Stan The Mechanical Horse
In 2004 Rosie Towers, our founder, saw a mechanical horse at one of the colleges in Harrogate and decided that we should have one for people who wouldn’t be safe on a live horse. Rosie and Hazel Bennett started fund raising and raised over £20,000 from Companies in the local area. STAN cost approximately £17,000 and the residue was spent accessories to help the riders when they rode STAN.
He is a very well travelled mechanical horse and has been to St. Michael’s Hospice, fund raising with the Mayor of Harrogate and every year he goes to the Countryside Live Show and the Springtime Live Show.
STAN has proved to be very beneficial to people with neurological problems such as Multiple Sclerosis or anyone fearful of riding a real horse, helping them with muscle tone and giving them confidence. He has all the same movements as a live horse but can’t run away, so is very safe. Lucy Longden, our physiotherapist, ensures that all the riders get the most benefit from him.
STAN can go from a walk to a gallop either by the volunteer controlling the speed, or by the rider using the kick pads. By pulling gently on the rein a rider can bring the pace back down through the movements to a walk or to a halt. Alternatively the volunteer can vary the movements via a button.
STAN’S arrival in 2004 – he was a bit heavy!