When we found our horsebox, the first lockdown had just finished.... so we thought it would all be over. But we need to be continually aware of the need to offer best practice biosecurity. As a result we made the following changes to our horsebox and service:
- Developed the design to create a private,bio-secure living area
- Added an awning so that people can gather outdoors with shelter
- Increased the door width to accommodate larger wheelchairs
- Added sound proofing and heating / air-conditioning
- Arranged deep cleaning for sterilising surfaces between visitors
- Reduced the use of fabric surfaces to ease cleaning
- Researched the needs of people in care homes who have become withdrawn
- Developed a Core Team Skills approach to reduce the need for teams of volunteers
- Designing training so that family members and care home staff can lead the sessions
- Adjusted insurance cover to use a family's own horses in therapy sessions and special rides
- Attended wheelchair skills and mental heath first aid training
- Seeking funds to subsidise mental health and disability awareness training for our staff and volunteers
Meeting post-Covid needs....
We will focus on supporting families and friends to take their horses to care homes, as well as enabling people who have suffered illness as a result of the outbreak to ride their horses in beautiful places.
We will enable its use as a space for private conversations - we have added soundproofing / insulation to ensure that is comfortable for longer periods (eg 30-40 mins rather than 10-15 mins) This will enable support of people experiencing mental overwhelm following the pandemic. Quality listening time will be paramount.
For para equestrians, we plan to go to open shows as well as para competitions so that you can easily get on and compete again....