Mechanical horse namedafter Robbie Williams is an angel with disabled riders

Date: Friday 8th December 2017
Mr. Williams in action at Happy Hoves, Eamont Bridge
Mr. Williams in action at Happy Hoves, Eamont Bridge

A MECHANICAL horse named after pop star Robbie Williams is providing a stepping stone for disabled riders to achieve their goal of riding a real horse.

“Mr. Williams” has been part of the equine team at Happy Hooves Riding Centre, Eamont Bridge, after being purchased by owner Alison Noble, who realised he was a valuable asset for equine therapy courses, particularly for disabled clients.

Unlike with a real horse, the instructor can remain in complete control, so if the rider wishes to stop, they can do at the push of a button. This can prove helpful when teaching riders with learning difficulties, who can also make sudden movements and noises which could unsettle a horse or pony.

The aim is for riders to progress to riding a real horse but for some this is simply not possible as their muscles are too weak. However, the simulator still provides the opportunity to get involved and take part in a physical activity.

Alison said: “We cater for a wide range of disabled riders from children to adults with learning difficulties that vary in severity. Mr. Williams gives them an insight into what it is like to ride a real horse, helping to develop confidence, muscle strength and coordination, as well as a real sense of achievement.

“Giving him a name helps bring him to life and riders develop a fondness for him in much the same way as riders form a bond with a real horse. Looking to the future we are hoping to be able to purchase a hoist so more riders can enjoy the benefits both physically and mentally from riding a mechanical horse.”

LEFT: Mr. Williams in action.