This is Karen Leigh’s bright idea for Greater Leinster.

Therapeutic horse riding for children with special needs.


Our idea is to provide equine-assisted therapy for children with special needs.

What is innovative about this particular project is that it will be run by therapists from Sensational Kids, which is a local children’s charity, located in the heart of the Thoroughbred County of Ireland on the edge of The Curragh, in Co Kildare.

We believe that partnering our experienced paediatric clinical team at Sensational Kids with the local equine knowledge that exists in our community will deliver very positive outcomes for children with special needs.

Equine-assisted therapy encompasses a range of treatments that includes activities with horses to promote physical, occupational, and emotional growth in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, autism, cerebral palsy, depression, dyspraxia, developmental delay, genetic syndromes (such as Down’s syndrome), traumatic brain injuries, behavioral issues, and other mental health problems.

Children with special needs in our community will really benefit from this innovative project by improving their physical, sensory, social and emotional skills, facilitated by specialist support from Sensational Kids.

Horses are used by physio, speech, and occupational therapists to reach their patients on a personal level through what is referred to as hippotherapy.

Children with special needs such as autism also benefit from equine therapy due to the motor, emotional, and sensory sensations that come with riding a horse. Equine therapy is highly beneficial to children with special needs. It helps them develop natural, core skills they need to function in society.

This is a wonderful opportunity to support an innovative project that marries our specialist clinical expertise with renowned expertise of the thoroughbred county of Kildare to deliver better outcomes for children with special needs. It’s all about putting together resources in our community to benefit those in need.