A Rider’s Story

A Rider’s Story

My Story by Theo Lowery aged 13

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When I was two I was diagnosed with ataxic diplegic cerebral palsy. This means that my brain doesn’t tell my legs how to work properly so I have difficulty walking.

When I went to big school I had a lovely teaching assistant who knew lots about CP and when I was 5 she managed to get me a place at Riding for the Disabled. I rode with this group for a few years and then I stopped which made me very sad.

One day Isaac’s Mum told my Mum about Mid Cheshire Riding for the Disabled. Mum had been looking for a new place for me for ages. She was very excited when I got a place. I had been poorly since I stopped riding.

I was very stiff at first and a bit nervous. I had a lovely teacher called Judy and I soon got used to being on a horse again. It is really good for my legs. I ride a lovely pony called Pip.

Then I had a new teacher called Pam. I was a bit scared of her at first. One day Pam asked me if I would like to take part in a competition. I had to ride a different pony called William and took part in the North West Region Countryside Challenge in 2012 and I won first place! William and I then rode at the RDA National Championships at Hartpury, Gloucester and came 6th.

In 2013 William and I won the North West Countryside Challenge again and came 6th again at the Nationals!IMG_8796

This year (2014) William and I won the North West Countryside Challenge again. We went to Hartpury on a very wet and windy day. When I arrived I found out that my William had hurt his leg on the journey down and he would not be allowed to compete. I was very sad. We had some other ponies with us but I had never ridden any of them before. My friend Janet said I could ride any of the other ponies. I chose to ride Ted. He is much bigger than Wills!

We went to have our tack checked and then over to the field where the competition was taking place. It poured and poured with rain. There was thunder and lightning and the competition was stopped for a bit as the horses were so upset. Some of the horses were too scared to take part. Then it was my turn. Ted was very brave and rode the course very well. Janet and I were very  wet. When we finished we had to lend Ted to another rider as their horse didn’t like the bad weather.

Eventually at teatime the scores came in. Ted and I had only come in 4th place! What a result!

IMG_8772I could only achieve this with all my fantastic friends at Mid Cheshire who give up their time to help kids and grown-ups like me. Thank you to you all, you’re the best!

Update:  In 2015 Theo won the North West regional championship again and  qualified for the National Championships.  He was confident enough to ride a completely strange borrowed horse as Mid Cheshire were unable to get their ponies to the Event.  He did a fantastic job and came 3rd.