that allows two helpers to assist either side of a rider
  • a fully automated hoist capable of lifting a wheelchair user straight from their chair onto a horse up to 20 hands high!

Our new indoor arena has been designed to incorporate a Changing Places toilet of which there are currently only 4 on the whole of the Island and a wheelchair lift will be installed to enable full access to our first floor viewing area and classroom.

Feb 2021 sees the para hoist’s 1st anniversary – we want to see it enable more people to ride like Steven from Wootton..

In Feb 2020 our first lucky rider to use the Island’s only hoist was Steven Benson from Wootton.  Steven who has cerebral palsy is already a regular visitor to IRC with Scope attending ‘Messy Play’ sessions made possible by the recently installed Changing Places toilet which enables him and others the chance to leave their home for a welcome change of scene and which until Friday meant only watching the horses.

With the help of the para hoist, for his 31st birthday he was able to get on horseback for the first time since he was a child. Watched and supported by his mum Carol and dad Chris, Steven alongside his regular carers Karen and Kit, IRC instructor Jo Hogan, and Wight Horse Community Interest Company, trustee Christina Czarkowski-Crouch was lifted from his chair onto Bluebell who patiently walked him round in the comfort of the centre’s indoor arena.

Steven Benson

“Many years ago when Steven was a lot smaller he used to absolutely love horse riding. Unfortunately due to his size it became impossible to lift him up on to a horse. This opportunity now enables him to get back in the saddle and enjoy an activity he loves. It will also enable others like Steven to take full advantage of this facility which is fantastic” his emotional mum Carol said.

Image below – Katie our groom testing the para hoist.

“The opening of our hoist by Steven and to see him ride today has made us all very proud.  We all work very hard in making IRC accessible and open to all, we are an RDA Accessibility Mark Centre which allows us to welcome disabled people to ride in knowledge that we are an approved centre”. Owner of Island Riding Centre and co-founder of the Wight Horse CIC, Louise Buckner said.

Through our associated Community Interest Company (Wighthorse CIC) we will be providing subsidised, and in some cases free, riding to individuals.

If you would like to support Wight Horse CIC or find out more, please get in touch by emailing info@wighthorse.co.uk or call IRC on 01983 214000.