My name’s’ Raeshell Sorensen. I’m the equestrian
program manager here at the National Ability Center. In riding lessons, there’s volunteers
who help out with their lessons, and they have a couple of different roles. One, is
as side walking. This is a person who walks beside the rider and the horse to help support
the rider whether it be because they need balance support, because they might not have
great balance, whether it be supporting a leg that doesn’t like to stay where it should.
Or, we have one rider who needs her heel held down when she trots because one leg is more
effective than the other and she can trot with just a little assistance that way. So,
for riders who are in a wheelchair and have major balance issues, will have two side walkers,
one on each side. Sometimes we’ll have side walkers there just in case, who aren’t actually
holding on, but in case something were to happen. We do this if a rider is prone to
seizures, then we’ll have somebody there to help pull them off if necessary. Volunteers
also help in lead walking the horses. So horses are generally held on a long lead rope and
helps to move around the arena for riders who may not have that mobility just yet, or
have riding skills yet to ride on their own.