Katie McClusky, who is 16 years old and has Down’s Syndrome, recently applied to the ILF Scotland Transition Fund to advance her horsemanship skills and gain a formal qualification in the subject.
Katie has always enjoyed visiting her local stables with her mum, so when her family learned about the Equido horsemanship course, Katie applied to the Transition Fund to cover the costs of her equipment, extra riding lessons and all three courses in Equido horsemanship, as well as an SQA qualification.
Katie’s dad, Stephen, said:
“The funding has meant a lot to Katie. Having Down’s Syndrome often limits the opportunities available to experience new avenues and areas of sport. But with this funding, rather than an occasional lesson on a horse, she can train up and learn all about horses, what it takes to look after them and endeavour to be an accomplished horse rider.”
Katie is due to start the Equido course at Phantom’s Legacy, a stable that specialises in supporting young people with additional support needs, and is currently preparing with extra lessons. At present, she is learning how to muck out stables, how to groom the horses and about the safety aspects of being around horses. Katie’s ultimate goal is to be able to ride by herself, something which the Equido course will help her to achieve.
“The ILF Scotland Transition Fund offers young people the opportunity to turn a goal into a reality through assisted funding, and allows them the opportunity to grow, experience something different, and maybe even progress the opportunity into a potential route to work in the future. There are often many great ideas out there for young people to have an experience or opportunity, restricted by lack of funds. The Transition Fund helps people turn these ideas into reality and successfully achieve their goals.”